India Trip Report by Ruth Grainger

Natural World Safaris

01 Aug 2014

Ruth Grainger's India Trip

Ruth travelled with Natural World Safaris to India just before Christmas in 2013, below she has written a blog on her experiences alongside some fabulous images:

Shortly before Christmas, 2013, I went to India to have a look at tigers. Natural World Safaris organised the whole thing, and I have to say that the arrangements were super – my daughter and myself were treated like royalty and escorted everywhere.

We stayed in a tented camp in Kanha National Park, and the same in Bandhavgarh National Park – both in Madhaya Pradesh in the centre of India.

On the first morning we were woken at 5.30 – bit of a shock - given hot water bottles and blankets and packed into a jeep by Raj, an astonishing driver and scout whose knowledge of the park and its inmates was brilliant... On the first drive, just as it was getting light we saw our first leopard!

And things got better and better - monkeys galore: macaques and langurs with lots of infants and a herd of deer being watched by a jackal.

Breakfast was picnic style and delicious – designated areas within the park – and the drive carried on; once the sun was up the viewing became easier, but it wasn’t as hot as I’d expected because we were, in the main, in forested areas..

The tented camp was lovely, in a beautiful setting and with such lovely people; we were the only visitors as it was very early season for the camp, so we did get spoilt! The food was super, cooked to suit our time table and delicious with a picnic breakfast, lunch and a rest and dinner each day.

The afternoon game drives were varied – Raj took us to a different area each time, but he always knew where the good viewing was happening; we did encounter a few other vehicles from other camp sites, but we were often alone in seeing such wonderful sites/sights.

Raj even managed to interest us in the bird life,  and we got to know several, including the wonderfully-named drongo!

It took me such a long time to see two little owlets – wonderful camouflage colouring.

Of course the highlight of each day was the tigers! We had at least one sighting every day, and the other guides and all the people at the campsite said how lucky we’d been – we got the accolade of making the most sightings in one stay at Kanha! There was a group of four siblings of 16 months old, and two older animals.

We had to leave Kanha and travel to Bandgarvath where we found a different type of camp, with tree houses, a large bar, a dining room and more waiters than customers; the early mornings continued, except when we opted out on one morning and went instead for a butterfly walk. This was beautiful, and again we had the company of a lovely guide who knew so much!

This was a much larger park than Kanha, with a different feel to it; the number of birds, animals and butterflies we saw was amazing and too large to illustrate here, but the main focus was, of course, the tigers. 

We saw plenty, we were so lucky in that we had superb guides, so hats off to Natural World Safaris and their network of agents – brilliant!

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