Tadoba National Park- Land of The TIGERS
Sighting a tiger in a Tiger reserve is amazing, exciting & thrilling experience than watching them in Zoo. Tiger is Indeed Most Beautiful Creation of GOD on the earth and that's why wildlife lovers always spend hours and days to have a glimps of this beautiful animal in jungles. Though Tiger is very unpredictible, still aniimal lovers have a super inclined interest towards their glimps.
Although there are several Tiger Reserves in various parts or states in india but one of the Most famous to get the sight of Tiger is in Tadoba Andhari Project (Tadoba Tiger Reserve) which is situated in the Chandrapur District of Maharashtra State.
Here in this article i am going to talk about my recent visit to Tadoba National Park. I was accompanied by some of my friends. It was my fifth visit to any National Park. Earlier i have visited Jim Corbett National Park thrice and Pench National Park Once. I was not very much lucky in all the the earlier visits to these national park, but this time was little different and unforgetable.
It was a 2 nights 3 days visit to the Tadoba National Park and the trip was arranged by self and had some nice contacts and a very good and economical place to stay with good food.
So on 2nd feb 2017 evening we boarded the train to Nagpur from Mumbai. We reached in the morning around 9 at Nagpur station and the cab picked up us from there. Its then 2 hours journey by road for tadoba NAtional Park from Nagpur.
Nagpur station is well connected form all the cities by train of flight. After a 2 hours Drive form Nagpur station we reached at our homestay venue where we had to stay for 3 days. It was a nice economical stay and amazing food as i said earlier also. As soon as we reached our safari had to started so we just took bath and had lunch and were ready to leave for the safari.
In every safari you can book either a jeep, Canter (If in a big group of more than 10 people and want to stay together during the safari). I would recommand Jeep. It can accomodate max 6 people and would give you the better view. It can run faster than canter and can be reached to the dense and small pathways.
So we took a jeep as we were six.Jeep was sufficient to accomodate 6 of us. We had one guide and one driver. One thing i would like to mention that on jungle safari your guide and driver plays a very vital role. Experienced and passionate guide and driver can be so much helpful for you to sight the tiger and other animals in the jungle. In our case the driver and guide both were really good and the best part is the driver himself was a passionate photographer and passionate about the Tiger Sighting. The Guide was also a photographer and was having a great knowledge of the Tiger calling, kill and the route.
We started the safari and entered in to jungle. Our jeep was third to enter in the jungle. after going approx one km driver took a right turn and took us to a lake side where chances are higher to get the Tiger. we were going alongside of lake and trying to get a glimps of the big cat.
Tigers have their own area which they decide by urin, scratches and secretion of anal glands on trees and this becomes their mark. Every tigers has its on area defined and other tigers can not enter each others area. The area where were were trying to find tigeres, was the area of Tigress Choti Tara and its Cubs. Our guide and Driver was trying to hear the call and kill sound during the safari but coudln't get any voice. There are so many monkey's, deers, birds which we found during our first safari but coudn't find any tiger till 4.30 pm.
We were about to leave for the exit and suddenly our guide ask her to stay silent as he was listening some calling for tiger. we stopped the jeep and it was Jamini village where we stopped.Our guide got a slight glimps of a cub who was Choti tara's Cub and who was behind the tree and hidden in some bushes. The best thing i liked about my guide was, he told that the Cub will come out and will sit at a specific place for some time and then he will go away. and the same happend after roughly 5-8 minute the cub came out and sat at the same place where our guide mentioned. It was so good to see the cub of choti tara. He must b 1 n half year old and was sitting there and yawning.
He sat there for 10 mins gave some poses like a dude model and then went away and eloped in bushes. It was our first sighting on that tiger safari. So after watching this we left the place and it was 5.30 already and we had to leave the space coz the jungle gate was suppose to close and you can not stay after 6 in the jungle.So we came out of main gate and bought some stuff from souvinier shop which was on main gate of jungle.
After that we reached and had dinner and went to sleep as we had to wake up early in the morning aroun 5 am for the morning safari.
