Ranthambhor National Park & Jaipur Cont’d

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Ranthambhor National Park & Jaipur Cont’d

Before I move onto the park, just a few words on Jaipur apart from the sights in the city i.e the Pink Palace, Hawal Mahal and Amer Fort, there is not much else to see in my opinion and all can be done in a long day, although we spent two days there. The city itself is very run down, traffic congestion is very bad and getting around can be quite a nightmare, the amount of litter and piles of rubbish around was unbelievable. We saw men and women urinating quite openly in the street and men defecating on any piece of waste ground they could find, just unbelievable. So in my opinion a day in Jaipur is long enough, and Mumbai is still my favourite.
Ranthambhor National Park
We arrived at Ranthambhor by train from Jaipur, the journey was around two hours and quite pleasant. Our driver from the hotel was duly there to meet us. The journey through Sawali Madhopur which incidentally is the nearest town to the park was nice and easy and relatively calm from a traffic point of view. On arrival at the Ranthambhor National Regency we all immediately felt we had made a good choice. Plush green lawns, really nice swimming pool and very clean comfortable room and very friendly staff, just what we all needed after our hectic couple of days in Jaipur. Before we left the UK we contacted the hotel to arrange a morning safari into the park, but on the journey to Ranthambhor we decided that once we was there we would book an afternoon safari as well to double our chances of seeing a tiger. Our first safari started at 6:30am just as the sun was coming up. Our driver and his ranger assistant spoke very good English and were very informative indeed. As we drove thought the park the anticipation of seeing a tiger was very exciting, we saw many species of deer, monkeys, apes, water buffalo all types of exotic birds, cute chipmunks, but all the time the driver and guide were looking for tracks and any indication a tiger might be near, when all of a sudden the driver stopped the jeep and indicated for us to be quite and listen, the tension was amazing. The guide pointed out the shriek of the birds and a deep call of the samba deer which are warning calls the animals use when a tiger is present, then the driver received a call on his mobile (the drivers and rangers communicate with mobiles as they do not have radios) and told us a tiger had been sighted, he then told us to hang on . We sped off on a very fast and exhilarating drive through the bush. On arrival there were a few other jeeps with occupants all pointing and looking into the bush, our driver then pointed out the tiger who had just caught his breakfast, a samba deer. Although our view was slightly obscured by the bush we could still make out his magnificent head a truly amazing sight, and to be so close possibly around 10 metres away, incredible.
We got back to the hotel just around 10:30, had a nice breakfast and some time on our hands to relax and enjoy our time before being picked up at 14:30 for our afternoon trip.
Our afternoon trip was in zone 10, our morning trip was in zone 6. It was quite remarkable how different the terrain was, it was almost like I would imagine an African Safari trip would be, it was very flat as opposed to this morning and far more open. In this area there were more sources of water, and our driver explained that it was late afternoon when the Tigers maybe taking a drink. Our anticipation was still very electric, especially after this mornings sighting, our driver tried very hard to get us a glimpse but it wasn’t to be, but a pleasurable afternoon was had just the same
Unfortunately all the photo’s that I took was on my digital camera so will have to post on my return to the UK so keep a watch on my Flickr stream
Tomorrow Agra and the Taj Mahal.

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