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Old 29th January 2020, 21:43   #1
PatchyBoy's Avatar
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Default Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky

In the past, I had gone on a safari to Nagarhole, where we spotted a leopard crossing the road about 100 feet ahead of us. No one had a camera handy, as we were on our way back after the safari. We ended up with just the grainy dashcam footage.

Next I went on a safari to Kabini. This time, we spotted a tiger. But it was resting in the shade of a tree, across a pond, more than 500 meters away. It was barely visible to the naked eye. I was able to see it by zooming in with my 500 mm lens, but barely. No chance of getting any decent pics, though I tried.

Decided to go back to Kabini on the 25th January. A friend from Bangalore wanted to come along. He arrived at my place by 3:00 AM & we started from home at 4:00 AM.

We had arranged to take the safari from Bison Resort, rather than the Forest Department safari. The FD safari is just 90 minutes, but the Resort safari is 150 to 180 minutes.

We arrived at the resort at 5:00 AM, well in time for the 6:00 AM safari start. The sky was clear, start studded & I couldn't resist trying my hand at astrophotography

Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky-_nz65516.jpg
A star studded sky

The drop off vehicle from the resort started sharp at 6:00 AM and we started the safari in a mini van at 6:30 AM. We spotted the usual deers, birds & elephants for the next 2 hours & 15 mins

Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky-_nz65694.jpg
Woolly necked stork

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Great Egret

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Yellow footed Green Pigeon

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Sambar Deer

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Crested Serpent Eagle

The time was 9:00 AM and it was time to head back. We resigned to no big cat spotting today & started talking about taking the evening safari as well. Then it happened. Someone from the rear of the van said "Tiger". There was no excitement in his voice & we thought he was trying to prank us. Especially, since neither the driver nor the naturalist saw anything.

We look over to the right side of the minivan & there he was. Out of the blue, the dominant male tiger of the territory, decided to show up and walked casually towards our vehicle, crossed the path right in front of us & vanished into the bushes.

He was one massive tiger. He is 8 years old and weighs in at 300 kg, I was told. He was barely 25 feet away and gave us a total cold shoulder. I had a cold shiver running down my spine. After all, it was the jungle and he was a free wild soul there.

Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky-_nz65801.jpg

Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky-_nz65812.jpg

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It was an awesome experience to see this majestic animal up close in the wild. I am one happy camper

Thanks for reading.
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Old 30th January 2020, 08:29   #2
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Default re: Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky

Wow, that's really amazing, we were planning same dates to be at Kabini, however plans got changed, that's one huge male. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 31st January 2020, 12:33   #3
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Default Re: Safari to Kabini - Third time lucky

4:00 AM start and reached by 5:00 AM? I'm assuming you are staying in Mysuru Good to see you had photographically decent tiger sighting. Why didn't you take the safari from JLR itself? Availability issues?
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