Safari adventures continue…The rigors of game drives…

A female sambar deer.

It wasn’t entirely about the Bengal Tiger. Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park also included many other forms of wildlife and, as shown, some stunning scenery along the way.

This baby elephant was being prepped for humans to ride him in search of tigers. Riding an elephant is a custom in India, but we wouldn’t ride one, as most of our readers know. 

The morning drive beginning at 6:00 am each day was cold, and we were covered with the blankets provided by the resort. The roads are as bumpy as can be, and thus, those with back or spine problems would be miserable during either the morning or afternoon game drives.

The baby’s mother was chained nearby. I supposed the chains are the saddest part affecting us animal lovers. We have to respect the customs in other countries as we travel the world. After all, we don’t cringe when horses are ridden.

Bathroom breaks are at a premium, and often the toilet is but a hole in the ground, not conducive for us women wearing pants. What a challenge that is! I choose not to drink any fluids in the morning to avoid the necessity. Of course, for men, behind a tree works well.

A white gum tree, the bark of which is used by locals for medicinal purposes.

Between the morning and afternoon game drives, one can expect to be out for no less than 8½ to 9½, making for a very long day. There’s a 3½ hour break between the morning and afternoon game drives, allowing time for lunch in the dining room. All Indian food is spicy and flavorful (not necessarily delectable to Tom. He ordered separately on most occasions).

When we stopped during the safari for our packed breakfast, consisting of boiled eggs, toast, and muffins for Tom and vegetables for me, a few cows entered the picnic area in the park.

Climbing in and out of the safari vehicles is not easy. It was challenging. But I managed well. My legs did not fully recover, but I kept a stiff upper lip and did so with nary a whimper. Tom stood close by, spotting me in the event of a fall.

Not easy to see in this photo taken at quite a distance, a tiger is dining on her catch.

In other words, safari is not necessarily for everyone. But, for us, after years of experience in Africa, we didn’t complain a bit and bounced our way through hour after hour of game drives through the rough terrain.

We saw many of these vine trees in the park.

Our fantastic safari driver was with us throughout the three days, and in each session, a different naturalist joined us. But, our driver Babalu was most knowledgeable after 27 years as a safari driver. 

“Apart from being a rich wildlife reserve, Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh has other ways to beguile travel aficionados. One can be interested in noticing an age-old fort called the Hill Fort or Bandhavgarh Fort standing right in the middle of the national park. This majestic fort allows visitors to peep inside the rich history and shows the prominent influence of religion in the state. So, what exactly are we talking about here? Well, we are focusing on the priceless heritage that includes the cave dwellings, shrines, and several sculptures that indicate the strong faith in the power of Lord Vishnu here.”

We wouldn’t have needed the naturalist when many barely spoke English (our problem, not theirs. We are in “their” country, after all) but seemed to provide good service as spotters whose hearing is acute and eyesight keen for sightings.

A Common Kingfisher.

When a tiger is nearby, the spotted deer make a barking warning sound. The driver and naturalist quickly picked up these sounds, and then the watch for the elusive tiger would begin. We’d often sit quietly in the vehicle at the side of the road for 20 or 30 minutes, watching and waiting for the animal to appear.

A gorgeous sunset over Bandvargarh National Park in India.

There’s tremendous with no sightings of any animals and others when they were in abundance. On a few occasions, they did appear. On many more other occasions, they did not. An impatient person would not do well under these circumstances.

Another photo of the tiger we spotted.

Since my camera card doesn’t work with my new Chromebook (no slot), I couldn’t use my camera until I purchased an adapter or cord. Subsequently, all of our photos were taken with our Google phones, not the best for zooming in, as we all know. There was a bit of frustration over this on my part.

Male spotted deer.

Plus, the photos from our phone, which generally would appear on my laptop within a few hours of taking them, didn’t appear for at least 24 hours with the slow WiFi signal using my phone as a hot spot or when sitting in the reception area of the resort. Yesterday, photos appeared on my laptop in a more timely fashion, and I was able to do yesterday’s and today’s posts in a little more timely manner.

Rare wild buffalo is referred to as a gaur. We were excited to spot this elusive animal.

We apologize for the lack of a post on Monday. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get photos to load. There was no point in writing a story about a fine artist without uploading the images I took in the shop, especially when I was thrilled with their clarity.

Mom and baby wild boar. I love all types of pigs. This was no exception.

If you didn’t have an opportunity to see yesterday’s post, please click here.

Today, we are moving again on another over five-hour drive to the next safari lodge in our itinerary. We’ll be back with more on that soon.

Photo from one year ago today, February 26, 2019:

This is our Basket, the Bully, who was thrilled to see we’d returned to the bush.  Many weeks ago, he appeared with a bloody right ear, which now is but a stubble of an ear that seems to have healed nicely. For more photos, please click here.