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Found 6 results

  1. Hi SafariTalk! My first Post here (sorry if there is a Topic about Lion vs. Rhino already). Been guiding 20 years in +10 countries and happy to share memories/photos. Rare sighting couple of years ago when I got good pictures of young male Lion hunting a Rhino in SA next to us. Lion not even close to succeed but great sighting for my guests. Would be great to see more pictures Lions vs Rhino... All the best! /Johan
  2. The Eternal Game of Wilderness: Predator vs Prey A visit to any wildlife sanctuary or a national park is always a fascinating experience, and if the destination is a Tiger Reserve, the magnitude of this fascination knows no boundaries. Mother Nature, the lord of surprises, ensures that every time we are surprised with a unique experience that is remarkably different yet, equally enjoyable. Our visit to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in the March of 2015, once again proved to be no less. The journey to the wilderness was an exotic experience in itself as we drove literally across Maharahstra from Pune to Umred, already making the trip a memorable one. The journey was long(over 900kms) but worthwhile and we arrived in Umred with bountiful of expectations riding high on this super start to the trip. The lone safari in Umred was not the best of safaris I have had maybe due to the long journey and the lack of animal activity,however since it was my first visit to Umred, enjoyed this lesser known,gem of a forest and the close association of the locals with the wildlife as the Umred Karhandla forest is still just a sanctuary and not a Tiger Reserve yet. The plan was simple;Pune-Umred-Tadoba-Nagzira, and all this in mere 5 days only to arrive back in Pune on the 6th morning. Sticking to the schedule we left Umred after the morning safari getting some lunch on our way to Tadoba. We were put up at the Kolara gate FDCM dormitory in Tadoba and just like all the FDCM guest houses, this one too was about a km away from the reserve gate. Tadoba is regarded as one of the best places to setup a meeting with our National Animal and we knew that unlike Umred, Tadoba would surely not disappoint. As expected, this dry deciduous forest, dominated by Bamboo(one of Tiger's preferred habitats in this part of the country) showed us why nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts regard this wilderness so highly as we spotted a male leopard and s tigress in the same safari.Cloud nine was the only destination for each individual in the vehicle that day. After all one does not spot 2 of the 3 largest cats in a single day that too in the matter of a few minutes. Still hung over the previous day's heroics(although all we did was hop into the vehicle and soak in the nature's marvel), the next day in Tadoba was spent way too expectant as both the safaris next day were without any significant activity except for those 10 minutes where we waited for a tigress who was in her dreamland deep into the bushes, hoping that she would show up. Too many expectations!!!! With great amount of efforts and some luck we were permitted to enter the reserve from Pangdi gate. Kolsa region was what we wanted to get into as this region boasted of at least 3 tigresses with about 3-4 cubs each at that time in Tadoba and Pangdi gate was the nearest access point to this region. The travel time from Kolara to Pangdi was about 90 minutes and in order to make it in time for the morning safari we started from Kolara literally in the middle of the night at 3.30 am through the nearby villages. Fortunately we made it in time and started the coveted safari. A female tigresses with cubs was all that we had in our mind. So obsessed with this expectant moment, the group almost failed to notice a large herd of Gaurs, the largest wild cattle in the world, that was having a morning graze. An hour into the safari and there was no sign of any predator activity around, let alone a Tiger. We waited at a large lake in the Kolsa region for more than 45 minutes only to hear the melodious chirps and calls of a lot of avifauna. Safaris at such times can get on your nerves. Neither can you enjoy the rest of the fauna as your minds are so preoccupied with the sighting you so dearly want, nor can you dump the thought from your mind. With this mindset and a wait that was getting agonisingly long we decided to move on. We crossed tracks with another safari vehicle and the group in this vehicle broke the news that a tigress was spotted with 4 cubs some 500 yards along the track we were heading on to and that the family entered the thicket some 10 minutes ago. Cursing ourselves for having waited that long at the lake we were gutted to have missed this golden opportunity. Not wanting to accept that the chance was lost we headed in the direction the group had mentioned. With half hearted approach to the above mentioned part of the forest, we saw a lone gypsy stranded close to the left side of the track. Judging by the gestures of the vehicle`s occupants we inferred that it was probably a deer or a bison that they were watching on the left. When reached closer, we were proven right about our inference as in the bushes on the left there stood a lone Gaur possibly a bull, judging by its size, as I have already mentioned about the strength and the muscle of these huge herbivores. The ridge on its back told us he was indeed a bull. The interesting part though was that, he was not in his usual calm demeanour like Gaurs are normally. Swivelling his body from one side to another with volatile movements, his body language seemed odd. "TIGER", came a whisper from the adjacent vehicle and suddenly all the pupils started surveying the bushes around the Gaur. Then suddenly we saw a tail wag and judging the head position of this animal looked intently to get a glimpse only to see of the beast's face partially. It was indeed a Tiger. Adding up all the events witnessed in the last 5 minutes; a lone Gaur being approached by his marauder, explained his nervous body language. The scene was set for what we believed would be a classical show down between the predator and the prey. Every time the bull turned his back on the cat, in came the charge. Then turning towards the Tiger the bull would fend off the charge. This went on for about 10 minutes and suddenly a second head appeared on the other side of the bull, another Tiger! This was mind boggling for the occupants of the 3-4 vehicles witnessing this. The bull in the centre trying to stand up against a two side attack now. Shutters started to clamp even more rapidly as this superlative game started getting intense. The bull now started moving away from us but still in the same parallel line. The attack was still on. Gradually and foot after foot the bull came into the open. Let me reiterate the situation. The vehicles, there were about 8 of them now on the track. The bull directly in front of the vehicles but moving to the opposite direction and the submerged Tigers in the thicket in the same line of the bull and diagonally in front of the vehicles. With the bull moving away the first cat's head started peeping out of the bushes