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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ending a “mammal centric” year in tiger land!

"T17" at Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

In 2009, I photographed more mammals in wild India then ever before. Except for one trip to the “North-East” where I managed to add about fifty species of birds to my collection - "INDIABIRDS", all other trips were spent roaming in the South Indian forests enjoying the company of mammals.

Thus, it is not surprising that I choose the “Ranthambhore National Park” to end the year in the company of tigers!

"A Rufous Treepie picks food off a Sambar" at Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

It is easy to get there. Most resorts that dot the entrance to the Ranthambhore National Park are more or less 150 kms from the Jaipur airport. An easy three hours drive. We enjoyed our stay “four nights – 10th to 13th December, 2009” at the "Ranthambhore Bagh”.

Ranthambhore is one of the finest places to enjoy the company of tigers in Wild India. Many of the tigers in the “tourist area” of the forest are quite “tourist friendly” and tend to completely ignore the curious humans in their vehicles! I made seven trips inside the forest and thoroughly enjoyed myself!!

"Alert Sambars" at Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

The forest is vibrant with a large variety of wildlife. We could spot plenty of herbivores everywhere, the most prominent being the Sambar Deer. I was able to spot quite a few variety of birds too!
Once inside the park, you will soon notice that the presence of the tiger is everywhere though you need to spend some time to spot one. There are “pug marks” on almost every road. “Fresh” you can say as the “foot print” is above the “track print” of the previous vehicle. A most common method to track the tigers is to listen to the calls of the Peacock, Sambar Deer and Spotted Deer. These three call continuously when they sense the presence of a tiger and invite all the guides to zero in on the location of the predator. Thus, in order to avoid “major traffic jams” inside the park, the department has ensured that the twenty “Gypsys” and twenty “Canters” that are officially allowed to enter the park with tourists are allotted five different routes at random.

"A tourist feeds babblers" at Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

A photographer would any day prefer a “Gypsy” all to himself rather then a noisy and large "Canter". Please visit "Rajasthan Wildlife” for all information about Ranthambhore including routes inside the park and to book your vehicle in advance!

In 2009, I decided to make some amateur videos of my travels in Wild India. Here is one on this trip to Ranthambhore ->
Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India from Vijay Cavale on Vimeo.

Many thanks for sharing my joy. Wishing you another great year ahead. See you in 2010!

"T17" at Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

Vijay Cavale
December 2009