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Old 7th June 2015, 11:23   #1
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Default Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

So, here I am. Writing a travelogue after a long long time. After December 2012, when I visited Bharatpur, I hadn't really been to a jungle in the last two years or so. Marriage, the birth of our son and other responsibilities have kept both of us busy since then.

However the itch to get into a jungle was getting too strong. Regular updates and photos from friends were only more and more compelling and I knew sooner or later this decision had to be taken. This time only two of us; me and my friend decided to arrange the trip ourselves.

Here is a teaser pic from Nagzira ...

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The idea was to go to Tadoba once again. However, all permits till 15th June when the park closes; were sold out and all resorts were booked. That made us re-think our plans. The nearest one was Nagzira and since both of has had never been there, it was only a logical choice and a matter of time till the plan was finalized.

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Old 7th June 2015, 13:40   #2
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Default Re: Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

The dates were finalized as 26th - 30th May 2015. Thankfully we got our holidays sanctioned quickly. Then came the problem of traveling. If we traveled by train, we would lose out on one of the morning safari. Also, Nagzira sanctuary is closed on Thursdays and Navegaon tiger reserve is closed on Fridays. So we planned out 3 safaris in the Nagzira jungle and two in Navegaon.

Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-dsc_0388.jpg

The plan was to fly from Pune to Nagpur on the 26th, two safaris in Nagzira on the 27th, then two safaris in Navegaon on the 28th and finally return to Pune by train on the 29th after the morning safari in Nagzira. Rail and Airfare bookings were done by us, whereas the stay at the resort and the jungle bookings were done by a common friend who has started her own travel/tourism business.

We stayed at the Muba resort there; not that we had much of a choice, since this is the only resort right now over there. However the resort is a very good option to stay and has nice clean rooms and good food.

Which bird is this? At 2.00pm, this one was sitting in a small secluded area beneath our room.

Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-dsc_0474.jpg

The light was way too dim to catch a photo, so; unfortunately had to use a flash. The bird was however least bothered about the flash, or the human intrusion and posed patiently for us to get many photographs! A better lens than a simple Nikkor 55-200 would have done better justice to the bird, rather than the cropped image.

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Old 7th June 2015, 13:59   #3
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The jungle welcomes us on the first safari! We got the permits for Pitezari gate.
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The road to nowhere! It's an exciting feeling, just to travel on such roads with not even the sound of wind to disturb you.
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As soon as we enter, a sleepy collared scops owl was waiting for us.
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Going forward we came across a herd of deer crossing the road.
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Meanwhile, a pair of great thick knees is beautifully blended into the surroundings. Super camouflage, can't really make out the birds until someone points them out to you.
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The male members of the herd are curious, and while their attention is diverted by our gypsy ...
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... a pack of dholes seizes the chance to surround them!
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The deer however are immediately alerted and on the move.
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Nearby a greater coucal forages the ground for something to eat.
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Old 7th June 2015, 14:29   #4
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A slaty headed parakeet and a plum headed parakeet feast on the mangoes above.
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Down below, a mother has a few words of caution for her child ...
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... who is more interested in playing than watching out.
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Here is a portrait of the mother
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An Indian Pitta.
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Forest department employees going on their daily routine
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A rufous treepie waits for us to go
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A different kind of dragonfly. We saw many species of dragonflies by the water bodies in the jungle.
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A group of langurs idling their time away, by the road!
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Indian roller, these are one of the most beautiful birds and will gladly pose for you till you have all the shots!
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Another one. We had a symptom of seeing too many rollers, in this particular jungle.
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A lone male spotted deer crosses the road in front of us here.
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Old 7th June 2015, 14:43   #5
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In the Pitezari region of the forest, there are only two zones, A and B. In zone A there are sloth bears and a few leopards; if you are lucky, you could spot them. We went to zone A in the morning, where we got photos of all those beautiful animals. Except for a leopard, we saw everything in the jungle including a sloth bear too.

In zone B, there is a tigress Amark. She is old, nearly 14 years old. So, in the afternoon, we went to zone B, to see if we could catch a glimpse of her.

