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Old 6th March 2017, 19:36   #31
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Default Re: Tadoba Wilderness!

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Originally Posted by Torque123 View Post
Found some time to process a few more images. Have re-processed & posted an image of the small cub as I did not feel the previous one was processed correctly.

Enjoy, Comments & feedback welcome
Wow your photos as usual are rocking.
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Old 8th March 2017, 14:33   #32
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Wonderful pictures, especially the cubs.

Though I had earlier visited several Tiger reserves in south and north, I am making my first visit to Tadoba this month. The only online booking for Core area, I have got(18th to 20th) is for 20 Mar morning from Navegaon gate. I am planning to reach Tadoba by car on 18th evening from Hyderabad. I have my wife accompanying me. I would be grateful if you can advise me on the following.
1. If I stay in MTDC, can I enter Navegaon gate on 20th morning
2. What are the chances that I can get 2 seats on 19th (Sunday) morn and evening either direct or sharing with earlier booked Gypsies?
3. Alternatively there are Jeeps available in the dual name zones as per Mahaonline site, which I persume are the Buffer zones. Which Buffer zone should I book so that I can stay at one place (I already have the confirmed Navegaon on 20th morn)
4. Any advise on medium range accommodation ?

Thanks
Thank you for liking the images. Please find my responses below for your queries in the same order.

1. I would not advise doing the morning safari from Navegaon gate if you are staying in MTDC Moharli as there is quite a distance to cover to reach Navegaon gate from Moharli. It would be a very hectic day for you.

2. If you do not have a confirmed safari booking on 19th for core then getting one on the spot is difficult as it is a weekend. I just checked & found that the permits are available for the buffer zone safaris on 19th Mar. I strongly suggest you do Devada or Junona or Agarzhari buffer safaris based on the recent sightings. They too have great sightings & all 3 zones have tigresses with sub adult cubs. Infact in my Nov visit to Tadoba I did more safaris in Junona/Agarzhari buffer than in core (we had core zone bookings for all our safaris & wasted them) as there were good sightings happening at that point of time in the buffer zones. I have posted images of buffer zone tiger sightings in this very thread. You can avoid the mad rush of gypsies too as very less number of Gypsies enter the buffer zones. By doing this you will stay at one place & do all your safaris too. If you are not comfortable doing safaris in buffer then I suggest you talk to Tadoba Tiger King resort which is at Kolara gate & do all your safaris from there. I have stayed at that place & they are VFM. If they are able to help you out then you can cancel your MTDC booking & other safari bookings.

Sightings are purely based on luck & timing your safari in the right zone where movement/sigtings have been happening. Hope my response helps.

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Originally Posted by vijayols View Post
Wow your photos as usual are rocking.
Thank you so much Vijay. Just back from my Bandhavgarh trip. Will post the travelogue soon.

Last edited by Torque123 : 8th March 2017 at 14:34.
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Old 8th March 2017, 15:31   #33
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Some amazing photos and details here.

I am doing Lonar-Shegaon-tadoba drive and going to taste the Vidarbha heat literally . We are 2 famililies ( 8 members). We are staying at MTDC, Moharli for 3D2N between 3rd May until 5th May. We have booked the safaris based on max 6 guidance per booking on the mahaecotourism portal, all availed from the Moharli gate :


4th May x 2- evening
5th May x 2 - morning

Unfortunately the 3rd May no safaris are available from Moharli, while following are available on that evening - location(#) : Kolara(9), Navegaon(4), Agarzari(5), DevadaAdegaon(10). There quite a few questions, I expect the knowledgeable t-bhp would know it back of the hand :

1. What safari options to try on for the 3rd evening (with base as MTDC, Moharli)?
2. Does the safari booking permit means I can reach the gate and hire the gypsies/guide in time for evening safari? what works better?
3. Route from Shegaon to MTDC, Moharli.
4. could the 2 safaris prove too less?
4. Any special care with kids with us this time.

Thanks in advance, really appreciate the immense information available here and the helping spirit
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Old 8th March 2017, 16:20   #34
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Some amazing photos and details here.

