Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans


Monday 5th of December 2016 and we didn't leave the Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort until 06:15 today as we needed to go to the forest office. And they don't open until 6 thirty. I had a shower, vitamin tablets, some mango juice and my good morning physio therapy (or whatever they call it) for my knees. Same routines every morning.

It was a misty morning as we have grown used to by now. When we approached the forest office jetty we could see the boat coming with the office staff and we could see the tourist guides coming with another boat form the other side of the river.

We need a new permit as we have planned to visit something they call the “core” area today. This is the 1300 SQ. KM National park part of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve So this promise to be exciting and fun. We got our permit and we set course for the “core” area.

It is illegal to fish, collect honey and enter the narrow channels in the Tiger Reserve. Honey collectors and fishermen are tiger's favourite food. And we were told at the forest office that one of the illegal fishing boats we had seen 2 days ago had lost one man to a tiger. The tiger had just jumped on board and taken one of the fishermen for food.

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Office staff coming to work

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Office staff coming to work

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
The Guides are coming to work

We have our Guide for 6 days so he come to the hotel in the morning. Otherwise all the Guides have to come to the forest office in the morning. At the end of the month they split all the money equal between the Guides, sometimes there are not enough tourist boats so they have to split the money at the end of the month. So the Guides are on a roll, finish one boat and then down to the bottom of the list again.

We had found fresh tiger tracks yesterday. A tiger had crossed the channel so we drove around the island but no sign of the tiger. Same today, fresh tiger tracks but we didn't bother going around the island. We continued towards the “core” area.

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Fresh tiger tracks in the mud

Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata, Storspov
Eurasian Curlew

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
The first White-throated Kingfisher since we arrived to Sundarban

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
We approach a crocodile that get scared and jump in to the river

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
We approach a crocodile that get scared and jump in to the river

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
A great Egret looking for food

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Wild boar

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Wild boar

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Wild boar

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Wild boar babies

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Crocodile having a good time

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
A crocodile only need to eat once per year

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
He dives in to the river

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
We are steaming towards the “core” area

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
A great Egret looking for food

It was a gorgeous morning. Low water and Sundarban Tiger Reserve is at its best during the low water. We saw Spotted deer, wild boar, monitor lizards and crocodiles, now the only thing missing is the tiger. It have been a beautiful experience here in Sundarban with many beautiful birds. But the tiger would be the thing to make it perfect. Well, a few more days to go.

Sundarban National Park is a 1300 sq., km part of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve. A wee bit off the beaten track and my Guide told me that there wasn't much people going all the way down there.

And it took us 6 hours to get there so it was pretty far away. OK, we made some stops on the way and when we reached the “core” area we saw a crocodile on the other side of the river. And please, bear in mind that the river is about 1km wide. I thought it was a sculpture made out of concrete. BUT IT WAS A CROCODILE!

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st What the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Good Molly Miss ducking Molly!

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
I have seen many crocodile all over the world, but this one win the prize!

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
The crocodile takes off when we approach

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Crocodiles can be up to 7 meters long. And the longest crocodile captured alive was 6,2 meter long and they captured the crocodile on the Philippines weighting almost 1,1 ton. And our new friend here in Sundarban was not far off. A crocodile can live for more than 100 years and this one must be very old.

Sundarban and the tiger only have one enemy, the crocodile that attack them when they swim across the channels in the delta. Can't help wondering how many tigers this one have munched on

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Swimming away

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
She find a new place to relax

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
We arrive to the forest rangers camp where they have a lookout tower

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
We tie up the boat at the ranger's camp

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Lookout tower

There are a few ranger's camps around the Sundarban. And all of them have a lookout tower that you can visit. We skipped the visit due to all the people. But a soon as the weekend came to an end we were pretty much alone in the tiger reserve. I have not seen any tigers here, but I can understand why they need the fences.

And after having meet my new friend the crocodile on the way here I think that having “double” fences would not be a bad idea. Imagine when this guy attack!

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

The Sundarbans

The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987. The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans



Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
From the lookout tower

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Surrounded by fences walking back to the boat

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Tiger temple

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Pray to the tiger God before going to collect honey and fishing
How is that working out for them?


Dakshin Rai

(Bengali: দক্ষিণ রাই, "King of the South") is revered deity in the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh who rules over beasts and demons. He is regarded as the overhaul ruler of the Sundarbans.

Inhabitants of the Sundarbans praying to Dakshin Rai before venturing into the mangroves, as they believe this affords them protection. Natives of some tribes bind a mask with the face of Dakshin Rai to the back of their heads, so as to confuse or scare an approaching tiger and ward off its attack.

One of the rangers had survived a tiger attack. He went to a water hole and there was a tiger in the water and the ranger was lucky to survive. We left the lookout tower in the Sundarban National park and we had to start getting back to Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort. We had an excellent lunch after departure and it was good food as it had been at every meal.

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Green Bee-eater

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

Tiger safari in Sundarbans - Dobanki Camp
We decide to stop at the lookout tower and canopy walk at the Dobanki Camp

Tiger safari in Sundarbans - Dobanki Camp
Last time we skipped this place as here was too much people

Tiger safari in Sundarbans - Dobanki Camp

Tiger safari in Sundarbans - Dobanki Camp
Green Bee-eaters

Tiger safari in Sundarbans - Dobanki Camp

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Spotted deer on BIG BOSS island

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
Spotted deer on BIG BOSS island

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans
My Guide and Tea Man relaxing on the fore deck going back to the hotel

Well, yet another day without any tigers have come to an end. It had been a gorgeous day and the giant crocodile was something else. It was pitch dark when we were back at the Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort.

And I was really looking forward to the dinner, excellent curry for lunch and dinner. Then get in to bed at 10 and wake-up at 5 thirty tomorrow. Same routines everyday. Anyway. Tomorrow is another tiger safari and the question is, are we going to see any tigers? Click HERE to find out.




       
                  
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Jiffy (also jiff)

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ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
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E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

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