Words By Chris Jones

Ranthambhore

January 28, 2020

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Looking for Tigers

After our frankly mind-blowing visit to the city of Jaipur, we hopped onto the train for the second phase of our journey.  Destination: Ranthambhore National Park. The journey wasn’t too long so we stayed awake, read our books, and stared at the scenery as fields of mustard, plains of greenery and mountains rushed past us. Stage two of our honeymoon was to step up the luxury a little with a 3 night stay at The Ranthabhore Kothi, a hotel within the national park. We had booked two jeep safaris for our stay, and had high hopes of seeing a tiger in its natural surroundings…

Each of the safaris took us around two zones within the park and at different times of day. Some of our fellow passengers told us they had seen tigers on their previous outings.  It seemed everyone we had spoken to had seen a tiger in the past few days!  As you can imagine, there was a swelling of excitement for the entirety of our two outings.

Still Looking for Tigers

The drivers impressed with their skill. Seriously rough terrain collided with sudden inclines followed by quick drops. Meanwhile the guides continued with their banter, without missing a beat. The views were astonishing, dry plateaus leading down to dusty jungles. These wild lands were home to samba deer, lazy crocodiles, tiny kingfishers, buffalo and many other species of wild animals and birds. Somewhere, extremely hidden; the elusive tiger… would one reveal itself to us?

Well, unfortunately not.  However, we were blessed and privileged to have seen leopards on two occasions; once in the jungle in the afternoon and again the following morning, idly climbing the park fence before crossing the road, directly in front of our vehicle!

On our final day we took a trip to Ranthambhore Fort, an ancient battlement standing strong to this day, overlooking the national park. As we found during a lot of our time in India, there were many steps, but this was offset with spectacular views and fascinating ancient architecture.

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