I am doing Lonar-Shegaon-tadoba drive and going to taste the Vidarbha heat literally . We are 2 famililies ( 8 members). We are staying at MTDC, Moharli for 3D2N between 3rd May until 5th May. We have booked the safaris based on max 6 guidance per booking on the mahaecotourism portal, all availed from the Moharli gate :


4th May x 2- evening
5th May x 2 - morning

Unfortunately the 3rd May no safaris are available from Moharli, while following are available on that evening - location(#) : Kolara(9), Navegaon(4), Agarzari(5), DevadaAdegaon(10). There quite a few questions, I expect the knowledgeable t-bhp would know it back of the hand :

1. What safari options to try on for the 3rd evening (with base as MTDC, Moharli)?
2. Does the safari booking permit means I can reach the gate and hire the gypsies/guide in time for evening safari? what works better?
3. Route from Shegaon to MTDC, Moharli.
4. could the 2 safaris prove too less?
4. Any special care with kids with us this time.

Thanks in advance, really appreciate the immense information available here and the helping spirit
Glad that you like the images posted here. Staying in Moharli & doing safari from Kolara/Navegaon is very hectic & not advisable if you are travelling with kids. There are 2 tigresses you have to watch out for if you are planning to do safaris in Dewada/Agarzhari/Junona buffer zones. 1 of them has 2 sub adult cubs & is always seen in Agarzhari & the 2nd tigress has 4 sub adult cubs & is seen in both Dewada & Agarzhari sides as her territory is in both the zones. You have the famous Wagdoh male & a new male in Dewada/Junona buffer while you have Khali & another male tiger in Agarzhari. There are a few more tigers/tigresses in both the zones which are seen once in a while. As the booking has to be done well in advance (now) one cannot predict the movement of animals now for a visit scheduled in May.

As your group will be going in 2 gypsies, I would suggest 1 gypsy going to Dewada side & the other going to Agarzhari for the 03rd May evening safari. Atleast one of them will have a chance to get the sighting if there is movement. If luck is your way then both might get sightings too. For 4th May morning safari if you do not have the permit then I suggest the gypsy which did Dewada side safari on 3rd evening to do the Agarzhari side safari on 04th morning & the same logic applies for the 2nd gypsy. Please remember that you can visit the Dewada side even if you enter from Junona gate.

Guide will be allocated to you at the beginning of each safari. So no worries there. Hiring a gypsy is something I suggest you do much before the safari. You can hire it at the gate before every safari too.

You may or may not get sightings in 2 safaris. Its pure luck, movement of animals on that given day & skills of your driver/guide which gets you a sighting. I did 8 safaris in Bandhavgarh last week. Got sightings in my first 3 safaris but the next 5 were dry. There are people who have done 6 safaris with nil cat sightings & there are people who have done 1 or 2 safaris & have got cat sightings. However I would suggest doing at least 4 safaris to stand a chance of seeing a cat in the wild.

As you are visiting the park during peak summer, ensure you carry lot of water during your safaris. Avoid aerated stuff. It is very dusty out there, so ensure you carry proper gear to save yourself from dust & heat. Be prepared to get little tanned

Hope this helped

Last edited by Torque123 : 8th March 2017 at 16:26.
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Old 9th March 2017, 12:31   #35
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Did a 4 nights 5 days trip to the historical & magical Tiger Reserve - "Bandhavgarh" in the first week of March 2017. This is my 2nd trip to this place & my first visit was in May 2016 during peak summer. I have posted images of my earlier trip to Bandhavgarh in the 1st page of this thread. This time the weather was pleasant & the forest was still relatively green & beautiful. The mornings were chilly though.

