Our trip to Tadoba in 2014 had not been a very eventful one. We got sightings, but in most cases the sightings were fleeting or from far off. This summer we decided to take our chances again and booked our safaris in Tadoba and Ranthambhor. The Tadoba trip turned out to be awesome with sightings of Sonam and her 3 cubs, Maya and her 3 cubs, Madhuri and Wagdoh (Scarface). When we went to Ranthambhor it was peak summer. The temperatures had reached 48 C in Ranthambhor just a week before.
We took the August Kranti Rajdhani Express from Mumbai to Sawai Madhopur (12953). We could not do the morning safari. Instead we did a tour of the Ranthambhor Fort which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The evening safari was very good with a very great sighting of T64. When we started our safari on 29th, we wondering if we had already seen the best of what Ranthambhor had to offer. After around an hour an half of the safari saw this tiger dozing off in the shade near some tall grass.
Every once in a while it would look around and get the photographers interested
But it would again doze off. The peacocks and deer seemed to be taking him lightly.
But the most that he did was change positions and go back to sleep
After nearly an hour it seemed so sense something and got up and walked into the thick tall grass.
At this point we felt that, this was it, in terms of the tiger sighting. It had gone into thick grass and we had no view of it. Our guide decided to change the jeep position to check if tiger was crossing the road in the route ahead. But just then he saw a group of Sambar walking into the tall grass. It was a given now that a kill was going to happen with the tiger so well camouflaged and the Sambars unaware of its presence. We then heard a blood curdling cry of anguish from the Sambar which confirmed that the tiger had caught the Sambar. We could see the struggle in the bushes.
The sambar was desperately trying to free itself. In effect she started dragging the tiger out of the bushes, with the tiger spiritedly holding on to its leg.
The tiger made several bites to its leg in an effort to get it down. The sambar continued to fight for its life.
Having made its leg useless the tiger went for it spine and at the same time tried to bring it down.
Having brought down the sambar, the tiger went for its neck.
It rolled over the sambar to get at its windpipe.
And finally ended his misery.
Though it made for great photographic moments, it was sad to see the struggles of the sambar. It was a sub-adult tiger which fought fiercely to ensure that its prey did not escape.
The jungle here is awesome and loved it the most of all the sanctuaries that I have visited. Zone 2 is spectacular. We saw a lot of other animals and birds. Check below if you are interested
We stayed at Jhoomar Baori. It is a old palace converted into a hotel. Location is its usp. It is on a small hill right in the middle of the jungle. One can easily see sambars, spotted deer, wild boar, peacocks near the hotel. It has multiple terrace which give great views of the night sky. The rooms are ok.