A lone tiger walks through a small creek

Tiger Tiger! – What is it Like to Safari in India





This week we hear from guests of Enchanting Travels and their adventures in India! While I haven’t travelled with this company before, I’ve always wanted to experience a safari.

Enjoy!


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

[William Blake, 1794]

What is it like to safari in India? We asked a few of our guests to share their experiences.

Prime time

One of our primary reasons for traveling to India was to photograph Royal Bengal Tigers. Since our passion is wildlife, a large portion of our time was spent on game drives in Kanha, Bandhavgarh, and Ranthambore National Parks, where the sightings were off the charts!  We saw something interesting at every turn including many species of birds, deer and many other creatures including the amusing langur monkeys, who made us laugh at their antics.

It is impossible to fully describe the fascinating history, complex traditions and diversity that we encountered on this magical tour. Even the food was a pleasing change; my wife’s number one spice now is curry! As with all great trips, we returned home with a better understanding of the people, places, and wildlife.

A lone tiger lounges on a dusty rock.

“We had 22 unique sightings of 14 different tigers including this handsome lone male and a mother with three juveniles. Our safari guides facilitated the best sightings and getting us in prime position for photography.”

Timothy & Donna Brooks, USA

Roaring business

In March, I travelled with a client on my third trip to India for business and pleasure. From Delhi, where we had scheduled meetings, we planned to go to Jaipur and then on a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, and needed help in making the arrangements. I was lucky to find Enchanting Travels. We were thrilled to view tigers on three of the four game drives, thrilled to share our experiences with and meet the other guests who Enchanting Travels was taking care of – everyone was equally thrilled and raved about the service and experience.

Michele Rocawich, USA

“We were warmly greeted at Khem Villas (a luxury eco-tour safari camp) by our Enchanting Travels representative, and the camp was truly spectacular!”

Wild honeymoon

After those crazy last few days before our wedding, it was time for a break, time to relax, time for each other. And we chose India!  No one can promise to show you a tiger when you are on a safari – it comes down to the skill and knowledge of your guide and driver, not to mention a rather large slice of luck and good timing.

At Bandhavgarh we had the lot! We sighted a couple of stationary jeeps and, ever hopeful, looked at each other with excited smiles – this could be it! We we were 20 meters away. The tiger drank from a waterhole, yawned and lay back down. Occasionally he would flick his ear. As we watched the tiger, we realized that he really had no interest in us yet we just couldn’t take their eyes off him.

Finally the tiger decided that he had had enough and, with one last nonchalant look over his shoulder, began his languid walk back into the forest as cameras clicked furiously around us. The gentle murmur of conversation among the jeeps increased as we began to process what we had just seen. The tiger was gone.

Kate & Alistair, Australia

“We’d spent 90 minutes bouncing around and getting covered in dust, waiting, listening…and there he was, as calm as can be, the exact opposite of us! Time stopped in that moment – it’s a memory that will never leave us.”

Seeing orange

My friend Bob and I had one goal in particular during our Indian summer- to see the Indian tiger. Tigers are best seen when it is hot: the grass is sparse and the game must come to the few remaining water holes to drink. The theory though was tested rather badly in Bandhavgarh. We were assured that tigers had seen us, but we wanted to return the compliment. No such luck.

On our fifth safari in Ranthambore, we suddenly heard an electric whisper from the driver – “tiger”! And there it was – striped head and shoulders poking out of deep grass. Our group of four rushed to take photos and, at least in my case, felt a little cheated as we couldn’t even see his tail. Oh well, that’s the rub when it comes to tiger hunting.

The guide from our final game drive had lived in a village at the park as a child. He had no formal qualifications in wildlife studies, but he knew tigers as if he was part of their family. When he stood up in the 4WD, pointed towards the rocky surrounds of the waterway and said, “tiger”, it was with the authority of a hunter! The tiger was partly concealed behind some grass and was looking directly at us. Its tail languidly twirled then flopped on the rock and its eyes were closed. I caught a photo of a bird flying up behind the tiger until it flapped away in fright.  “It will move soon”, our guide said, and it did as if on cue!

Robert Scott, Australia

A lone tiger walks through a small creek

“The tiger stood and walked into some grass then came out again and walked across the rocks in front of us, giving us a baleful glare as it went. A grand male tiger from tip to tail. A male tiger that looked at me. A tiger that walked a couple of metres into the grass and vanished. Was he still looking at me?”

Want to experience a India Safari for yourself? Enchanting Travels is happy to help you plan your trip. Reach out to us by email or by phone.