Our transfer to Bandhavgarh from Katni & Bandhavgarh to Jabalpur was already arranged for. Reached Katni railway station at 7.30 AM on 02nd of March & it took around 1 hour 15 minutes to reach Bandhavgarh. We stayed at "Aranyak - The Jungle Kingdom" resort. The place is too good & the best part is their service. There is not a single request which they do not fulfil. Their service is top notch & was the same during my first visit in May 2016 too. The food is great & ambience is excellent. For me the pool was a boon as it is very refreshing to have a quick dip/swim after the 4 hour long morning safari. Below is the link to their resort website.

http://www.aranyakresort.in/

At present there are good sightings happening overall in Bandhavgarh. We did 8 safaris in total with the first & last safari rounds in Khitouli range, 2nd, 3rd,4th rounds in Tala zone & 5th, 6th & 7th rounds in Magdhi zone. For me Khitouli has been a rocking zone as my majority of sightings in my previous trip were in this zone & boy it did not let me down this time either. This is the most under rated & less visited zones of Bandhavgarh by tourists as the general notion is that not much sightings happen there. But I am completely against that thought.

Round 1 (2nd Mar evening safari) - We were informed by one of the guests at the resort that they had a sighting of 2 sub adult cubs of the Mahaman female in the morning round near a waterhole. That news got our spirits higher as we had not seen them in my previous visit. Entered the park at 3 PM & scouted for these cubs. There were no pugmarks seen anywhere & there were intermittent alarm calls near the waterhole. This made us sure that the cubs were still around the area near the waterhole & it was a matter of time that all of them or atleast one of them would come too the waterhole to cool itself or to quench its thirst. There were gypsies coming & waiting at the same spot & there was some commotion. We knew that the cubs would not come out until the gypsies leave & commotion is reduced. So we left the place & explored other areas of Khitouli zone where in looking for the Nigha nala tigress & her cubs. There were no pug marks or alarm calls what so ever. We later got to know that this family had made a cattle kill in a near by village which is out of tourism zone. So the chance of seeing this family was nil for this trip.

As we continued to explore Khitouli range, at one point our gypsy took a right turn & & the safari track ahead is almost in the shape of "S". As we approached the midpoint of "S" our driver said "Tiger". The afternoon lunch & the journey the previous day had made us a little tired & I was feeling a little sleepy. The word Tiger did not sink in & the driver knowing this again said "Sir, Tiger Tiger". This kind of gave us a sudden jolt & we saw in the direction he was pointing. There he was "BHEEM" the biggest male tiger of Bandhavgarh cooling himself off in his natural pool. We had missed him in our visit in May 2016. There were again no pug marks & no alarm calls. This guy was enjoying his nap in the pool. Ours was the only gypsy so there was no noise/commotion. We silently parked the gypsy at some distance & switched off the engine & started to fire away with our cameras. 2 more gypsies arrived say after 30 minutes or so. This guy gave us one of the most memorable sightings of our life for almost 1 hour 15 minutes & then he got up & walked away into the undergrowth. The sheer size of this guy will send chills down anyone's spine.

By now it was around 5.25 PM. We went to the waterhole where Mahaman cubs were expected to show up. We reach the spot & there were around 4 gypsies still waiting. We parked ourselves in a good position & our wait started too. By 5.45 PM my friend said "Tiger". One of the male sub adult cubs of the Mahaman female emerged on the bund & started walking down to the waterhole. He then got into the water, sat & quenched his thirst & gave us an oppurtunity to get some good images.

Camera gear used is Nikon D7200 & Nikkor 200-500 f/5.6 VR. Below are a couple of images from this safari. A week away from work has left me with a lot of things to be completed. Completely tied up with work. Hence could process only a couple of images. Will process a few more images from this safari & post it by weekend & will also continue the travelogue. Till then enjoy these.

TO BE CONTD..
Attached Thumbnails
Tadoba Wilderness!-bheem.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-bheem-yawning.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-mahaman-cub.jpg  


Last edited by Torque123 : 9th March 2017 at 12:34.
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Old 13th March 2017, 13:18   #36
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Round 2 (3rd Mar Morning safari) - This safari was in Tala zone & we got the C & B route. That is once we enter the park, we got to take route C till we reach the centre point, once we reach the centre point our route to return will be route B. There are 4 routes in Tala zone (A, B, C & D). I really liked the terrain, vegetation & the overall forest feel of route C & D. We did find pug marks of a tigress called Spot - T however were not lucky enough to see her in this safari. Around 8.30 AM we reached the centre point & some time around 9.30 AM we got to see 2 sub adult male cubs of the famous Rajbehra tigress. This family is being filmed by Nat Geo guys from the time the mother gave birth to 4 little cubs (3 males & 1 female). The mother has now kind of separated from the cubs as they are around 20 months old. So one might get to see the 3 sub adult males together. They will split in a month or too as Tigers do not live in groups once they reach maturity. The female cub was killed by a male tiger around 2 months back.

