Safari adventures continue…The rigors of game drives…

A female sambar deer.

It wasn’t entirely about the Bengal Tiger. Safari in Bandvargarh National Park also included many other forms of wildlife and as shown and 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 as most of our readers know, we wouldn’t ride one. 

The morning drive beginning at 6:00 am each day was cold and we 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. We have to respect the customs in other countries as we travel the world. After all, we don’t cringe when horses are ridden. I supposed the chains are the most disheartening part affecting us animal lovers.

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, spicy and flavorful (not necessarily flavorful 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. With my legs not fully recovered it was challenging 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. But I managed well.

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 at 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 wonderful safari driver was with us throughout the three days and 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 on 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 who’s 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.

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. There’s tremendous with no sightings of any animals and others when they were in abundance.

Another photo of the tiger we spotted.

Since my camera card doesn’t work with my new Chromebook (no slot) I wasn’t able to use my camera until such time as I can purchase 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 normally 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 fashion.

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

We apologize for a 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 being able to upload the photos 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 on the move again on another over five hour drive to the next safari lodge in our itinerary. We’ll be back with more on that soon.

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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 which appears to have healed nicely. For more photos, please click here.

Safari luck prevails in India…The elusive Bengal Tiger…How lucky could we be?…

There she was. We couldn’t have asked for a better vantage point.

We never expected to see a tiger in India, although we’re scheduled for six full days on safari in two different national parks, where we are now at Tiger’s Den Resort in Banghavgarh National Park and also upcoming on the 26th, Tuli Tiger Resort in Kanha National Park.


We were up bright and early at 5:00 am and having coffee-tea (as they call morning beverages here in India) by 5:30 am in the dining room of our lovely resort. Both of us were still tired but, also pumped for our first-morning game drive that began at 6:00 am while it was still dark.

Our hearts were pounding with excitement while we attempted to take photos.

In no time at up we were bundled up with blankets on a chilly morning and headed to Gate 1 of 3 in the area. As planned by our diligent travel agent for India, it was us, a driver and a naturalist, alone in a small open-sided vehicle Jeep with elevated seats.


The naturalist sat in behind us on the seats usually reserved for additional guests to ensure we could easily hear him and to provide him with an elevated view as well.


After the first hour and a half without seeing more than some spotted deer, monkeys and bush chickens, we resigned ourselves to the fact that spotting the elusive tiger may be more of a dream than a reality. 

Such a beautiful animal!

And then, around 8:00 am, it happened. Our guides were able to predict there is a tiger in the area when varying antelopes were rapidly on the move, monkeys and birds were particularly noisy.


Suddenly, we were hopeful but still kept our enthusiasm in check. And then, there she was causing no less 10 other safari vehicles jockey for position to get a glimpse of her majesty.


She was walking perpendicular to the road and as shown in our photos at one point she bravely crossed the road. Our guide explained the tigers weren’t as intimated by safari vehicles as one might think. They grew up in the park, which has been a popular destination for many wildlife enthusiasts for decades.


Oh, yes, I wish we could have been able to get better photos with more closeups. But, since my new laptop arrived, I sadly discovered it didn’t have a slot for a camera data card. I tried to Bluetooth the camera to the laptop, but that didn’t work.
She didn’t seem to be disturbed by all the gawkers. 

The only option for the future is to purchase an adapter to fit Chromebook but for now, we’re sadly stuck using our phones. And, although the photos are adequate, they surely aren’t the closeups we’d have been able to get with the camera.


Right now, using my phone as a hotspot, since there’s no WiFi in the rooms at the resort (not good) I was having trouble gaining access to the photos in a timely fashion. Hopefully, by dinnertime, the photos were in my cloud ready to be uploaded to this post. 

A pretty scene we spotted in the national park.


Hopefully, as you are reading this we have plenty of photos we were able to upload.


This afternoon at 2:30 pm, after the 1:00 pm lunch, we’ll go out on our second game drive of the day. At this, after seeing this morning’s tiger we can sit back and relax and simply enjoy nature and whatever may come our way.


Happy day to all. We’ll be back with more soon.