After the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to take a three-month vacation to my home country of India. I flew from Vancouver, Canada to India in the first week of November 2022.
In addition to visiting my family and friends, I had planned to go on a tiger safari in central India. This was going to be my third tiger safari expedition, having previously gone on safaris at Todaba in Nagpur in 2012 and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh in 2020.
A few days after arriving in Mumbai, I called my friend Deep Kathikar, who had joined me on my previous safari as a professional naturalist. We discussed our plan for this tiger safari and he suggested that I explore two forests: Kanha and Pench. Although I had already seen Kanha on my last visit, this would be my first time visiting Pench. Deep made all the necessary arrangements for my stays and safaris. Following is the link to my blog posts about my previous tiger safaris at Kanha in 2020. The first three blogs in the series are about the safaris.
Madhya Pradesh Blogs – pranaymeher.com
I would like to take a moment to introduce Deep and his company, Wild Angle Safaris. Deep and his father, Shirish Kathikar, are the founders of the company. Deep is a passionate wildlife enthusiast and photographer who has extensive knowledge about the forests and the flora and fauna. If you are looking to go on a tiger safari in central India then I highly recommend booking through Wild Angle Safaris. You can find their website, Facebook, and Instagram handles in the text.
Website : Wild Angle Safaris
Facebook : Wild Angle Safaris | Nagpur
Instagram : Wild Angle Safaris (@wildanglesafaris) • Instagram photos and videos
I flew from Mumbai to Nagpur in the morning. I had booked a hotel stay for the day and on the next day I was to meet Deep and embark upon the journey to Madhya Pradesh for our tiger safaris. My friend Swapnil Choudhary had come to receive me at the Nagpur airport. This was my third visit to Nagpur and just like the previous two, this time too Swapnil had come to receive me. He and I used to work at the same workplace in Mumbai many years ago. He had left the industry to pursue his luck at business in his own city. And I must say that he had made the correct move at the correct time.
During my visit in 2012 I had seen how passionate he was for wildlife and wildlife photography. He was among a few of my friends who possessed DSLR cameras back then.
Now, Swapnil runs a business designing and manufacturing custom gates for wildlife sanctuaries. His designs reflect the flora and fauna found beyond the gates and are a testament to his creativity and passion for the wild. It’s clever how he came up with a business idea that brought him closer to his lifelong passion. Following is some of the work by Swapnil.
As we drove away from the airport, Swapnil asked about my plans for the day. I informed him that my first task was to check into a hotel. However, he was unhappy with my hotel booking in Nagpur and encouraged me to cancel it. Instead, he kindly offered for me to stay with him and his family. I already knew his family since 2012, so I felt comfortable staying with them and they with me.
After arriving at Swapnil’s home, I freshened up and enjoyed a cup of tea made by his wife. Then, Swapnil invited me to join him on a trip to visit several nature parks on the outskirts of town for some errands. He suggested that I could explore the parks while he met with the forest officers.
Our first stop was at the Gorewada Zoological Park. Swapnil pointed out a large lake in the park and then went to meet with a forest officer. The lake was filled with migratory birds, and I spent a few hours taking photographs. Although the birds were quite far away, I was still able to capture a few usable shots. Here are a few photographs that I think turned out well.
Deep arrived at Swapnil’s place with his father, Mr. Shirish Kathikar, around 10:45 am. Swapnil and I packed our bags and the four of us set off on our journey to Kutwahi in Madhya Pradesh. Our accommodation for the next few days was at the Grace Villa Resort.
During our drive, we took a break to enjoy some delicious theplas made by Swapnil’s wife and a special chutney prepared by his mother. We also stopped for lunch before reaching our resort. The total journey time was around 6 hours.
Upon arrival at the resort, I was impressed by its peaceful and serene setting, surrounded by forest and away from the nearby village. We relaxed and had tea and snacks by the campfire in the evening. Here are a few photos I took with my phone during my stay at the resort
This is the end of the first blog in my tiger safari blog series. From the next blog onwards you will get to see the photos of tigers I managed to click.
Here’s a brochure of ‘Wild Angle Safaris’ for anyone who wants to book a safari
Hi, I’m Pranay. Welcome to my website. This is my space where I share my travel stories, my musical progress, photographs and some CG/VFX related stuff.