Here she is, approaching us from the jungle
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-dsc_0184.jpg

She goes near the water hole and after walking around for a while...
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... enters the waterhole in reverse gear!
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She sits down in the water to cool off.
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After eyeing everyone of us present for a while, she drinks some water.
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Someone was making too much noise,which doesn't go down well with a tiger
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She gave us some nice poses for the camera.
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Some more posing for us, and we are done! Wow! What a feeling it was! Despite being aged, she looked really beautiful.
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Old 7th June 2015, 14:49   #6
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A crested serpent eagle
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Another Indian Pitta
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A young sambar on the alert
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Two dholes cool off in a stagnant pool of water
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A baby Gaur
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An oriental honey buzzard ...
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... that soon landed down to drink some water
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A peacock; which is pretty common sight in the forest
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The forest is supremely beautiful and has a wide variety of trees and jungle plants
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A big adult Gaur. These weigh upto a ton or so, I think.
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Old 7th June 2015, 15:37   #7
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An owl, which one is it?
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A record shot of a sloth bear. Nothing great in it, the bear was way far off and the undergrowth had too many branches to fool the autofocus of the camera. By the time we switched to the manual focusing on the lens, the bear had disappeared.
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A common bee eater
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A red dragonfly
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A yellow dragonfly
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And a green specimen
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A common hawk cuckoo
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A rhesus monkey. This is the first time, I saw these monkeys in a forest; all other times, they were in some human habitat only.
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A beautiful sunset in the forest
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When we returned to our resort; this young snake was resting on the compound wall of the resort.
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A deer mother suckling her young one
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A group of langurs sitting and waiting for something to happen!
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Here are the pugmarks of a leopard. We missed the leopard by a whisker; there were some people in other gypsies who saw this guy.
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-dsc_0400.jpg
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Old 7th June 2015, 15:55   #8
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Kanchan vel. A creeper, whose leaves are used to make disposable plates and utensils
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-dsc_0407.jpg

Kanchan vel blossoms
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Common hawk cuckoo or brain fever bird
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A dhole posing for us
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A nice looking sunbird outside our resort room
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And a flameback woodpecker. It's a greater flameback I think
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An asian paradise flycatcher joins the little blue bird beneath our resort room!
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That's done with all the photos in this travelogue.

All in all, it was a beautiful short trip to an amazingly beautiful forest in Maharashtra. This tiger reserve is definitely worth a visit, even though it may not be as famous as it's cousin, the Tadoba tiger reserve.

There are 7-8 tigers in the jungle, and not many tourists yet. So you still have a pristine natural wonder still untouched by human hand in many areas. Navegaon jungle is even more untouched, in fact apart from 4 of us, there was not a single soul in the jungle. But this one is also 100% worth a visit. It's on the opposite side of the highway just for the record. See the map for the region.

To goto Nagzira, you can go to Nagpur, and from there its a 2 and a half hours journey to Sakoli and from there go inside to Nagzira. There is a huge board on the main highway so you cannot miss the turn to Nagzira forest.

Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-map.png

Stay options are limited as there is only one resort here - The Muba resort.
http://mubaresorts.com/muba-jungle-camp-nagzira/

Just note that Nagzira forest is closed on Thursdays and the Navegaon forest is closed on Fridays. Permits are generally not a problem unless there is a VIP visit. Another area is the Koka jungle. But right now there is a tigress there who has given birth to 3 cubs, so the access is limited. There are only 5 permits provided in a day - of which 3 are VIP and 2 are common. So unless you can pull the strings here, don't expect to get an easy access to this Koka jungle.

To summarize, if you are already having an overdose of Tadoba photographs, do visit this relatively lesser know but equally beautiful forest gem of Maharashtra.

