Safari-5: Morning 17th May 2011
The morning safari today was a big success and most rewarding.
The Cub must have got disturbed and so got up and started walking away from us. That is when we saw a 2nd cub also get up, further ahead and together they started walking away.
One started climbing up a small ridge while the other disappeared below in a gully. As the first cub climbed up, we realized the Tigress (Bhagini) was also on the ridge slope at a higher level! She must have been there all along, watching her cubs. Maybe she called the cubs up, after seeing more jeeps arrive?
So as we moved towards Ali-Katta to see if there was any elephant-back safari today.
Typical jeep trail in the park
On the way we entered nice rolling grassy meadow with a water-body and saw lots of Spotted Deer and many birds such as yellow-legged Pigeon, Indian Roller, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Black & Yellow-beak Ibis, Egret, Heron etc. This was an idyllic spot halt and watch all the birds of the park. We stopped here for nearly 30mins watching the scenery in morning glowing light.
The idyllic waterhole bathed morning sunlight
Roufus Tree Pie (I was told)
Three cubs are here ....one asleep on right
As our jeep moved away from the elephant boarding spot and drove nearly 300M away we were pleasantly surprised to see some 3-4 Tiger-cubs walking towards the water for a swim! Apparently the Tiger-cubs which were resting on the rocky-mound had left that place and now wanted to cool down in the water. One by one they entered the water and started swimming to mid-stream. Soon we saw the Collarwaali Tigress follow them into the stream.
There are 4 cubs and collarwaali tigress in the water now
It was an awesome sight to see all 5 of them playing in the water. However, we were nearly 300-400M away from where they were swimming. While we could see them clearly with our naked eyes, and even more so with the Binocs, I am not sure how good they will appear in the pictures I shot with the 300MM lens.
After 10 minutes they left the stream and started climbing out on other side; but then had a rethink and started back into water. At this point we were asked to move away to make space for other jeeps following us.
So far in 5 safaris (out of 7 booked) we have seen a total of 10 Tigers i.e. Two cubs of Badi-Mada Tigress, Collarwaali Tigress with her 4 cubs and Baghini-nala Tigress with her two cubs; so a total of 10 tigers ... so our Pench visit is fully 'paisa-vasool'
Safari-6: Evening Tuesday 16th May:
Nothing new seen on this drive. We tried Bhagini Nalla again, but no luck for any tiger sighting. On the way we did see lots of Deer, Gaurs and Birds. So far all 3 evening drives have not been fruitful, in terms of Tigers for us. Though I did hear some others saw an adult male-tiger cross the trail path near them.
Sarari-7: Wednesday, Morning 18th May:
This was our last Safari. We explored some new areas of Pench which we had not seen so far. We were looking for Leopards or some Male Tigers but no such luck. We did hear some others had seen a male tiger cross the jeep trails in other areas. But we had no such luck.
We cut short our Safari by 8:45AM and returned to KC by 9AM. Enjoy a nice breakfast of Puri-Aloo and Omelets-Toast and started off for the airport in a hired KC Taxi (Rs 2000/-). It was hot day and AC car was required. Our flight left on-time and we reached Mumbai on time too.
sitting on the ridge straight in front, some 200M away!
44 Pench Tigers >