Day 2 - It was not much cold which we were expecting but still we were carrying some woollen stuff and jackets to save us from cold. Also advisable to carry cap, gloves and something to cover your ears as its little extreme location for every weather. We left the place and reached at the main gate of jungle. Fortunately we were the second to go inside the jungle form main gate. Going early and very first or second jeep has maximum chance to get the tiger sightings as in the morning time you will find animals roaming on the main roads of jungle. we went ahead on the jungle road and took a right rutn and from the side of jamini village and passing form there we went to several places where tiger could be sighted. It was almost 8 and dinnt get any clu of tiger spotting. We had our breakfast which was packed by the hotel where we stayed. Breakfast is been packed by hotel and guide and driver help to serve the breakfast to us.We offered breakfast to our guide and driver and we together had the breakfast. Please take care of the junk to put back in your carry bags and throw in dustins after reaching to your hotel as if you will put the polybags and plastics in jungle then any animal can try eating it and it can harm them. Jungle is very strict in this.After the breakfast we started the safari and we almost had lost the hope of sighting the tiger in morning safari. After a point as one square cut some jeeps were stopped. we asked them whats the matter, and they told that there is a call. Our driver and guide got the hint and they ran towards the call. I dont know how but it was the fastest driving experience i had in the jig jag roads of the jungle. It was our driver who became michael schumacher and he was driving like tiger is after us. but when we reached at one point then we got to know why he was driving like this. And you wont believe as i said earlier in this article both the people are amazing in sighting the tiger. Here we go. as soon as we stopped, tiger was on our right side of the car. some how our driver understood that the tiger will come on the left side and he smartly park the jeep like that we could see the tiger just from 8-10 feet distance. Guys it was "The Matkasur" The King of Tadoba.
He was full male and was huge in size. After Jaisingh, This male considered one of the biggest Tiger. There were almost 12-15 jeeps around is and every person's camera was focusing on The Matkasur.He was so beautiful and so handsome that nobody could miss his glimps. He was giving all the poses and playing a role of a model and as feeling like a model is doing the ramp walk. he took two rounds of our jeeps and he came almost 8-10 feet closer to us and that time got an idea of his huge size. Seeing a tiger in this less distance was my first experience and i was not feared as he was so accomodative to allow us to roam in his territory. Thanx to him and his jungle people that we got to see the most beautiful animal on the earth. He then vanished in the deep jungle and left a very nice sighting for us to remember. I can not forget the glimps of Matkasur. It was Super awesom. If you get a chance to visit Tadoba, I would recommand to get atleast a glimps of this beautiful animal. It was time for us to leave the jugnle as the time had completed for the morning safari. We came back to hotel, took bath and had lunch. After an hour rest we were ready for our next safari which was suppose to start around 2.30 pm.
Now we were very positive that we would get another glimps of the tigers in the jungle. We entered in to jungle on our third safari we were excited about this as someone told that we could sight choti tara and its cubs today as they were out in the jungle near jamini lake. We took other way this time and went to teliya lake side as it was hot and could get a chance of tigers might come out for water.we drove our jeep for a long distance but dint find any thing. we found sloth bear and its kiddo on the road and were crossing the road. they gave some 2-3 got clicks and they went into the deep jungle. then we found some jackal, Some langur, Sloth bear, did some birdingand found some owls also.
After some time we saw that one n half hour left in our safri for the day and we tried to speak to some of the other jeeps if they found tiger somewhere. but dint find any clue. After going ahead we saw one jeep is stopped at one place near jamini lake. We reached near the jeep and that jeep's driver pointed at one bushes on the landscape. it was near a small pond and some duck were playing there. Some deer were passing the road and the landscape and gong towards their group which was on the other side of the pond. Suddenly we saw 2 cubs may be around 1 year old playing and their mother who is choti tara was resting in the bushes. We could see her back legs and tail. We were stunned by watching the amazing scene of playing Tigresss cubs and they both were jumping on each other, and playing with their mother also. They jumped in to water, then suddenly they came out olf water. then again they jumped to catch some fishes. then they running after each other.
It was so mesmerizing scene at that time and i was capturing all the scene in video format in my DSLR. We stand there almost 1 hour and captured the video and photographs. almost 10-12 jeeps came by the time and they all wre focusing on the amazing sighting of tigress and their cubs. thought it was not stopping sooner so after an hour we thought of leaving the place as the Safari time was also finishing and we had to reach and capture the videos to watch them on the laptop screen.
