After completing three successful safaris at Kanha, we traveled to Pench. Deep had arranged for our stay at “Tiger Meadows, Turia.” We spent the latter half of the previous day relaxing and unwinding. Our safari adventure was set to resume from today.
We had to depart relatively early for the Pench safari as the road from our accommodation to the forest was in poor condition. We arrived well ahead of time. Today’s morning safari was set to start from the “Khursapar” gate. Unlike Kanha, there were no street vendors at the Khursapar gate. There was only one tea shop near the gate, providing the only source of light in the dense and dark surroundings. The forest department’s window lit up a while later, and the standard process of verifying tourist documentation began.
The landscape of Pench was vastly different from that of Kanha. While Kanha had vast open spaces, Pench had narrower roads and a less dense forest, which was ideal for tiger sightings. We explored the forest for about 2-3 hours and saw many wild animals, but no tigers. However, a safari vehicle going in the opposite direction informed our driver that a tigress had been spotted near Bandra lake. With time running out, our driver hastened the pace and soon we arrived at a picturesque lake. On the far bank of the lake stood a beautiful wooden watchtower, and nearby, about 20 deers were grazing. Monkeys were also jumping around. We heard some alarm calls and looked in the direction they were coming from. There were already several other vehicles on the spot.
We then heard a growling sound, and the tigress came into view. She was continuously growling, calling for her cubs who had been missing for four days. Our guide informed us that the tigress was named “Baaras.” It was likely that the cubs had been killed by a male tiger. Male tigers may kill cubs for a variety of reasons. By killing the cubs, the female is encouraged to mate again. Tigresses do not mate until their cubs reach a certain age and become independent. By killing the cubs, the male tiger can ensure that the next offspring are his own. Additionally, a new male tiger that takes over a territory may kill the offspring of the previous male to eliminate any potential challenges to his dominance.
Our evening safari at Pench started from the Turia gate, which was much more bustling compared to the Khursapar gate. During this safari, we took in the beauty of the jungle for a while before coming across a spot crowded with other safari vehicles. A tiger was nearby and we managed to catch a quick glimpse, but our view was obstructed by tall grasses. It wasn’t an ideal setting for photography and the obstructions made it difficult to identify the tiger. Despite this being my final safari and not being as productive as my previous ones, I was still incredibly grateful for the experiences I had gained throughout all five of them. I eagerly anticipate my next tiger safari, which will take place next year.
And with this, I end this tiger blog series. In a few months I will add a vlog of the same safari expedition. Thank you.
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.