It is very difficult to find the words to describe the experience of seeing your first Wild Tiger. By their very nature, tigers are shy, elusive and most exhibit crepuscular activity. However, there are a few individuals that have accepted our presence through time, and it is these Tigers that offer a us a unique insight into a hidden world.
At sunrise, the forest is beautiful. Rays of light breaking through the canopy, the sound of birds singing, water gushing down rivers and streams. This is an experience in itself.
However, knowing that a desperately endangered, most beautiful and iconic animal resides within these thickets of bamboo and grass gives rise to a unique excitement.
Tigers are creatures of habit, so they can be tracked. Early morning and late evening they often patrol the boarders of their territories. Seeking out their footprints or pugmarks on soft ground, we can predict the general direction the tiger has moved in. Couple this with a knowledge of the jungle topography, the individual, the location of waterholes and prey gatherings etc. we can reasonably predict where we may have an encounter. We also need a little luck!
Once on the trail, encounters can last anything from a few seconds to hours depending on the situation. However when you encounter your first wild tiger, I would urge you to look at her with your own eyes and not through the lens of a camera. This experience will stay with you for the rest of your life. I promise you.
Perhaps in a way, this experience may even make us better. By going to India to see tigers we are actually aiding their long term survival, and providing much needed money and resource into local communities. Just by going to see them, in a way we are giving back,, and that is why I return year after year after year…They need us to.
Time of Year