on to the track. Things drastically changed and the bull, with no real logical explanation, started walking towards the vehicle, facing the tiger from time to time as he walked. Still walking towards us and approximately 30 yards from the vehicles, supposedly unaware or rather ignorant of our presence, the gentle giant paused in his tracks only to continue in our direction. The tiger by now was in full view and all three of us were in the same line on the track. The vehicles the bull in front and the tiger following up on his heels. The Gaur, still moving towards us, had by now sensed our presence and stopping once, he gave us a stare. He was probably a tad bit disappointed by our presence and barged into the bushes on the right. Seeing the prey get away the tiger started chasing it and that is when we realised that it was actually a cub, may be 8-10 months old. Our hair stood on its end, as all of us started realising the magnitude of the whole situation. The cub followed the Gaur on the right. The second tiger, which by now we knew was another cub followed its sibling also followed suit. Then another and another. We were flabbergasted with the turn of events. 4 tiger cubs in their most important phase of their lives had just crossed us and the suspicion had come true. It was lesson time for the cubs as the mother, watched intently, still in the thicket to our left, where this battle had begun initially. She must have been the one to instigate the cubs, probably leading from the front when the attack began and on luring the cubs into the attack had stepped off to let the kids get a hang of such situations. The cubs were being trained, a skill was being developed. A skill that would allow each of them to survive when they get older, stronger and most importantly when mum would not be around. We were witness to one Nature's most amazing spectacles. There was no sound, absolutely no sound from the mob of 60 odd people that had this visual treat. However, dreams are very rarely completed in your sleep and as if to testify this we had to back trace our vehicles as time was up for our safari and the cubs had to continue their lessons, maybe without our distraction. With throats dried up and minds filled with this euphoria we returned back to the gates. Later that evening we got the news that the ritual was completed, the Gaur had fallen prey to his predator. Not exactly to the family of Tigers, but to the Nature's sternest rule, " Survival of the fittest". With every prey that falls to the predator in the wilderness, the predator gets to live another day. A spectacle of a lifetime was still being attempted to settle down in our minds and we left Tadoba, thanking the almighty and mother nature for giving us this experience which I am sure would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to re-visualise in the wild.
  3. MASAI MARA, EARLY EVENING. . We were watching a pride of Lions feeding on a Zebra kill, and we noticed a pair of Oribi acting strangely a short distance away. The way they were acting made us curious so we went to have a look. We stopped a respectful distance away so as not to cause them any unnecessary distress, and started scanning the area for signs of anything unusual. Nothing had changed around the kill, but scanning in front of the Oribi we noticed a movement in the grass ahead of the them. Concentrating hard on that area we saw the movement again and realised there was a young Oribi lying there. One of the female lion’s, who was laying a little way off from the kill, under a bush, had also been watching the Oribi and we are sure she saw the movement too. She half rose staring intently towards the Oribi. Suddenly the young Oribi stood up, its parents snorting that it should not, and that was the signal for the lioness to launch an attack. The two adult Oribi fled in slightly different directions expecting the youngster to follow one of them, but it dropped back down in to the grass. This action actually confused the Lioness and she stopped, staring ahead not sure where the young Oribi had gone. The Lioness stared towards the two adult Oribi, now standing on the crest of a hill, trying to work out what happened, when suddenly the young Oribi broke cover and ran for its life. The Lioness was after it in an instant but the young Oribi was pretty fast and after a few moments the Lioness gave up. She had obviously fed well from the Zebra kill, and was not going to over exert herself for what would have been no more than dessert. There was a controlled cheer from us as the young Oribi circled round to meet up with its parents, but, just as we were congratulating the youngOribi on a nice flanking movement, another lioness, which we had not noticed, launched herself from behind a small mound. She must have been watching what had been happening and made the most of the situation as she caught the Young Oribi and brought it down . A loud cry of, Oh no! Echoed from our vehicle but, the Lioness did not kill the young Oribi there and then, no; she carried it back to where there were young Lion cubs playing near to the kill. She dropped it in front of them; the Oribi froze for a second and then ran. The cubs were after it in a flash and soon brought it down. After some playing with it they let it go and chased it again. The young Lions had obviously paid attention when Mum was hunting and they dispatched the young Oribi quickly. It was somewhat like watching a football match. One minute we were 1-0 up, and then the opposition drew level, 1-1, and then they scored the winner in extra time 1-2. AJ. Attached Images
  4. http://africageographic.com/blog/iconic-elephant-shot-zimbabwe/ Not sure if this has already been posted. The pro side are all going to say the same things all over again. That it was legal. That it pays for conservation. That the hunter was perfectly within his rights. Yadda yadda yadda. It may be legal and he may have been within his rights, but I challenge that hunting outfitter to show us the breakup of that money and show us how much went to conservation. What a load of crap. In the meantime, the world loses one more precious and irreplaceable animal.
  5. Hello We are back from a super trip in Kenya visiting Samburu and the Masai Mara. My partner took this video on our very last night at Porini Lion Camp in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. After a narrow escape from the claws of a lioness a wildebeest collapses a couple of hundred metres away in front of another hungry lioness - the rest of the story is pretty much self-explanatory in the video. Watch till the end if you want to see the heavens open into a rainstorm - lots of wet and soggy cats
  6. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to record a leopard hunt in full on my safari last year in the Masai Mara. They're such beautiful creatures and I have always loved to see them but I was truly amazed by the stealth with which she crept up and the power and efficiency of her attack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cljFHUDq8tw& Can't wait to go back again now! I've been bitten by the safari bug well and truly!

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