Safari in Bandipur

24 Oct


After a stressful week, I was thrilled to be getting out of Bangalore for a safari in Bandipur. Realistically Claire and I knew the chances were slim, but both of us really, really wanted to see a tiger. We had heard stories of people waiting over five hours in a watch tower to catch a glimpse of a tiger or the statistic of a 10% chance was mentioned. We still stayed optimistically hopeful. We arrived in Bandipur just before noon on Saturday and checked into the best room ever. The Leopard Room! Sure it was kitschy, but it seemed entirely appropriate and put us in an animal sighting mood. Grr! Just like Summer camp.

We met up with the tour guides and the rest of our group around 4:00 pm near the Jeeps that we would be riding in. These Jeeps were entirely necessary for the uneven terrain. There were a few times I thought I was going to get bounced right out of the back.

The trek started out slow and we saw a few birds, monkeys, bison and wild boar, which my Panasonic Lumix was entirely not right for capturing. The tour guide was pretty excited about spotting these wild dogs so I zoomed in as close as I could.

I personally loved the spotted deer. They were so pretty and didn’t get spooked by the rumbling Jeep.

After an hour, the rain started to kick in and the guides told us the animals would most likely go into hiding. Well, of course. We were the idiots riding around out in the rain. With my face and hoodie wet with rain, I wanted to go into hiding right about then too. Just at that moment, we saw a lone elephant eating.

Shortly after that we entered a scene in Jurassic Park. We spooked a mama elephant and she started trumpeting and charging our jeep. Then another elephant showed up to back her up. They were literally a few feet away from our Jeep. Ack! One in front and one in back. Did I mention there was a baby with us? I would say she was probably 8 months old and she started to get a little freaked out by all the commotion so we had to drive off. Luckily Claire captured this video on her Flip. Exhilarating!

[Vimeo 16137515]

That definitely got our adrenaline going. No tiger sightings in Bandipur, but at least we got a nice dose of elephants. All this safari business really makes me want to go to Africa. Who else wants in?

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One Response to “Safari in Bandipur”

  1. Brock October 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Looks like so much fun! Wish I could’ve been there 🙂

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