Husband and I started this year with a trip to Bandipur Tiger Reserve, another one added in our never ending quest to see the mighty Tiger in its natural habitat. Before this trip we had done around 8-9 safaris (together and individually), and with our cumulative bad luck so far we decided not to rely on it. Considering Mommy and Daddy in law were successful in past in spotting a tiger and Mom-Dad would bring their beginners luck with them, we decided to tag along with them. So on the 1st of January the six of us hopped into an Innova and took a fun filled road trip to Bandipur, of course with a pit stop to family favorite breakfast place – Kamath Lokaruchi.
Before I move on to other details, a special shout out to the folks at Jungle Lodges and Resorts. A great and an extremely hospitable place to stay during your wildlife quests. Helpful staff who are ever eager to make your stay comfortable. And what else, they had been supporting digital transactions long before our government started advocating it. There is a quaint little sign placed at the entrance – “No cash accepted. Only credit/debit card transactions allowed.”
So we started our evening safari with vigor, excited to spot the wildlife in the reserve, learn some new names and click some great shots. However, it seemed like even the jungle citizens were having a bad new year eve hangover. We hardly spotted anything. By the end of those uneventful 3 hours, we just reeked of dust and the jungle commoners – spotted deers and jungle fowls – felt like next door neighbors. You keep on seeing them everywhere you looked! The king of the jungle had ditched us once again. There wasn’t even an alarm call heard. To add to the dismay, a group of lucky wildlife enthusiasts had spotted two leopards during their evening safari. The disappointment however was washed down over a cup of warm tea and plateful of freshly fried pakoras and much family love. And a dinner and a night time stroll later, we were happily saying good night and looking forward to a new day, new safari.
The eagerness woke us up even before the 5:30 AM wakeup call. And this time around there was loads to ogle at. A baby elephant, barking deer, peacocks, eagles, kingfishers, woodpeckers, storks, flycatchers, bee-eaters and plenty of other birds we couldn’t even catch the name of. BUT the captain of the jungle team had evaded us yet again. The rush we had felt when we heard a Sambar deer alarm call was let down by no sightings.
Why-o-why oh mighty King,
Like birds of the jungle, we sing.
Why-o-why we can’t see,
The fabulously striped thee.
Thus we ended our journey to the dreamland with a lovely spread of breakfast and the giddiness of knowing that nobody else spotted a tiger either
started back for Bangalore. The absence of the predators was felt but not so
deeply because of the awesome company. The 24-hour long outstation trip with
parents is something you all should try. Its fun! TVF could probably think of a
sequel to Tripling.