Trip Dates: 19th May – 27th May, 2015
Trip Designed & Organized by: Bharat Goel, Wildnest
Destination: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra, India
Stayed at: Irai Safari Retreat, Moharli Gate, Tadoba
It started way back in June 2010. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve had just started coming in the limelight due to its frequent tiger sightings. We had plans to go then and I was all packed and ready. But one day before we were supposed to leave I found out I was on my family way. It had been 5 years since and I had been to numerous other sanctuaries and parks since Ayaan (my son) was 2 years but Tadoba continued to elude me like it was some forbidden fruit. Numerous stories of different sightings by my father and younger brother only increased my curiosity more and more. So this May 2015, when I got the chance even the high temperatures of 50+ degrees C could not have shaken my resolve. During the six days of safari, my mom and me decided to go only for the morning ones as it was too hot in the afternoon and I did not know how Ayaan would have handled the heat.
In the first 5 safaris we had already seen 5 different tigers, a sloth bear, a rare tree shrew (squirrel like animal), chausingha (a very rare and shy deer), spotted deer, barking deer, sambar deer, nilgai, gaur, numerous birds such as Asian paradise flycatchers (male, female, juvenile), Indian pitta, grey jungle fowl, Indian roller, kingfisher, changeable hawk eagle and many more.
Just before we began our last safari, we asked Ayaan what he liked the most? and he innocently replied “I like Tigers and I want to see 10 tigers before we go back”. I asked him to pray for it and he did.
And then the magic started. Our prayers were answered and the forest opened up, to us, to reveal its secrets. It started with a sloth bear sighting, followed by 4 different tigers at different places, then another sloth bear (This place has to be a sloth bear haven, almost impossible to see them anywhere else) and lastly a pair of male and female tigers in courtship. Our little wild lifer’s joy knew no bounds. Anyone who has been in the wild knows the importance of a tiger sighting and we had seen 11, one more than my son’s wishes.
Here I am sharing a few of my pictures, clicked from my point and shoot camera, taking you through our journey in the Tadoba wilderness. I have added few of my father Vinod Goel’s, and brother Bharat Goel’s, (both are known Wildlife photographers) pictures to complete my story. Hope you will enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed clicking them….
Also Read: Trip Report by my father of same trip.
Queen of the forest: Our first sighting in first safari
Indian Gaur: Look at my packs
Please don’t disturb
Wild dogs/ dhole
Lush green bamboo tunnel ( a rare occurrence in the month of May)
Territory marking on a tree by a tiger
Perfect camouflage by a forest lizard
Grey Jungle Fowl (Male)
Asian paradise flycather (male): One of the most beautiful bird
Asian paradise flycatcher( juvenile)
Peahen incubating her eggs
Chausingha (four horned antelope)
Indian roller basking on the road
Aprropriate use of solar energy to fill water holes inside the jungle
Oriental Honey Buzzard at Tadoba Lake
Ibis and Bronze-winged jacana
Indian Tree Shrew (A very rare sighting)
Wild boars quenching their thirst
Sloth bear markings on the tree. They climb up on the tree to eat honey from the honey comb.
Crocodile bark tree/ Ain / Saj/ Terminalia elliptica
The famous tigress ‘Maya’ who was photographed with her cub in her mouth in 2014
State transport bus on the main road inside the core area.
Usual crowd in peak season for entry at 5:30 am in the morning near the entry gate at Moharli.
Sloth bear, Just out of shower
Red headed agama lizard
Tiger in Kolsa Range
Pugmarks of tiger cubs who played in the morning
Changeable hawk eagle (juvenile)
One of the four tigers cooling himself after having a meal of Indian Gaur
Leaving the waterhole after quenching her thirst
Butterfly on our naturalist’s foot during safari
Tigress crossing the road
Couldn’t expect to have a better ending than this to our last safari. Tiger and tigress in courtship
Click here to know more about Tadoba, Its Flora and Fauna, How to reach there.