1.19.19 - 1.19.19 72 °F
Today we had a wake up call for 0600 so we could get underway for our first safari in the Park starting at 0700. It was chilly. By the time we started our second safari at 1400, the temperature was in the 70's. The quest is to find the elusive Bengal tiger. There are 60 in the park, and the naturalist said that the numbers of tigers in India is growing nation wide. Though we didn't see a Bengal, we did see a leopard on the prowl. This is a very rare sighting during the day time, so we were very fortunate. Safari in Northern India is not for the faint of heart. Off roading on steroids, and tons of dust as this is the dry season. The park actually closes down during the monsoon in July. Too much water and mud. There are 10 tracks in the park and we are doing three different ones. Entry is strictly controlled by the government.
Ranthambhore is a national park in northern India, covering 392 km². Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambhore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include the Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries. Ranthambhore wildlife sanctuary is known for its Bengal tigers, and is a popular place in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. Tigers can be easily spotted even in the daytime. The best times for tiger sightings at Ranthambhore National Park are deemed to be in November and May. The park's deciduous forests are characteristic examples of the type of jungle found in Central India. Other fauna include the Indian leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, striped hyena, sloth bear, southern plains gray langur, rhesus macaque, mugger crocodile and chital. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India.