“It’s behind the white stone, do you see it yet?”
Today we visited Ranthambore National Park on a mission to spot a tiger. Some of the people we met on the safari had waited 3 days to see the big cats, thankfully we’d been there little more than 30 minutes before one was spotted. Admittedly the animal was about a kilometre away and at that distance resembled an orange Smartie more than a majestic tiger.
The day started at 7am. Our first stop on the 4 hour drive to the park was Smriti’s house (Smriti is the brilliant woman behind the Faith care home). We were there to collect our guide for the day, Ambika, who is Smriti’s daughter. Before we left we chatted to Smriti’s husband who showed us pictures of his family and fortress who used to be Raj’s before the Indian independence.
We sat and had a cup of tea, whilst being eyeballed by half a leopard that was on the wall in front. I wondered if the stuffed leopard had a button you could press to make it dance and play music, like the ones you get with those trophy trouts, but unfortunately it didn’t.
Once Ambika was ready we set off for safari. It was great to have a chance to pick Ambika’s brain about Rajasthan, which is the Indian State we are in, and India in general. Rajasthan is the desert state and rains only 4 days a year with peaks of 48 degrees in late June! It’s friggin hot!
When we arrived we rested at a local hotel for a few hours before jumping on a gypsy (not a person but an open jeep type thing). The park was a 20 minute drive away which we mainly spent getting an unexpected meal of flies and bugs.
Ranthambore was a lot of fun, we saw some monkeys, lots of deer, birds, crocodiles, boar and a tiger!
She was beautiful. As I mentioned earlier, we first spotted her off in the distance. Lots of jeeps and trucks full of the visitors were on the bank when we arrived. We decided to tour the park for an hour as the guide said the tiger will take a while to come closer. So we drove off and left the other tourists to it. When we came back the tiger had disappeared into the long grass which was a few hundred meters away.
One lone deer was wondering around by the edge of the lake near the long grass asking for trouble. Suddenly the tiger appeared, slowly creeping up on the deer. The deer turned round and both animals stood frozen still.
Just like being in the wild with Attenborough I heard a comment to my right “fair play, that deer is f****d”. No prizes for guessing who’s poetic Ross voice that was :)
As the two animals stood frozen a few circles began to appear in the water. It was only a friggin croc!
We thought we were in for the most epic safari experience ever – Tiger vs Crocodile
Unfortunately it all ended without any bloodshed, the croc startled the deer, which ran off and the tiger couldn’t catch it. The tiger then lay down and fell asleep. Lazy cat.
Ranthambore was ace and we got some good footage for the adventure film which was the aim. Tomorrow is our last whole day with the kids. Felt weird not seeing them today, but we’ll have an awesome time tomorrow.
Thanks for reading folks.
To view today’s pictures check out our Facebook album – vegas2jaipur Day Six.