Sunday, 11 April 2010

Corbett National Park

Greater Indian Hornbill in flight

I recently promised that my next post would be from Hong Kong, but I'll have to negate on that for a little while. You see, I had completely forgotten our lovely 2009 trip to Jim Corbett National Park in the state of Uttarakhand.

We went with a group of friends, hoping - but not really expecting - to see the elusive Bengal tiger. Corbett is one of the more successful parks participating in the prestigious Project Tiger, but the tigers, although plentiful, are much more difficult to spot here than in other national parks. In the end we saw plenty of signs of tiger presence, but no actual sightings of this mighty animal, which perhaps was a good thing considering that much of the time we were looking on foot. Our guide had seen a tiger just a few days earlier while walking the exact same route. He told us that "if a tiger comes and sees us walking here, she will probably turn around and walk away" (italics mine!).

Our walking guide listening, looking and even trying to smell for signs of a tiger

We still had a marvellous trip, though, seeing lots of deer, birds, jackals, dancing peacocks and other animals. The personal highlight for me was definitely our sightings of several Greater Indian Hornbills - a magnificent bird, suffering from "Near threatened" status. It is also the state bird of Nitoli's home state of Nagaland, with it's black and white feathers playing an important role for tribal dress and ceremony. But it was also her first time of seeing this fantastic bird in the wild.

Hornbill Picking Fruit

Langur in the air

Langurs using their athletic skills for less peaceful pursuits

Dancing peacock hidden in the high grass of Corbett

Another dancing peacock - this one clearly with some luck in attracting the "chicks"

A handsome male Kalij Pheasant

A female member of the same species, the Kalij Pheasant. Funny how the Bird Kingdom is so opposite to humans - the males are more beautiful.

In the middle of the picture a jackal makes its way across a typical Corbett landscape

Sambar Deer looking out for jackals and other predators from the relative saftey of the high grass

Female Streak-Throated Woodpecker peacking out from behind a branch

Nitoli looking back towards me at an early morning jeep safari

Finally, we also stayed in a nice resort (Jim's Jungle Retreat) with luxury tents and a very enjoyable swimming pool. Combined with the company of good friends this overall made for a very successful trip.

Dinner at the outdoor but covered dining hall

There's even a cinema showing films about the tiger's and the fight for their survival

Our carpeted luxury tent with en-suite bathroom

The lovely pool, making for a great place to cool down between safaris. It's me and Nitoli at the far end of the pool.

(The events in this blog post took place from 6 to 8 March 2009)

1 comment:

Payal Sharma said...

Excellent blog!!
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