It’s 6:30am and we are ready and waiting for our second safari, this time in Zone 2. As we get into the Cantor, Madhu Bhabhiji says emphatically, “We will see a tiger today!”
Just a few minutes into the safari, after we enter the park through the Jogi Mahal Gate, the guide announces that he has just received information about a tiger being spotted! He asks us to keep quiet and hold tight!! The next 10 minutes are like being on a roller coaster — Vibhuti had been sharing her experience of the Dubai desert safari and this felt very much like being on one. We just had to admire the driver’s control driving at that speed on the rough terrain, even as we are flung around laughing helplessly!
The scene at the lake where we finally stop was surreal. As many as six cantors and four jeeps, all in all about a 100 people are huddled together waiting for the tigress Krishna and her three cubs to make an appearance. Apparently she hasn’t had a kill for two days and is looking for prey, but fortunately for us not the two-legged variety : )
We stand in our cantors waiting patiently in complete silence, focused on the grass in front of us, watching for any movement. The tall grass is the perfect hiding place, but occasionally we can just about glean a tail moving or an ear flapping.
After almost an hour, Krishna decides to reward our patience and walks out into the only sparse patch of grass, giving us our wish — to see a tiger in the wild! With her tail held high, along with two of her cubs, she walks off majestically, uncaring of the 100 pairs of eyes, the cellphone cameras and the huge telephoto lenses trained on her.
Truly a magnificent and unforgettable encounter!