The first image posted below is of the Mahaman sub adult male cub whom we saw during our first round in Khitouli. The other 3 images are of one of the sub adult male cub of Rajbehra tigress.

To be Contd..
Attached Thumbnails
Tadoba Wilderness!-mahaman-cub1.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-rajbehra-male-cub.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-rajbehra-cub1.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-rajbehra-cub.jpg  

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Old 20th March 2017, 18:21   #37
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Few more images from the morning round in Tala zone on 02nd March.
Attached Thumbnails
Tadoba Wilderness!-rajbehra-cub-sleeping.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-rajbehra-cub-bund.jpg  

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Old 23rd March 2017, 20:55   #38
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I booked safari's online for 5th June evening (Monday), 6th June morning and evening (Tuesday) and 7th June morning (Wednesday). We are 8 travelling and hence booked MTDC Mohurli (group accommodation) for 2 nights. When I was browsing elsewhere, I read that the park is closed on Tuesday but the online safari booking portal showed open slots and so booked for Tuesday.

If possible can anyone confirm the park is open on Tuesday and there is no need for me to cancel my bookings.

I booked 3 safaris - core zone.
1 safari - Junona zone, think this is buffer zone.

Last edited by HighwayHopper : 23rd March 2017 at 20:56. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 24th March 2017, 12:51   #39
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I booked safari's online for 5th June evening (Monday), 6th June morning and evening (Tuesday) and 7th June morning (Wednesday). We are 8 travelling and hence booked MTDC Mohurli (group accommodation) for 2 nights. When I was browsing elsewhere, I read that the park is closed on Tuesday but the online safari booking portal showed open slots and so booked for Tuesday.

If possible can anyone confirm the park is open on Tuesday and there is no need for me to cancel my bookings.

I booked 3 safaris - core zone.
1 safari - Junona zone, think this is buffer zone.
The park used to be closed on Tuesday's. However since the beginning of this season (Oct 2016) it is open on Tuesday's as well. So no worries there. Fasten your seat belt. Tadoba never disappoints.

Madhuri & her 4 sub adult cubs are putting on a great show in the buffer very often. She has territory in both Junona & Agarzhari. So on the day of your safari in buffer if she is in Agarzhari then there is no way you will find her in Junona side. For the 1 safari that you have booked Junona buffer, I suggest you book Agarzhari also for the very same round (do not cancel Junona permit). The permit does not cost much. Depending on the movement on that particular day & previous evening, you can either do the safari in Junona or Agarzhari. I still see permits available for Agarzhari buffer for the dates you have mentioned. I would say very high chances of seeing tigers in the buffer than in core. All the best.

I am doing Kabini in April & Kolsa side of Tadoba again & Pench in May. Pench will be a first time for me. Cant wait to get there

Last edited by Torque123 : 24th March 2017 at 13:01.
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Old 24th March 2017, 18:04   #40
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The park used to be closed on Tuesday's. However since the beginning of this season (Oct 2016) it is open on Tuesday's as well. So no worries there. Fasten your seat belt. Tadoba never disappoints.

Madhuri & her 4 sub adult cubs are putting on a great show in the buffer very often. She has territory in both Junona & Agarzhari. So on the day of your safari in buffer if she is in Agarzhari then there is no way you will find her in Junona side. For the 1 safari that you have booked Junona buffer, I suggest you book Agarzhari also for the very same round (do not cancel Junona permit). The permit does not cost much. Depending on the movement on that particular day & previous evening, you can either do the safari in Junona or Agarzhari. I still see permits available for Agarzhari buffer for the dates you have mentioned. I would say very high chances of seeing tigers in the buffer than in core. All the best.

I am doing Kabini in April & Kolsa side of Tadoba again & Pench in May. Pench will be a first time for me. Cant wait to get there
Thank you. I will do so. How will I get the details about the movement ? From Guides ? Gypsy Drivers ? Also how about Devada-Adegaon-Agarzari Zone. Is it worth booking this zone or just the Agarzari zone ?

