Rules of Jungle

Rules of Jungle

I had been watching pictures of wild animals posted by my friends from different parts of the world and always wondered if I would enjoy watching the animal kingdom in its natural habitat. When Pugdundee Safaris invited me on a week-long wildlife trip to Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, I was a bit apprehensive.

kanha wildlife @lemonicks.com

Morning rays welcome us into the jungle.

I was pushed by my friends, both offline & online, to look for the most ‘wanted’ animal on such Safaris, a tiger; to go for bird watching or to do this activity or that. I tried to explain to them. It’s not in my hand to control the movements of inhabitants of the forest. It is a whole different world out there. This was almost my first trip to the wildlife and though I knew how to deal with it, I had no idea what to expect there in the jungle.

Can you really isolate one and just look for a particular other? Can you ask a monkey not to jump from one tree to another while you aim to shoot a Black Drongo half hidden in the same branch? Can you request a leopard to come closer so that you can have a better look at his spots? How can you ignore a Sambhar deer looking at you curiously when your eyes search for a tiger?

These things are not in our hands.

sambhar deer in kanha wildlife @lemonicks.com

Sambhar deer is all ears…

But there are certain other things which we can and should control.

Game of patience- It’s a game of patience out there in jungle. It tests your limits. You have to wait for hours to get a glimpse of a particular animal. If you do not have it, you’d probably be spending your valuable time elsewhere. We waited for more than two hours in our jeep before we could spot a tiger. Let me claim here … I was extremely fortunate to see it on my first day itself. I know of people who have done 6-7 safaris without any success.

Not a Zoo- Wildlife reserve is not a zoo where you can find all animals and birds lined together waiting for you for a photo shoot. It is open and it is their natural habitat. Do not, in any way, get disappointed or curse your guide, naturalist for not showing a tiger to you. Don’t force them; it’s not in their hands too. If you are lucky, you’ll definitely spot one. If that is all you want to see, you are not made for the wildlife.

bird in kanha wildlife @lemonicks.com

Checkered Keelback snake, came to surface for breathing.

Dress code- In order to not to disturb the animals, you should try to blend with your surroundings in the wild. It is always suggested to wear dark earthen colors like brown, green, beige, black etc. Refrain from wearing red, pink and whites. Also, avoid using perfumes. You are going into a jungle, not to a party! Animals do not appreciate brands like Chanel, Armani etc & may get agitated. 😛

Not a picnic place – Jungle is not a picnic place. I saw our naturalist stopping the vehicle the moment he noticed a small shining candy wrapper, chips bag or a plastic bottle anywhere. The people out there (staff of forest dept, guides & naturalists), are really taking care of the wildlife. Do not make life difficult for them. There are specific meal zones marked for eating purpose and your driver will definitely take you there during breaks. You can eat & refreshen yourself then.

tiger in kanha wildlife @lemonicks.com

Face to face with His Highness !!!

Much more than a tiger- Wildlife is not only about a tiger. Enjoy the forest and its sounds, feel the ambience rather than chasing that elusive wild cat. We saw two tigers on the first day itself, we could have moved on to next destination. But we continued to go to the same jungle for next few days to see & enjoy the other species of fauna. We saw Sambhar deer, barking deer, Indian Gaur or the Indian Bison, wild boars, elephant, monkeys, snakes, spotted deer and so many varieties of birds.

Keep silence- I saw people coming in large groups with infants, toddlers and young children who were still asleep in their parents’ laps. How on earth can you, as a parent, torture your kid to wake up at 4:30 AM in winters to visit a jungle ? Of course, there are exceptions, but the majority of them will not like sitting in one place without any interesting thing happening.

On one occasion, when occupants of a jeep were waiting patiently, a child got off the vehicle & started walking in the jungle (Getting off the vehicle is strictly prohibited). The driver got down hurriedly to bring him back, by then another child honked the horn !! And then the youngest one, who was fast asleep, started crying in full volume. 🙂

While we are talking of silence, switch off the mobile phones please.

You can see more photos of this trip on my Facebook page.

Note: My trip to Kanha was made possible by Pugdundee Safaris and Kanha Earth Lodge. Opinions are mine.

If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
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34 thoughts on “Rules of Jungle

  1. Lucky you spotted the tiger as well as a snake…in all my N number of jungle visits I have spotted a snake only twice…

    The first picture with Golden light is work of Art…

  2. Very nice post. I guess I fall under the ‘terrible parents’ category coz even I wake my 2-year old son at 4.30 am for safaris and our regular birding trips! We cant leave him behind. Trust me, all is well when they are sleeping 🙂 I remember how much I had freaked out when we had to share a vehicle with other families on a jungle safari. I kept on praying the whole way that the baby should not wake up and bawl!

  3. I really like the rules and yes we should respect them. Also, there is much more than spotting a tiger in Safari, however, i realized this fact only after few visits. Initially, my only aim was to see tiger but after spotting it once, i am not that desperate though i love the excitement of watching tiger.

  4. Beautiful, Fantastic Photos. Very happy after watching his highness.
    Photographs rewind memory when I was at Ranthambhore Park, Rajasthan.
    Thanks for sharing great photos. Keep traveling, Keep writing..

  5. A visit to a jungle should be only to appreciate the beauty of the jungle. Any ‘sightings’ are only a bonus. Not many of us notice, but a lot of plans and flowers are extremely beautiful too…

  6. All very good tips. I went on a safari in Kenya when I was 12. I think I was old enough to appreciate it. As you say it needs patience. Animals don’t appear in front of you when you want them too. It is important to respect the jungle. It is their home after all not yours.

  7. Great written post and very good tips. Never been on a safari and hope to do one soon. I am a patient person so this will be my ideal sort of trip. Lets go to the JUNGLE! 😀

  8. You got incredible photos from the jungle, and thankyou for highlighting that visiting nature preserves, safaris and national parks etc is not a zoo! It amazes and appalls me the ignorance of some tourists who travel for a wild, authentic encounter and then expect the animals to “perform” for you, or jump out of their truck to take a selfie and then wonder why they were attacked!

  9. Absolutely wonderful post Nisha. You guys were certainly lucky to see Tigers on the first day itself, but it’s really nice that you stayed back to explore the jungle even more. That’s the true spirit of travel 🙂

  10. Great photos – watching wildlife in their natural habitat is (in my opinion) the best way to see them. I was on Safari in Africa for 6 weeks last year and after that I said I would never go to a zoo again.

  11. Kanha national park is on our bucket list! Glad to know that you had such a great time! The checkered keelback snake shot looks great! What a moment to capture. Will keep Pugdundee safaris in mind for our visit.

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