Tigers , temples and trains – 24th October – 6th November
My 4th visit to India, third with RWH, but this day beat them all! Up with alarm call at 5.30 and was 1st down for coffee before leaving for our 3rd, and last trip, into the Ranthambhore National Park. We had almost given up hope of a tiger and went out expecting just more deer, monkeys, and birds – interesting as they are. We were due to go to another different zone today so passed through the entrance gate in our ‘safari bus’ and headed off.
Within seconds ‘tiger!’ and we and the other vehicles stopped to see a tiger within a few feet on our left, strolling parallel to the road through the grass and low growing plants. Lots of driver jostling ensued to get their vehicle to get the best view, not possible to focus the camera properly but, who cares! The tiger continued a little further before turning right to amble across the road just in front of us. He went into the long grass beside the road and we thought that was that, as he turned to cross the road again. These memories will stay of that first glimpse of this enigmatic, powerful animal, the primary aim of our visit.
But that was not all.
We went on through very different terrain to a large expanse of water for more surprises; turtles, frogs and so many birds including two different kingfishers who almost posed for us, various waders, egrets, two woolly-necked cranes and much more. Could we hope for anything else? As we passed back through the entrance arch we looked to our left and there a few feet away a crested serpent eagle sat as if posing on a low lying rock, flying, after a few minutes to give us time this time to focus, onto a branch a little above us. This visit had it all!