We had been to Ranthambore via Jaipur in April during the Good Friday weekend. The excitement was high and we were hoping that our first safari proves to be good one.
Our safari was scheduled for early morning on day 2 of our stay in Ranthambore. We were all set and our ride began. We had opted for a gypsy over canter as we were 5 of us, besides a couple. It not only scores over canter in its movement but it’s also more comfortable.
Sharing some interesting trivia here: In the video above you will see a green colored orb dancing merrily along with us through out our drive. “Green orbs are believed to be spirits tied to nature, such as nature sprites or nymphs. Some theories also include angels and various spirit guides. The connecting essence is the love of nature. A person who is connected in spirit to the natural world may be visited by spirits in the form of green orbs.” (Source: What Do Green Orbs Mean? By Sally Painter Paranormal Researcher and Seer) ……. Now this is so me ❤
The breeze had a pleasant chill even though the country was reeling in much higher temperatures in April itself. It was a pleasant surprise for us and somewhere deep inside I knew it was going to be a great day.
We were only some 30 odd minutes into the safari that we came across this unidentified handsome tiger*. Unidentified as he was not from the Ranthambore pack of Bengal Tigers. It was suspected he had come in from one of the nearby tiger reserve or jungle. He is probably T-101 son of T-9 aka Dara female.
He was such a delight …… not only because coming across him was a surprise for even the forest rangers, but also the fact that he proved to be the show stopper of our safari.
I was all smiles while I clicked him happily strolling with grace and pride down his ramp in the wilderness. He just did not care about the shutterbugs around him. He simply kept us enthralled with his majestic presence.
Sharing some captures (point & shoot) that are close to my heart. On such occasions I wish I had telescopic lenses but then I guess I am thankful for the memories my photos carry……. they are unique and priceless for me!
After this sighting I felt thankful for being lucky. I knew there was no room for complaint even if this was the only one we saw 🙂 Being a nature lover I was also captivated by the beautiful topography the park had to offer.
After a while we got the lead of tigress Arrowhead** ( T84) being around; she is currently the reigning Queen of Ranthambore.
We got a fleeting view of her amidst the Khus grass (Vetivaria zizznioides) before she quickly disappeared into a trench. The below photos are the only decent ones that I can share.
In the above picture you can see a bit of her back and head through a trench she went disappeared into. The sightings were in Zone 1 and Zone 3 as per sequence shared. It was presumed that Arrowhead was headed towards a group of spotted deer around a water body. This was somewhat true as the peacefully grazing deer were suddenly all alert and running.
The safari groups waited patiently near the Padam Talao (lake) but the tigress remained elusive. As for me the jungle had so much to offer — the trees, the birds, the lake, the fort made the landscape enchanting. I already have plans to go there and soak in the beauty at a much slower pace. Maybe in a different season though!
Being able to sight the main animal (tigers in this case) during the safari is a sheer stroke of luck. If you do not sight one, don’t let it dampen your spirits; the dry deciduous forest has lots to offer through its beautiful landscape, avian life and flora-fauna. I simply fell in love with its beautiful, rugged and wild landscape.
This photo above makes me share yet another interesting trivia, about the orange orb 🙂 I spotted them in some of the photos that have been clicked within the Ranthambore National Park. “From a spiritual perspective, red and orange colors are associated with safety and security, as well as a sense of belonging.” (Source: What Do Green Orbs Mean? By Sally Painter Paranormal Researcher and Seer)
The park is blessed with a variety of bird species. A few that I managed to click have been shared — Brahminy Starling, Oriental Darter, Grey Francolin or Patridge, Rufous Treepie, Oriental Magpie Robin, Red-wattled Lapwing, Woolly-necked Stork.
Our safari end around 10:30 am and we stopped over for some tasty kachori aloo subzi from a shop on the opposite side of the Park’s entry gate. We dropped the couple at their hotel and proceeded to the FRH where hot breakfast awaited us.
I remember going through the clicks with glee…….I cannot forget how the landscape of Ranthambore charmed me and how thankful we were for the tiger sighting. The couple who rode with us had done an evening safari the day before and they had seen a tiger hunting, even though it all happened swiftly (maybe they were our lucky mascot, who knows 🙂 )
Sharing some inputs that may help you plan your trip:
- If you have 3 days in hand, opt for a road trip. It has a fun element to it. Else there is always a train & flight
- If you wish, do an online booking for your safari (plan ahead) through the Rajasthan Forest Department link https://fmdss.forest.rajasthan.gov.in/ . Though the best & hassle free option is to do it through your hotel concierge. Direct booking at the park itself can be a bit of a gamble during peak season.
- Summer season (April-May-June) are the best for tiger / wildlife sighting, but with rising temperatures you would need to be well protected from the sun and dehydration. The Park can be visited and enjoyed through out the year except during the monsoons when it is closed for the public (July-Aug-Sep)
- If possible choose a gypsy over a canter for the reasons shared, at the beginning of the post, even though the latter is cost effective
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes as per season. Keep the colors neutral and in sync with forest shades. (I did spot some women in bright colors). Cover your face with scarf and head with a good sun hat to keep yourself safe from the harsh weather and dust. Not to forget a good sun block if you are tripping in summers. Winters can be extremely chilly so carry warm clothes, caps, mufflers etc accordingly
- Each individual must carry their own bottle of water. The gypsy seat had covers with pockets and I could keep my stuff easily in them.
- Avoid taking small children on such safaris as certain situations require stillness / being silent and one cannot expect a child to understand this. I was quiet surprised to see a family taking along a 1-2 year old child along and no one stopped them at the check post. Though later there was a ruckus on an infant being inside.
- For heavens sake do take advantage of the loo break that you get. There was a huge fight in a canter where a woman was wanting to step out to relive herself and the guide & driver not allowing. We were all at the Padam Talao waiting for the tigress. The situation was very risky but I guess the two succumbed to the joint voice of travelers. Thankfully nothing untoward happened when she & her companion got off. This can be perilous, so do not even think about it.
- You are not allowed to carry any eatables so please be true to yourself and not sneak in any.
- You will be picked and dropped from your hotel by the gypsy / canter so be on time and not eat into the safari time.
- Please do enjoy the landscape and the forest for all its treasures. Be happy even if you do not spot a tiger ….. maybe you are meant to come again for another safari or another trip 🙂
- Do carry your binoculars as some moments are reserved for our eye lenses; it could be a tiger sighting too. Do not waste time trying to capture it in vain.
The time is just right for a trip to Ranthambore…….. hope you make one this year!
You can read about Things to do in Ranthambore here, Ranthambore, as good as it sounds!
“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and the untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey”
* Arrowhead is the grand daughter of the famous late tigress Machali (T16) aka ‘Queen Mother of Tigers’, ‘Tigress Queen of Ranthambore’, ‘Lady of the Lakes’, ‘Crocodile Killer’ and daughter of tigress Krishna (T19)
* A recent response to my pictures is that this tiger is T-101, now resident of Zone 1. He is the son of T-9 female Dara (non tourism circuit)
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Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe