Monday, July 02, 2012

The Call of the Tiger

Staying in a luxury tent in Ranthambore, trying to spot the elusive tiger, will have us coming back for more. We took the morning safari as we had heard the chances of seeing a tiger are more then. Our guide said that it is easier to spot one in the evening.
We were allotted Zone 1 out of the five, and the others zones had a higher possibility of seeing a tiger. A tigress gave birth in Zone 3, when we had gone. Tough luck. We enjoyed the hilly terrain, tried to spot a leopard with our binoculars.
The many birds, peacocks, different kinds of deer and striking trees made it seem like Jurassic Park. We hurtled through in an open jeep. There were five vehicles at the watering hole, waiting for the tiger. Although we heard the call of potential prey a few times, signalling the tiger was on the move, we were disappointed.
Our zone was just ten kilometres, with two tigers. The park has 40 odd tigers, 10,000 deer, of which 2000 are sambar deer. Only eight vehicles can be in a zone at any time. The safari was two hours long.
It's easier to spot a tiger in summer apparently. Once you're on the chase, you're hooked until you do see one. It's awe inspiring to see animals in their natural habitat, not fenced in or at a Sentosa like place. So definitely seeing a tiger in such a setting will be memorable.
Our guide had the last word- "Tiger dulha ki tarah chalta hai aage aage aur hum sab baaraati uske peeche chalte hain." :)