It was nice to have a chat on dinner with other mates and some other people who just reached todoba for 2 days safari. We had a great chat and shared each others experiences. It was like we wanted to celebrate but chadrapur is dry district so we couldn't. I hope you understood what i am sharing.
Next morning we had a very exciting and last safari which was in buffer zone. Buffer zone is a limited area and very small in comparison of the area which we had explored in our last three safari's. There are higher chances of tiger spotting as it is small. We entered in to buffer in the morning and as i said its very small area so our guide asked us to stay alert as we can spot tiger anywhere.
This area is more densed than the usual jungle safari and path was narrow. All the trees branches were touching the jeep easily and was not possible to pass 2 jeeps on that path. it was so dense so that i could easily make you little thrilled as there is no way of turning your jeep if you stuck somewhere and you cant drive fast on the road in case of any emergency. we reached at a point where there was no U turn and road was blocked and we all were silent and was just looking to each other. Our Jeep driver turned the jeep and tried to find something on other path.
He had some doubt on the path on which we were earlier and our guide heared some calling and he asked us to maintain silence to hear the calling sound. We took a turn form a point and found that some of the jeeps were stopped at some place and surely they have spotted the tiger there.
As usual our driver took a smart decision and he stopped our jeep at a point where the situation would be super excited and i dont know how he got this idea to stopped car there only. It was a very narrow path and if a second jeep needs to pass from there it had to drove on some of the off road and supress some bushed there. We stopped our jeep at a point where from if we see diagonally there was a way to go inside of the jungle which can be clearely seen. It is usual path of Tigers to go inside and on the right side of us there was a way to go again inside the jungle.
I feel driver knew that generaly tiger passes from this area so that's why he stopped the jeep there. In some sign languages our guide spoke to other jeep guide and he signaled that there are 2-3 tigers inside the jungle and they are just 20 feet away from us. We kept silent. suddenly 5-6 jeeps came and one of the jeep was of Forest officers who were on round. By seeing so many jeeps they stopped and they decided to clear the way first for tiger and then stay there. Suddenly someone signaled to stay silent as the tiger was coming out from the jungle. We managed to set our camera with zoom lense and set the parametres.
All the focus were set and were just waiting for the tiger to come out. People on a jeep which was ahead of us started clicking the shots as we heared there click sound and we also got ready to click the photographs. Suddenly one small cub came out half from the bushes and stopped. I took some head shots of the cub, and then he started walking on the other side of the road in to the jungle.
He was just 10 feet away from us. He walked in to the jungle along side the road. He was just 4-5 feet from the road and walking towards our jeep on the right side. we could see him little. he came close to our jeep as our jeep was the first jeep for him. he stand our right side facing towards us and stood there for atleast 30 sec and gave a look. We all were thrilled and our driver and guide also were little tensed to see the look of the cub. we shot some of the photographs and videosl too and after 30 odd sec he walked to the back side of our jeep and gave the look to the jeep behind us.
He took the complete round of all the 6-8 jeeps standing behind us and came from the different side of the road. we could see little glimps when he was walking towards the same place where from he came out. After reaching there he tried to jump on tree and scratched the tree trunk by his palm nails, then he became calm. After some time we heared a sound on bone cracking and then we go to know that there was a kill and there were 2 cubs and their mother. the mother name was madhuri. They were eating their kill and when they were eating one could easily hear the sound of bone cracking of kill. It was first time have heared sound of tiger eating its kill.
It was super thrilling experience and i could not forget the looks which that cub gave to us. .
We left the place as the forest officer asked us to leave form there.
After leaving from there we came back, had lunch and left for the Nagpur railway station to catch the train for our respective locations.
It was unexpected Sighting in Tadoba this time for me and i am super thrilled.
Its a suggestion for all who is wanting to plan a Tiger safari in Tadoba, to get a experienced driver and guide for the same. It will help you alot. Avoide going in Summer time. The chances are higher to get the tiger sighting in summer but heat will be on its peak and temperature goes upto 45-50 degree in this season.
I hope you enjoyed the Experience shared. if you are wanting any more information about the Tadoba Tiger reserve, Drop me a message.
Till then, HAPPY TRAVELLING.