Waiting for the Bengal tigerMay 4 in Nepal
We wanted to give it another chance to see a wild Bengal tiger and stopped by at the Bardia Nationalpark to do a 12 hours walking safari. The park is famous for its large population of tigers but only a few tourists make it to this remote area.
Accompanied by Prem, our friendly guide, and Santosh, a brave bamboo fighter, we spent a whole day in the jungle, walking through deep bush, crossing crocodile rivers, watching out for wildlife - and waiting almost five hours for the tiger, at a spot by the river, silent and hidden in the bush, endurance and patience were essential...
We were lucky: 2 wild Rhinos, a wild elephant (our first one!), herds of deer, monkeys and crocodiles. But not too lucky: No tiger. 30 minutes more at the spot by the river and we would have seen it, a group which stayed there longer saw it, damn!
Anyway, it was an amazing day in an amazing jungle.
The next day was full of surprises then: Someone had stolen our speedometers, our tent sticks, one of our cyclists‘ wallets and a drinking bottle over night. We had our bicycles in front of the door of Prem‘s homestay and left some things on them. Luckily, our tent and the sleeping pads were still there. How could that happen in a remote village with less than 50 homes? Must have been a kid or youth. The whole family and neighbors helped searching and we could find some things in the fields. But the tools, our speedometers and our repair kit was gone, and one tent stick broken. Not a perfect start into a new day...
For good luck, the family put the red color on our forehead, called 'Tika'. And this should help: When we left the park cycling along the road that goes through the bufferzone, a safari jeep suddenly stopped a hundred meters in front of us and we heard the Indian tourists screaming. There was a tunnel for water underneath the road and 3(!!!) tigers had just crossed the road through it! When we got there, we could only hear the alarm sounds of the birds and the rustling as the tigers disappeared in the forest. So we stood there, listening and waiting. And then suddenly another tiger came through the tunnel! We couldn’t believe our fortune, we had just seen a wild Bengal tiger, a few meters from us, incredible, what a powerful animal! The following 15 kilometers to the next town became the most scary ones we cycled so far because we knew we were in real danger now. Before, it was just roadsigns saying that there were tigers... but there are, we saw it!
The rest of this exciting day offered us another puncture and a nice, grassy camp spot with many kids around :)Read more