03-15 Kanha 3

Tiger on jeep track

15th Mar/Fri: Kanha 3

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Resort. Morning and afternoon jeep safari to the national park. Today I saw the tigers having lunch and just before having mine. They were the same ones as seen the day before now with their mother but almost totally obscured by tall grass. Nevertheless it was interesting to see glimpses and hear noises of them with their kill.

We passed some forest workers who were burning dry leaves at the side of the track. This is done to reduce the fire risk but I think that the smoke created does not help when one is looking for tigers. Kanha is a flagship national park of India when it comes to successful conservation stories. The park is the only habitat of the rare hardground Barasingha (Cervus Duvaceli Branderi). This species was brought back from the brink of extinction in this very park. The number in 80s was just 60, today they are over 800 roaming freely in the park. Kanha has also assisted in repopulating the Indian Gaur population in Bandhavgarh where they were last seen in 1997. Today over 300 Indian Gaur are present in Bandhavgarh.

The tigers of Kanha are known to walk on vehicle tracks. If you are fortunate, you will have a head on sighting of tigers here. Once they get on the track, they will walk for long enough to give you ample opportunities to take some nice images of them. Kanha tigers are known for their exceptional head size, neck girth, and tall shoulders. I was lucky or rather my guide was clever and I had good sightings of a tiger walking along a track. As the tiger comes closer the jeep keeps moving ahead and the tiger comes closer again. This can be repeated several times until the tiger finally turns off into the forest. They are really quite bold and undeterred by tourist vehicles. Fortunately we were the only one present.

Dinner was served in a corral with tribal dancing round a fire. It seemed more like an African than an Indian experience.

Sambar deer

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