Last edited by HighwayHopper : 24th March 2017 at 18:10.
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Old 24th March 2017, 18:30   #41
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Thank you. I will do so. How will I get the details about the movement ? From Guides ? Gypsy Drivers ? Also how about Devada-Adegaon-Agarzari Zone. Is it worth booking this zone or just the Agarzari zone ?
Your gypsy driver will know what all has been sighted in the past couple of days & where there is movement. Check with him & also with the guests in MTDC. I am sure there will be some guests in MTDC who would be doing safaris in buffer zones during your visit.

There are 3 buffer zone entries in Moharli. Junona, Dewada & Agarzhari.
If you book your permit from Junona gate, you can still go to the Dewada side but you cannot go to Agarzhari side.
If you book your permit from Dewada gate, you can still go to the Junona side but you cannot go to Agarzhari side.
If you book your permit from Agarzhari gate, you cannot go to the Dewada & Junona side.

As you already have the permit from Junona gate, book one more permit from Agarzhari gate for the same safari. Then depending on movement & sightings you can either do safari in Junona or Agarzhari.

Ping me 2 or 3 days before the trip. Will let you know about the sightings then

Last edited by Torque123 : 24th March 2017 at 18:41.
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Old 24th March 2017, 18:48   #42
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Your gypsy driver will know what all has been sighted in the past couple of days & where there is movement. Check with him & also with the guests in MTDC. I am sure there will be some guests in MTDC who would be doing safaris in buffer zones during your visit.

There are 3 buffer zone entries in Moharli. Junona, Dewada & Agarzhari.
If you book your permit from Junona gate, you can still go to the Dewada side but you cannot go to Agarzhari side.
If you book your permit from Dewada gate, you can still go to the Junona side but you cannot go to Agarzhari side.
If you book your permit from Agarzhari gate, you cannot go to the Dewada & Junona side.

As you already have the permit from Junona gate, book one more permit from Agarzhari gate for the same safari. Then depending on movement & sightings you can either do safari in Junona or Agarzhari.

Ping me 2 or 3 days before the trip. Will let you know about the sightings then
Thank you so much. I will ping you before I leave and more than that enjoy your trip to Kabini and Pench. Actually we too thought of Pench first, but zeroed on Tadoba again. Hopefully Pench will be in next summer. I just realized that last year we were in Tadoba on same dates as this time.
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Old 24th March 2017, 19:09   #43
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I will ping you before I leave and more than that enjoy your trip to Kabini and Pench. Actually we too thought of Pench first, but zeroed on Tadoba again. Hopefully Pench will be in next summer. I just realized that last year we were in Tadoba on same dates as this time.
Thank you. Want to do Bandhavgarh again if time/work permits. Only 3 more months left of this season to get over. Got to make the most out of it. You too have a wonderful trip & post a travelogue Remember, Tadoba never disappoints.

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Old 10th April 2017, 14:53   #44
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Final part of the Bandhavgarh trip.

Round 3 - Mar 03rd afternoon safari - We entered the forest by route B & all the gypsies were lined up & waiting for the Rajbehra boys in the same area we had seen them in the morning. So we decided to move on & quickly went to the centre point, made the entry & took route C by which we were supposed to return.

We were in the territory of a tigress named Spot-T (she has such a stripe pattern on her forehead). We were in place where there is a meadow to our right & on the left its full of trees & shrubs. Our guide asked the driver to stop as he said he saw something move behind the bushes (the distance between us & the place where he saw something move was about 40 to 50 meters). The driver stopped & we could hear water flowing as there was a small nallah with water. In about 2 to 3 minutes the guide said Tiger & we had no clue where it was. He pointed at the direction in which the Tiger was behind the bushes looking at us. By the time we could figure it out the tiger cubs (2 of them started moving). They went further behind the bushes & started playing in the water as we could hear water splashing but could not see them.

