First of all I would like to thank you very much for two extraordinary tours and for all the hard work you and your staff put into them. As you joined the students again in the end of their tour I will not give a summary of this - just tell you that they had a wonderful stay with lots of fantastic experiences in "Incredible India". I promised the students to ask if you could send some of your best pictures to them (on my e-mail). Personally I would very much appreciate some of your pictures of the big bull elephant from Corbett with nice tuskers
Back to the summary of the Big Cat Tour and with special focus on the carnivore sightings which was the major theme:
The full group saw 13 different tigers (best guess +/- 1 as we were split in different cars), 2 jungle cats, 1 leopard and 3 dhole on the four days in Bandhavgarh and Kanha.
My personal record was as follows:
1st game drive (afternoon) in Bandhavgarh:
- Two 6-7 months old tiger cubs in a distance on a cliff watched for 10-15 minutes.
- 15-20 minutes close encounter of a huge full grown male ("The Intruder" that chased B2 away from the centre of the park!) including swimming in a pond.
2nd game drive (morning) in Bandhavgarh:
- 20-30 minutes close encounter with a young female (3,5 years) while hunting (no success), mirroring in pond and finally passing 2 meters from the jeep
3rd game drive (afternoon) in Bandhavgarh:
- 20-30 minutes close encounter with a young male (2-3 years) walking, resting, yawning etc. in perfect afternoon sunlight.
4th game drive (morning) in Bandhavgarh:
- Close encounter with an old tigress swimming and walking for 10-15 minutes
1st game drive (morning) in Kanha:
- 3 Dhole 40- 50 meters from the jeep eating a Chital
2nd game drive (afternoon) in Kanha:
-Close encounter with a Jungle Cat
-Leopard female in a distance on cliffs
3rd game drive (morning) in Kanha:
- Very close encounter with a tigress and her 7-8 months old cub (two other cubs hiding) from elephant bag
In top of that we had lots of good sightings of 16 other mammal species and lots of birds (approx. 150 species).
Some of the highlights in Kenya and Tanzania including 24 lions, 3 leopards and 10 cheetahs:
-A huge group of elephants (100-150) around the car including a "giant tusker"
- Clear afternoon view of snow capped Kilimanjaro
-Female leopard in a lonesome tree only 5 metres from/above the car
- 2 other leopards (one male and one female) in more distant trees
-2 single female cheetahs very close
- 1 single male cheetah eating a hare close to the car
- Cheetah female with subadult male cub very close
-Cheetah female with three 2-3 months old cubs passing a few meters from the car
- Two mating "honeymoon" couple of lions - one very close
- Two groups of lions with 2 males and 3-4 females around the car
- Two groups of 3-4 females very close
-Very wet but beautiful green and blossoming Serengeti with the migrating wildebeest, zebras and gazelles all around
-Visit in Ngorongoro Crater with crystal clear skies and 4 black rhinos sighted
Only the number of lions was not impressive, but 20 out of 24 sighted were just beside the car, which is better than distant sightings of a higher number.
In top of that another 42 species of mammals and approximately 200 species of birds - plus some amphibians and reptiles including a python.
I will compile a series of the best pictures for you in a few weeks.
Thank you again and all best wishes also to "Incredible Laxmi"
T/L Big Cat Group & Student Study Tou