Every year nearly 80,000 people from all over the world visit the Ranthambore National Park to try and sight the Panthera tigris tigris — the Indian or the Bengal Tiger — in its natural habitat. There are 61 tigers (2014 census) in the park, in 10 designated zones. The chances of seeing a tiger: one in four!
Like the other 79,996 visitors, we too were hoping to see a tiger, and to better the odds, Vibhuti, my niece, had booked three safaris in different zones (1, 3 and 6).
Our first safari was at 2:30pm. As the Cantor (a 16-seater open jeep) rocked and swayed and dipped and climbed the muddy trails, we tried to keep our balance and our eyes wide open to try and spot a flash of orange and black. We saw…
There on a ridge is a leopard, sitting absolutely still! It’s quite rare to see one as they are usually very shy and do not venture out.
Our first safari has ended on a good note!