Doah ....a deer!December 13, 2016 in India ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F
Safari day @ Ranthambore National Park
We get picked up at 6.30am to go on our safari. We're in a 6 seater Gypsey which is like a jeep with the top off pretty cool. We've been briefed by the locals that we're not likely to see a tiger or bear so we're not holding our breath, hence why we've booked two safaris (sunrise & sunset) to maximise our chances whilst we're still here!
There's another English couple which made for some good Banter and then some dullards from far and wide... No exchanges with those oxygen thief's! The driver looks normal and the ranger explains that all Rangers have had to obtain a BSc in wildlife conservation to be part of the 112 strong team. This seemed a good omen that this is a conservation project and not just a large zoo!
We're straining and straining as we go looking for tigers! Every orange bush or log is potential! Dear, dear, different type of dear, spotted dear, big antlered deer, dead dear, baby dear every type of deer.... Oh we were so lucky! And gutted.... The sun was up and so was our time.... Then Noblet saw it.... An orange behind lighting up a shady hollow, he stops the car and shushes everyone, 'there, there!' We look and get the reply... 'That's a spotted dear' from the guide! Noblet is the butt of the cars jokes from the rest of the trip!
We're about to turn around when another ranger talks to our ranger, through the language barrier we managed to glean that there was something in some bushes, we whizzed around in the car and raced to the other side of a patch of trees next to a watering hole.... Drive along the road, we u-turn, come back to the ranger, both cars then complete the same drive u turn drive about three times, all the while the Rangers being super alert. Nothing. We stop, definitely out of time.... Then the ranger hears the alarm call of one of the dears, it sounds miles away. The ranger signals, the driver knows what to do and we drive at break neck speed along a dusty road, we drive about 400m and slam on the breaks... And there it is. A MASSIVE TIGER!!! The biggest set of bollocks you've ever seen!!! It was huge. Lumbering along, we were about 20m
From it and followed it in the car, he didn't give two hoots about us and continued about his business. He stomped past us.... We were expecting a graceful cat but he walked like an umper lumper. The colours on him were so striking and he was like illuminous against the backdrop of the jungle! We had not needed to spend all our time squinting it may as well have been wearing a bright yellow turban with a flashing light on it!!!! Saying 'I'm here come at me!' And no jokes he was massive!!!! Actually massive!!! Probs double the size I was expecting.... The jungle book made sheer khan seen smaller me thinks!!!
So there we are. A tiger brilliant. Noblet's all smug.... 'I told you we didn't need two safaris' the driver and ranger are very pleased.... And the odd balls in the front may be but we can't tell because they're still wearing medical masks?
We get back absolutely buzzing, we're late out of the park and the last ones out, it was confirmed we were the only two cars who'd had a sighting! Brilliant!
Pressure off we head to the shop to get some train tickets from a rep (it is basically impossible to buy train tickets in India so totes worth the 10% extra to avoid hours of hassle.) so we're confirmed as leaving Ranthambore at 10.30pm arriving at Delhi at 4.30am (no accommodation needed winner!) whilst there we're chatting to a guy about our chances of seeing a Sloth Bear (he's been going out for 5 years a couple of times a week and only seen one once) so we write off our hopes of doing a jungle book remake and hope instead for more tiger action!
Eat at a dodgy hotel in one of the worst States of repair we've seen. Especially as it advertises its self as a luxury resort. Can imagine being very disappointed if we'd have booked here!
Head back after beers for our second safari covered in citronella.
This time we're in with our close second LFTs (Canadians) they can be hard work.... Maybe coz a lot are basically French?!
Head out on the road very chilled out, unlike our companions who hadn't yet seen a tiger and so were very antsy about getting on with the whole thing!
We start driving going in through an unorthodox route and we thing we've got a bad zone (10 zones and each morning each vehicle is randomly assigned to a zone and this is the only area where you can drive).
Within 10 minutes we SEE A BLOODY SLOTH BEAR!!! Follow it up the park for like 30 mins as it digs for termites....chills out etc!
Got to go too exciting!!!
Back to Delhi on sleeper train!!! Obviously there were cows on the platform... Noblet was thrilled to see one go down the stairs!Read more