The mysterious sub-continent of India has a lot to offer wildlife photographers, but like many, I went there really only hoping to see one thing – the magnificent Bengal tiger! I was living out my dream to see one of these awesome predators recently on a photographic safari, and had more luck than I could have ever expected.
Things started off slowly with no tiger action on the first two drives, but they did give us a glimpse of the extreme beauty that the Indian landscape has to offer. Wild peacocks, jungle fowl and treepie’s were out in full force adding colour to the bush that was drying up in the anticipation of summer. Spotted deer (the tiger’s most common prey) and the unusual looking barking deer would pop up from time to time, giving our cameras practice runs for when they were aimed at the prized target. The real excitement of the first two safaris however, was the anticipation of seeing a wild tiger. We searched through the thick forest vegetation, finding nothing but tracks (which were photographed of course); we waited at the popular waterholes with only the playful langur monkeys coming down to greet us; we would even stop and listen at random intervals for sounds that a tiger was near – all very exciting stuff. As much as I enjoy the anticipation of seeing a tiger, it was dwarfed by the excitement, on our third drive, when we heard the gruff call of a tigress nearby. The engines started up, and we raced off in the direction of that beautiful sound. Two minutes later, I was clicking away furiously as my first wild tigress walked straight towards us. We must have looked ridiculous – a vehicle where only smiles and cameras could be seen! It was a truly fantastic sensation to be in the presence of such a marvelous animal.
We had the privilege of seeing six different tigers during the photo safari, all of which were relaxed with vehicle and very obliging to the cameras.
I have added a short video from the safari below, have a look and let me know what you think!
To join me on safari, click here!