Tigers Burning Bright (Rathambhore NP)

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake. 1757-1827

No visit to India would be complete without seeing a tiger – so with this in mind I headed off to the Ranthambhore National Park, which is supposed to be the place in India “where you are not guaranteed a sighting, but if you see one anywhere, it’s most likely to be here”.

After getting lunch on the rooftop terrace of the hotel, I bumped into Kevin from Newcastle (with the accent to match) who was one of the guys I met on my first night in Delhi – he’s been having a great time travelling around pretty much the same places that I have been, but is sad to be going back home in a few days.

That night I realised (after speaking to military man Kevin) that I hadn’t done any exercise since I arrived (well, probably not for a year), so decided to try and do some push-ups! Nine was the grand total of what I managed, so hopefully this number will increase in the coming weeks 🙂

The next morning I had to wake up at 5.45am to catch the first morning safari into the park. It was pretty cold, and after zooming around for a few hours and getting covered (and I mean REALLY covered) in dirt, we didn’t actually see a tiger – although there were some nice peacocks, monkeys and spotted deer.

For lunch I met Michael, Jenny and another Alex: three Aussies currently living in London and on holiday in India for 4 weeks. I think most people’s view of Australians is that the further you get them away from home, the better they are, so these guys were pretty cool (or am I saying this because I know they might read this?). Anyway, they had been on two tiger-safaris and had only managed to see about 5 seconds of tiger, so I didn’t think I had a particularly good chance for my second safari.

Michael, Jenny and other Alex decided to give the afternoon safari a miss (as sitting in an open-topped coach driving up and down a bumpy dirt track for four hours isn’t actually that much fun). Kevin and I were pretty pessimistic in the first hour of the trip, but soon after we saw a collection of 5 other coaches with tourists all leaning over one side and excitedly pointing at something.

In the end we got to see two tigers for about 5 minutes, and they got as close as 5 metres to our coach.

Tiger in Ranthambhore NP

Of course, the Aussies were pretty gutted when we got back to our hotel with broad smiles on our faces.

8 Responses to “Tigers Burning Bright (Rathambhore NP)”

  1. Olivia Dixon Says:

    Very impressive: I had no idea you knew any of William Blake’s poety, (seen in a guide book? Well, perhaps not!)What a great thrill to see two big cats, most envious. Lots of love your mxxx

  2. Sess Says:

    Wow, am still v impressed with your updates. Bet those Aussies were slightly annoyed! Glad u managed to get to see them, u jammy git!

    Sess 🙂

  3. Sess Says:

    Wow, am still v impressed with your updates. Bet those Aussies were slightly annoyed! Glad u managed to get to see them, u jammy git!

    Sess 🙂

  4. Alex Says:

    Mum, you taught me everything I know about William Blake!

  5. Pantha Says:

    Dude … I am from India and been 2 national reserves (more than once to one of them) … never seen one tiger before. The closest I got was to hear a growl at night. Lucky you are for sure!

  6. Jenni Says:

    Hi Alex,

    Nice photo, thanks for the mention – lucky you said nice things about us!! You’re right, we’re still gutted.

    Jen and Alex (Aussies)

  7. Michael (the other gutted Aussie) Says:

    Jen and the other Alex just told me about your travel diary. It’s great!
    I finally developed the film with my 5 second tiger shot. With the lack of focus combined with the bumpy jeep you can barely make out the black and yellow stripes within the bright green forest. It looks more like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece than a wildlife photo!
    Looking forward to catching up for a Kingfisher and some Imodium soon.
    Regards, Michael.

  8. hemendra kr. gauttam Says:

    Greetings From Tiger Land Ranthambhore.
    i am hemu. i am also naturalist or wildlife photographer. last 4 year in the ranthambhore national park.
    my big brother also last 14 years working as guide or naturalist. his name mr. chaandra kant gautam .
    i have lot of digital photographs tiger or other wildlife animals

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