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Old 7th June 2015, 17:29   #9
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Default Re: Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th June 2015, 00:24   #10
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Amazing pictures, the first owl is so well camouflaged, I had to check the picture again. Any pictures of the resort and its rooms? How's the weather there? What's the best time of year to visit?
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Old 8th June 2015, 07:23   #11
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Default Re: Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

Fantastic photos and narration man. I just felt that you could've used a little bit more zoom and a bit better lens - you've surely got the eye and the talent for the pictures!
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Old 8th June 2015, 14:30   #12
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Default Re: Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
In zone B, there is a tigress Amark. She is old, nearly 14 years old. So, in the afternoon, we went to zone B, to see if we could catch a glimpse of her.
Glad that she isn't malnourished like many found in some of the wild life sanctuaries or zoos.

like phamilyman mentioned, your photography skills are indeed commendable.

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Old 8th June 2015, 17:22   #13
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Default Re: Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
Which bird is this? At 2.00pm, this one was sitting in a small secluded area beneath our room.
It is Black-Naped Monarch (The black-naped monarch or black-naped blue flycatcher is a slim and agile passerine bird belonging to the family of monarch flycatchers, Source: WIKI)

Nice sigthing of the tigress....

Last edited by Raps : 8th June 2015 at 17:26. Reason: Info
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Old 8th June 2015, 19:15   #14
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Default Re: Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

An amazing hand on the Camera mate !! Some really well captured snaps indeed. I had been to Pench & Kanha National Parks in November 2014 and had taken the road back to Nagpur from Kanha via Gondia and Sakoli. Thanks to your post got to know of this place named Nagzira Tiger Reserve. Seems to be totally worth a visit. Thanks for sharing !
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Old 8th June 2015, 23:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Amazing pictures, the first owl is so well camouflaged, I had to check the picture again. Any pictures of the resort and its rooms? How's the weather there? What's the best time of year to visit?
Yes, the camouflage of the owl is simply superb. Here are a few photos of the resort. These are mobile phone photos.

There are 4 beds in a room. The rooms are nice, big and airy.
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-img_20150527_103027678.jpg
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Here's our room on the left side of the staircase.
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-img_20150527_123227356.jpg

A view of the lake from the verandah of the room
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-img_20150527_103124895.jpg

A view of the jungle behind our room
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This is the common dining area.
Jungle lores of Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve-img_20150527_125529780_hdr.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Fantastic photos and narration man. I just felt that you could've used a little bit more zoom and a bit better lens - you've surely got the eye and the talent for the pictures!
Thanks Phamilyman, post the visit even I too felt that a better lens than a simple 55-200mm would have done more justice to the animals. Also, many photos posted here are the low-res copies of the actual ones.

Surely I will think of getting a better lens next time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Glad that she isn't malnourished like many found in some of the wild life sanctuaries or zoos.

like phamilyman mentioned, your photography skills are indeed commendable.
Yes, she is very healthy despite being nearly 14 years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raps View Post
It is Black-Naped Monarch (The black-naped monarch or black-naped blue flycatcher is a slim and agile passerine bird belonging to the family of monarch flycatchers, Source: WIKI)

Nice sigthing of the tigress....
Thanks for the info! I didn't know the name of the bird, and I hated to use a flash. But it was way too dark under the room and also the bird didn't mind the human interference at all.

The rooms are built on concrete stilts and the whole area underneath the rooms gets converted into a huge lake during the monsoons. The bird was sitting in the empty area under our room. Maybe to escape the tremendous heat and the blazing sun above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
An amazing hand on the Camera mate !! Some really well captured snaps indeed. I had been to Pench & Kanha National Parks in November 2014 and had taken the road back to Nagpur from Kanha via Gondia and Sakoli. Thanks to your post got to know of this place named Nagzira Tiger Reserve. Seems to be totally worth a visit. Thanks for sharing !
Thanks! Yes, Nagzira is totally worth a visit. Frankly speaking, when we did the booking, we never had many expectations from the jungle. We had thought it would be a few common jungle animals and thats all. But the flora and fauna literally impressed us like anything!

Pench, I haven't been to yet. But Kanha I have visited already. They are also equally beautiful jungles. Let's see. A visit to Pench now, will complete all the major jungles of central India for me!
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