25 April 2018: To celebrate our trip’s six month anniversary, Tony the Tiger put in an appearance (at last). Third time lucky! This was in Panna National Park 37km south of Khajuraho. Within about 15 minutes of arriving in the park, we caught sight of the striped beast from Bengal feasting on the remains of a sambar deer (apparently its favourite food). While it was quite close (about 30 metres away from our gypsy (jeep)), our view was initially marginally impeded by the teak forest. But when she got up and began to stroll away without a care in the world, you could see just what a big and magnificent cat she was. And this was only a two year old (a cub effectively). Great start to the day (better than the 4.30am alarm!!).
Ok so she didn’t pose for us in the open like the ones on the front of the tourist brochures but we were still happy with our sighting!
We also saw a number of other animals including sambar deer, spotted deer, languar monkeys, a jackal, a mongoose and a mugger crocodile as well as lots of birds including paraqueets, cormorants, hornbills, peacocks and peahens, kingfishers, jungle fowl and herons so all in all, a rewarding safari.
In all these parks you also see evidence of the old Maharaja/British Raj style hunting parties eg in Panna, we saw ruined Maharaja hunting lodges and in Keolado a huge stone plinth onto which was carved the “successes” of hunting parties over the years including the amount of carcasses slain and ammunition used in each hunt.