Final expenses for Maharajas Express…Safari photos from Ranthambore National Park

Two baby barns owls were peering out from the safety of the hollow in the tree in Ranthambore National Park.
Expenses   US Dollar       Indian           Rupee 
Maharajas Express Train
Fare for 2 
$ 11,996.00 857905.94
Tips   $     433.38 30993.60
Taxi   $        –                 
Dining Out   $     115.43          8255.09
Visa Fees – India for
 $     120.00 8581.92
ATM fees   $       24.30 1737.84
Total   $ 12,689.11 907474.39
Avg Daily Cost (6 night train-2 nights hotel in Mumbai)   $   1,586.14 113434.30

No, we didn’t spot the elusive Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, northern India, on Friday’s safari when we disembarked the Maharajas Express at the train station.

Nearly dry river bed.

Based on our relatively vast safari experiences, several reasons may have been instrumental in not spotting a tiger. They include:

1.  The noisy 20 passenger safari driver drove too fast through the park, causing loud noises that could easily prevent a possible sighting when tigers are elusive and sensitive to loud noises.

Kingfisher.

2.  Driving slowly with all passenger’s eyes on the lookout for a sighting would have significantly increased our odds.

3.  Loud talking: The tour guide, although seemingly knowledgeable about the park, spoke and yelled out in loud tones that would easily have prevented a sighting of a tiger, let alone other wildlife. Often, the guides were yelling out to one another as we passed along the narrow route.
Monkey searching for morsels of food.

Once we entered the park, Tom and I looked at one another, knowing that it would be doubtful we’d see a tiger under the above circumstances.

We don’t blame the Maharajas Express. 
Spotted deer.

Most likely, few, if any, passengers would have voiced these concerns, especially if they’ve never been on safari in the past. The speed at which the driver was maneuvering through the rough roads made it especially difficult for senior passengers. 

Wildflowers blooming at the river’s edge.

One kind woman, Carol from Australia, with whom we made a good connection, literally fell out of her seat, landing on the vehicle floor, injuring her hip, and breaking her finger. This could have happened to anyone of us when the bumps were so outrageous we could barely hang on for dear life.

Antelopes in India are similar to kudus in Africa but without prominent white markings.

By the time the short two-hour safari came to an end, we were all rattled after the extraordinarily bumpy ride. Oh, as our readers know, we’ve been on many safaris over rough roads, but nothing and I mean nothing, compares to that outrageous ride for two hours.

Termite mounds, considerably smaller than those in Africa.

The early morning was chilly. The train staff provided us with woolen blankets. Although Tom and I were bundled up in our warmest clothing and blankets, our hands and faces were cold as the safari vehicle ripped through the jungle.

Banyan tree.

We still have four or five more game drives scheduled during our 55-night tour of India, but this time, we’ll be on our own with the guides and surely will provide some input on how we’d like the safaris conducted. This is not meant to be arrogant by any means. But more so, it’s an attempt to improve the odds of spotting wildlife we long to see in India.

Crocodile on the bank of the river at the Ranthambore National Park.

Today, while in New Delhi, we were out on tour with a driver and our tour guide, Subi, in both the old and the new Delhi. We visited some outstanding venues and look forward to sharing them with all of you over the next few days. Our hotel, the Metropolitan in New Delhi, is excellent.

Shallow river in the national park.

Whew! We’ve had quite a busy schedule since we left Arizona 11 days ago, and there’s more than we can imagine in days to come. Please stay tuned.

Have a pleasant day and evening.

Photo from one year ago today, February 9, 2019:

The four piglets certainly have grown over the past six months. They are so fun to watch. For more photos, please click here.

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