Jungle safaris mean a lot more than trying to see tigers all along, and getting frustrated if the guide cannot show one. It is more about the fun of waiting, of keeping patience. The dense thickets of bamboos, the lush green patches of grasslands, the huge lake behind which the sun used to set, the continuous chorus of crickets, the smell of wilderness, occasional glimpses of varieties of animals, the long waits to get a slight glimpse of a tiger - Tadoba definitely mesmerized me.
One morning, we were greeted by the grunts of a frightened, cuddly, black bundle, running back to its shelter - a sloth bear. Occasional calls of peacocks and jungle hens, call of a barking deer on the way towards the core of the forest - all created a childish excitement, as the guide purposefully told us that those indicated the nearness of a tiger.
The wild boars with their callousness, the huge Indian Bisons with their calm demeanour yet careful watchfulness, the varieties of birds ranging from Asian Paradise Flycatchers to Yellow Footed Green Pigeons and Honey Buzzards, numerous Sambar and spotted deer along the way, and last but not the least the graceful Waghdoh enjoying a late afternoon bath - Tadoba was a bliss (well, I am ignoring the scorching May sun over here).
Next year, this time, maybe we shall visit Ranathambore. Let's see what life turns up with!