This post is an experience of our Day 2 evening safari in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. You can read about our Day 1 Evening Safari and Day 2 Morning Safari. You will know how eager I was to see the big cats in the wilderness. Though we saw a Leopard on our Day 1 itself, my eyes were waiting to spot what Tadoba is famous for – The majestic Tiger.
Did we get lucky in the third attempt? Well….read on….
In our morning safari, we saw some amazing wildlife, serene Andhari river, and a stunning sunrise. The sweltering day squeezed the energy out of us but it was worth it. We returned to our cottage and had early lunch of simple and hearty Dal-Chawal. Moved to our rooms, relaxed a bit and within a couple of hours, it was the time for another safari.
This was our second last chance to spot the Tiger and I was religiously praying to see at least one. I didn’t feel like going out in the scorching heat but the motivation level was high. Though the temperature was quite high, the clear sky, busy waterholes make a super backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Summer is an ideal time for sighting uncommon species.
Tip: Carry lots of water to avoid dehydration. Wear sunscreen, hat/scarf, light summer clothing.
We started off at 2:30 PM and after all the regular checking process, our Jeep Safari entered the forest. The driver and guide were the same as on the first safari. Nothing changed except the landscape of our path. This time we were in yet another zone. The best part about the jungle is even if you come repetitively; you will find something new to be surprised about.
Our first spotting was of beautiful Common Buzzard sitting in the shade to get relief from the heat. The giant Indian Male Bison was roaming around in search of some food.
As we heard some calls, we suspected a location for the visit by the tiger, and to my utmost surprise what we see was an absolute treat – A Sloth Bear! Yes, a cute sloth bear crossed our path. It came from nowhere and just like any show, it came, saw us for a few seconds, posed, drank water from a pump nearby, again stared at us, and went away. OMG! what a memorable sight! It was so adorable. I still can’t get away from that visual.
We waited for a few minutes to see if the moon bear comes back but hard luck. We moved ahead to see a shy camouflaged Mongoose walking on the dried leaves. He surprisingly gazed at us and quickly went away into the bush. Once again we met our super shy nocturnal friend – The Mottled Wood Owl. It was sleepy hence didn’t disturb it and moved ahead.
Our last resort was to stay back around some water bodies. The safari was about to end in an hour. We waited around a pond for half an hour and wait what I saw was a dream. A tiger cub walked in from the bushes to drink water followed by its two kins. I could not believe my eyes! I was thrilled! Majestic, Beautiful, Fearless, Royal, Ferocious Tigers were in front of us. What a view! One after another 3 of them came, drank water, and sat there for a couple of minutes. I was dancing with joy in my heart. Within some time other safaris also gathered around and what I could hear was the shutter sound. Click Click Click and why not as the Tiger was relaxing and leisurely posing. Although you can capture the beauty in the camera for memories what you experience from your eyes remains in your heart forever.
I was soaking the moment in me.
Yayyyy! So, yes we were lucky in the third attempt. Watching tigers or big cat family in the wild is an altogether different experience. Though for us, each living being is beautiful and of utmost importance. We were at the location and time was slipping from our hands. Had to exit from the jungle as it was getting dark and the safari timing was about to get over. I felt helpless and wanted to cherish those moments for some more time. But had to keep calm and be happy for what I saw and experienced.
The Day 2 evening safari was quite fruitful and that made me happy. We had one more i.e Day 3 Morning Safari left and I was hopeful this luck continued to the other day as well.
We had to exit the jungle but my heart filled with joy after what I had experienced! The day ended on a grateful note. We had to wait till morning for our last safari and the mixed emotions lingered on me. That night I kept rewinding the entry of cute Moon Bear, the shy Mongoose, and the majestic Tiger cubs. What a day it was! I do not remember when sleep hugged me and the alarm rang at 4:30 AM.