WE SAW A TIGER IN THE WILD!!

For this blog we need to relate the most exciting bit first. We visited Kaziranga National Park to see the One Horned Rhino and were out on an afternoon jeep safari. It gets dark early in this part of India and as we were heading back in the jeep with our guide and driver, dusk was falling. We rounded a bend in the track and suddenly our guide started hissing “tiger, tiger” with great excitement. The driver stopped and cut the engine and there, only about 50 metres away on the side of the track was the massive stripy hindquarters of an adult tiger. She was crouching down, stalking a big wild boar who was standing only about 10 metres from her on the other side of the track. He knew she was there and snuffled and paced to and fro, but didn’t seem inclined to back off. For several minutes the two animals were in a standoff with neither quite sure what to do. Then the boar seemed to catch our scent which made his mind up. He turned tail and trotted off back around the corner and out of sight. At that, two white ear tips flicked into sight and within seconds the tiger had risen to her feet and loped off after her prey. The whole incident lasted around 5 minutes and was pretty intense leading to a huge adrenaline rush! Even the guide was pretty excited – there are only 111 tigers in the national park, so good sightings like this are quite rare. Paul had the presence of mind to take a picture and you can just make out the tiger crouching in the grass to the left of the road.

Don’t want to lie – this is another tiger in Kaziranga, but the sighting we had was just as good as this one.
Tiger on the left and wild boar on the right at the top of the track. Althiugh the pictire didn’t come out too well, we had a clear view.

We never dreamed we’d be lucky enough to see a tiger in the wild. Just one more amazing experience on our crazy journey!

We saw loads of other animals on our jeep safari in Kasiranga National Park including:-

The threatened one horned rhino.
The park is on the banks of the Brahmaputra river – in the monsoon season the whole area is inundated, and even in the dry season the vistas are all of lakes and wetland
The grassy and wetland areas provide the best views of many animal species
The park is home to 1,100 Asian elephants
A huge water buffalo looming through the mist early in the morning
There were large swamp deer and small hog deer everywhere, in the foreground a couple of wild boar. We also saw macaque monkeys and smooth coated Indian otters, but couldn’t get good pictures of these.
We saw so many varieties of birds, including long distance sightings of Pallas’s fish eagle and the rare red headed Indian vulture. This bright blue bird is an Indian roller – there were many of these in the grassland areas.

At Kasiranga we spent 2 nights at the “Wild Grass Resort” which felt very colonial and like stepping back in time. Picture below of the dining room where we ate dinner under the watchful gaze of the antlered deer heads on the wall – top left of the picture.

The staff looked after us so well, bringing us afternoon tea and homemade biscuits on the terrace.

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