Sighting a resting tiger cub from atop a trained elephant is a daily routine at Pench.
Have you ever heard of a “Daily Dose of wild tigers”? Well, we just experienced that! Leaving Bangalore on the 09th April, traveling to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) and Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR), M. N. Jayakumar, Ajit Huilgol, Diinesh Kumble and myself returned on the 20th April with a combined sighting of 25 individual tigers! -> much learning indeed!
Day 09. 17th April 2010, after the morning round, we drove from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to Pench Tiger Reserve. By dusk we arrived at the “KARMAJHIRI FRH”. Memories of our “2007 INW meet” came rolling back!
This cub was the star attraction at Pench. The the mother were not visible during our stay. Every morning for a couple of hours many tourists go on elephant back to sight this family of mother and four grown up cubs. Late morning the tigers leave the bush for a drink.
On the 18th early morning we were led directly to an area inside the reserve by the Range Forest Officer. Here, we quickly mounted waiting elephants and within minutes we were looking down on a couple of tiger cubs resting inside the bush. The round lasted about 5 mts! My first experience of sighting a wild tiger from atop an elephant! Mixed feelings. At Pench, this is a daily routine. If you have never seen a tiger in the wild, this is your best bet. Rupees 100 per person and a quick darshan of the lord of the Indian Jungle!
When we stopped at this large water hole, at first we saw nothing. When we were about to leave I saw an adult tiger on the other side of the water. It quickly disappeared. Then I saw this tiny cub follow its mother without hurry. The other cub I saw only when I processed this image!
We made five rounds inside Pench from the 18th Morning to the 20th Morning. I had a most lucky sighting of a mother tiger with her two very young cubs at a water hole. It was generally hot and sightings rare. We however thoroughly enjoyed the forest. All the regular wildlife were in and around water holes. We saw plenty of Spotted deer, Sambar, Gaur, Wild Pigs, Hunaman Langurs and Jackals. I could tick over a 100 species of birds including a rare “Baillon’s Crake, a Black Stork and plenty of Vultures.
Such a pleasure watching the young one play without fear in tiger country!
BAILLON'S CRAKE - I was surprised to see this winter visitor in summer?
On the 20th after a short morning round we drove to Nagpur and boarded the afternoon flight back to Bangalore! Day 12. End of Tour - TATR-BTR-PTR !
Sad to say I am on my way, won't be back for many a day...
Trip report -> TATR
Trip report -> BTR