Wildlife encounters in India
By Christopher and Lisa Gibbs, who travelled with us to India
We love travel and visiting wild places. We also are enthusiastic amateur photographers. Having visited southern Africa several times, we decided that this year we would like to find out what India has to offer.
We were warned that the weather in late April was likely to be pretty hot, but told that if we were able to cope with the heat this was one of the best times of year from the point of view of seeing wildlife. Sophie was right on both counts.
We had excellent and very enthusiastic naturalists in both national parks who, once they knew that we were interested in photographing not only tigers but also the other wildlife, large and small, did their utmost to help us.
As with any wildlife photography, the more time one puts in the greater the chances of success, but there is always an element of luck as to whether one sees anything at all.
We were aware that a very confident blue-eyed leopard called Nilu (which translates as Bluey) was being seen fairly regularly in Satpura, but we hadn’t really dared to hope that we would get a reasonable view of him.
We were ecstatic, therefore, that our penultimate day there brought us the wonderful experience of having a fully wild leopard walking calmly and slowly beside our vehicle only a couple of metres away. We could not have asked for better.
A Malabar giant squirrel in Satpura, more concerned with eating figs than about the cameras
A tiger resting during the heat of the day in Kanha National Park
A couple of mating common tiger butterflies photographed from the verandah of our room in Kanha
An Indian roller bursts into colour as it takes flight in Kanha National Park
Incredibly confident around vehicles, Nilu is a blue-eyed leopard who roams Satpura National Park
A rusty spotted cat filmed on a night drive in Satpura National Park
In the heat of the day in Kanha, we sometimes felt that the tigers had the right idea in retreating to the water to keep cool