We were not sure if the mother (Spot-T) was with the cubs (she has 3 cubs around 9 to 10 months old). So we decided to wait. Ours was the only gypsy there. After about 10 to 15 minutes we see a tiger moving & coming towards us. Its still not clear if is the mother or one of the cubs. Then it entered a fairly open place where in we could see the tiger clearly. There she was the mother of the 3 cubs. She walked a couple of meters & slept in the open on a bed of dry Sal leaves & under the shade of the tall Sal trees where in the afternoon harsh light was filtered. By then gypsies had started to arrive & that provoked her to move away. She crossed the safari track & moved to the meadow side & disappeared. The cubs did not follow her. Later on when thought she would cross another track which leads to a waterhole & moved from where we were. All gypsies also followed. That was the moment the cubs had crossed & when we came back to the initial spot we could see 2 of the cubs sleeping behind the bushes. I did not even take any images of that because they were not visible fully.

04th Mar - Morning (Tala) & afternoon (Magadhi) rounds - We had our safaris scheduled in Tala for the morning round & Magdhi zone for the afternoon round. The morning round was uneventful for us though a couple of gypsies saw Spot-T crossing the safari track carrying a Sambar Kill (2 days old).

We had decided to wait it out at a couple of places in Magadhi Zone during the afternoon round where in there was a tigress (Kankatti Jr) with three 3 months old cubs. There were alarm calls throughout the safaris in one particluar place where we even saw pug marks of the mother & the cubs. We knew they were in that place but they never graced us with their sighting. There were 2 other male tigers seen in the morning round but we had our sights set on this family.

05th & 06th Mar - we had 2 rounds in Magadhi on 05th Mar & 1 last morning round in Khitouli on 06th Mar. We did see a Leopard resting on a fallen tree branch beside the main road when we were returning back from evening safari from Magadhi on 05th Mar evening. However it was dark & we were not able to take any images. But the sighting was very good as seeing a Leopard in Bandhavgarh in dark is very rare & that too at a close distance. Other than this we had not other sightings.

The first image below is of one of Rajbehra's male cub which we saw during the 03rd Mar morning safari. The other 2 images are of Spot-T taken during the 03rd Mar afternoon drive.

Did 4 rounds in Nagarhole on 08th & 09th of Apr. No cat sightings this time though . Will post a small travelogue later this week with a few images of other fauna that I managed to click. Till then enjoy these last few images from my Bandhavgarh trip.
Attached Thumbnails
Tadoba Wilderness!-rajbehra-cub-snarling.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-spotty-entry.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-spotty.jpg  

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Old 14th April 2017, 16:44   #45
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Did a quick dash to Nagarhole (Kutta side) last week. Left Bangalore at around 1 AM on 08th April (Saturday). Took Mysore road & from Mysore reached Hunsur. Reached the Veerahosanahalli check post (gate) by 5.15 AM. The roads are good throughout with little patch work done between Mysore & Hunsur stretch (nothing that you will complain about). Had booked 4 safaris through JLR & had booked stay at Bramhagiri estate in Kutta.

The estate is big but not maintained well. I would not recommend staying there with family. Moreover it is around 14 kms from Kutta forest gate.The only highlight of the place is the view & it is surrounded by the Bramhagiri mountains.

Just the previous weekend, there was a sighting of a tigress with Gaur kill. It had rained quite well in the last 3 days here & I was prepared for a trip with no cat sightings. The forest is bone dry with soaring temperatures & the animals are really suffering. The worst affected are the elephants. Not a good sight However the rains had filled few waterholes with little water & the safari tracks were fairly damp. Tracking pug marks was a little easier but there was absolutely no movement as we did not come across a single pug mark. The rains have definitely got some respite to the fauna as they have some water sources inside with little water.

This however gave me an oppurtunity to enjoy the beauty & eerie silence of the forest. Managed to click images of a few forest denizens. Finished our last afternoon safari on 09th APR (Sunday). Started our return journey from Hunsur at 7.30 PM after a tea break. Stopped at Hotel Vaishali (just before Channapatna) for dinner & was back home by 12 AM.

Below are a few images taken during this trip.
Attached Thumbnails
Tadoba Wilderness!-fawn.jpg  

Tadoba Wilderness!-bonnet-macquaq.jpg  

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