Wildlife Sightings


November 25th, 2014 by Sandeep Varma

Nagarhole – ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’

It was my first safari into the beautiful forest of Nagarhole, and Mr. Venkatesh Kolappa, one of the best naturalists of Kabini, navigated our driver into the forest. Just as our vehicle crossed the check post, we were pulled back to a stop, and a female elephant gracefully emerged from the lantana thickets. Even as this majestic creature continued walking, jungle mynas perched fearlessly on it, to feed on any tiny insects present on the elephant’s back.

The Majestic Tiger!

The Majestic Tiger! (Photo Credit: Sandeep Varma)

Resuming our safari, we moved into the forest and drove past numerous packs of spotted deer. Soon after, another halt was inevitable as a jeep that passed by alerted us about the presence of a tiger in the vicinity. The air around us was buzzing with excitement and our adrenalin levels began soaring. In just around 10 minutes we were all left awestruck, as we were graced by the presence of the regal creature as it crossed the old Mysore road. He stopped and looked at us, completely unfazed by the presence of a vehicle or humans, and continued his determined journey, deeper into the forest. It was my first tiger sighting, and its beauty overwhelmed me. It is by far the most fearless and attractive mammal I have ever seen.

The Silent Onlooker - The Leopard

The Silent Onlooker – The Leopard

We couldn’t stay there for much longer and had to proceed with our safari. After another 25 minutes into the national park, the driver brought our jeep to a standstill. All of us began frantically looking for the reason of our halt this time. Only when he pointed to the left did we notice the leopard that stood frozen with its eyes fixed on our vehicle. It seemed to have been observing us intently for a while. By the time my brain processed the whole sighting, the leopard had disappeared into thin air, quite like Houdini!

All that begins well should end well, and our safari too had a brilliant conclusion. As we neared the end of our safari, a large black mammal crossed the road just ahead of our vehicle. It was a sloth bear with her cub. The sheer sight of us drove the mother and the cub right back into the thickets. As the safari concluded, our guests were at a loss for words to describe their experience. This was the perfect farewell for Mr. Venkat – and the best welcome for me. It’s safe to say that I’m in love with Kabini.

Nagarhole – ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’
Sandeep Varma
Sandeep Varma – Senior Executive Naturalist in Orange County Resorts, is a wildlife enthusiast from 'God's Own Country'. To pursue his childhood passion, he changed his core area from computer application to conservation biology, and did his post graduation in the same. An enthusiastic and quick learner, he served at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, where his interest grew deeper in ecology, studying animal behaviour and conservation of wildlife - especially amphibians and reptiles.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 4:49 am and is filed under Big Cat, Carnivore, Mammals, Nature, Predators, safari. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Nagarhole – ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’”

  1. agitri dharman Says:

    I shall hope that you may give Mr. V Kolappa My gracious felicitations and My family’s best wishes for His future

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