Not Africa but close!

Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Not Africa but close!

At the suggestion of someone on the Asian forum, I will repost my trip report here. I've been a frequent poster on this forum. It's not Africa but close in terms of wildlife..lions, tigers, leopard, rhino and elephants...quite an array of wildlife, outside of Africa, I don't think anywhere else compares...plus great cultural experiences as well. Included pictures:

Had an absolutely remarkable trip to India...used Easy Tours of India and they did an excellent job...I knew exactly where I wanted to go...had a limited number of days but it was wonderful. My itinerary would not be every one's choice as I'm a bit of a travel warrior...I will go on long drives or whatever it takes to see what I'd like to see...but the rewards were worth it to me...

Trip went something like this: Kaziranga NP in Assam for four nights (Wild Grass Lodge)

flight to Rajkot via Mumbai (overnight), drive to Gir Forest in Gujarat, two nights

Flight out of Diu to Nagpur and drive to Bandhavgarh NP for three nights

Drive to Khujaraho to see the temples and train to Delhi (flight was cancelled)

Then morning train to Haridwar for two nights---trip to Reshikesh

back to Delhi and flight home...

Tigers:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...9&id=610038487



Lions:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...f&id=610038487



Rhinos:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...6&id=610038487



Gurus and Swamis: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...e&id=610038487



http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...2&id=610038487



On the Brahmaputra: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...c&id=610038487



Khajuraho: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&id=610038487


gatoratlarge is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:57 PM
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"These pics are unfortunately not as I would have liked...my camera fell as my foot got hung up in the saddle of an elephant (damn Crocs!) and the camera tumbled to the ground, busting the zoom and the focus! Had to buy a new one in Bombay."
One does not have the opportunity to say this very often!

"Tiger Country!"
Breathtaking.

Earthy cooking – my fav!

"The foothills of the Himalayas…"

The people! The colors!

*The "Erotic" Temples*

"...call it clever marketing"

For sure!

"The foothills of the Himals; Source of the Mighty Ganga"

Footprints…

Shukriya for taking me to India this afternoon!

Ozasro dhanyabad
Denbasking is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Great pictures. I've been to India twice, but haven't yet been to Gir or the Northeastern States.

How were the travel arrangements at Gir -- decent lodging? And what's the transport like in the park (open or closed vehicle).

I'm also looking into a trip to visit the seven or so Northeastern states, and would like to spend time at Kaziranga -- do you recall how far its located from the nearest airport?

Thanks, Michael
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:21 PM
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Brilliant Joel! You take some of the most interesting, and adventurous trips. Great photos, I'm glad you posted it on the Africa board too.

I was just thinking about your Gabon trip last night as I was doing some research.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the replies...

Are you planning a trip to Gabon soon? It might take a few years but I'd like to go back and see Loango NP and maybe Odzala?

The accomodations in Gir were quite nice---stayed at the Gir Bird Lodge I believe it was called...there are a couple pictures...it's set in a mango grove and abuts the park...the food was good and the rooms had AC...I odn't know of other accomodations but it was what Easy Tours of India arranged for me. I think there are several other good options though I really liked the Lodge...

For Kaziranga I flew into Guwahati which I beleve is the capital of Assam. Bout a 5-6 hour drive to Kaziranga from there...it probably has the most frequent air service to Delhi etc...

For Gir I flew into Rajkot and it was a 5 hour drive from there I think....then flew out of Diu which was a little closer...The distances are perhaps not that far but the roads can be pretty bad at times...some not so bad though.

The gibbon reserve was closer to Jorhat...
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:55 PM
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PS The Gir vehicles are open ...I thought it was a cute sounding mis-statement of Jeep as the Indians called them Jeepsies, but in fact, I read the brand on the back of one of the vehicles and it was called Gypsy...
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Nice pics, gatoratlarge - where did you stay in Bandhavgarh? and how did you cope with the crowds at sightings?

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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:41 PM
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WOW! Beautiful pics gator! Looks like a very productive trip for sightings. A little too close to the lions for my comfort but excellent!
Thanks!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Beautiful tiger photos!

All the galleries are great, and I happened upon your Mahale gallery from way back when reading Dana's itinerary.

Thanks so much for posting the India trip report here as well. Fantastic.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:21 PM
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I stayed at Tiger Den Lodge at Bandhavgarh---there are fancier places (at least one) as the Taj group has opened a lodge near there but it was plenty comfortable and clean---food very good...

The crowds were surprising and detracted from the experience...India is quite different from Africa for sure! Tigers are the main attraction and so if there is information re: a tiger's whereabouts..it spreads to all the guides...then its hari kari trying to get to the spot first...

B2 is the dom male in the territory and he was spotted in a cave napping in the a.m. so when the time came for the afternoon drive, there were probably 15 jeeps waiting for him to emerge...he never did, but our guide felt he had just moved to a spot not visible from the road and sure enough, after all but our jeep had left, B2 emerged onto the rocky cliffs...it was rewarding but we had to wait patiently for two hours for the sighting...

I might add that seeing a tiger in the wild is as thrilling a sight as I've had with the big cats...there is something very special about the tiger...

We used a less travelled track in a different part of the park to get away from the maddening crowds (school holiday time apparently) and had not seen too much till the end of the drive. A leopard spooked and ran from close by, nearly into a herd of spotted deer...the alarm cries of langurs and the deer were riotous...the leopard in India seemed a good bit smaller and darker than the African leopard from what I could tell...
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
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Wonderful photos Joel. Thanks for posting here. The tiger photos are excellent. My favorite is the one you captioned that he was looking into your eyes. The scenery, architecture, and people photos are also excellent. The colors of India really shine through.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Thanks Dana---I see that you are going to India next---you will love it I think!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:04 PM
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Thanks for the info, gatoratlarge - sounds like a good trip!

Re Leopard - It's hard to tell because they are quite skittish unlike the ones in SA etc etc., that are relaxed .... perhaps a bit smaller than the African leopard, but, I wouldn't necessarily think the spots are brighter .....
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 04:01 AM
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I;'m not sure except for the one I saw---may not have been representative of most---it just seemed to be duskier or darker overall than the ones I have seen in Africa
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:16 AM
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Joel: yes, just looking at a Gabon trip in 2009 but not sure if I can squeeze it in or not I have to see how some things fall for me.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Really enjoyed your pictures. Thank you.

Wish I was there now, but next year is not that far away. Sure hope we even get a glimpse of a tiger but our itinerary doesn't give us the luxury of many days to try. Just one will do.

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