Wild and Wonderful

Secrets of the Sub-continent


Secrets of the Sub-continent - Incredible India's less famous wildlife - February 2018

India is rightly famous for its Tigers, and most wildlife tours to the country focus mainly on this iconic predator. But India has a host of other wildlife spectacles to enjoy, and this Natures Images tour focused on these slightly less famous animals.

Firstly we visited Gir National Park in Gujarat, which is home to the only remaining wild population of Asiatic Lions. Down to just 20 lions in the middle of the last century, this park is a major wildlife success story, and is now home to over 500 Asiatic Lions! We had four game drives in the park, and were lucky enough to see Lions on every occasion.

Then we headed to Satpura National Park in Madhya Pradesh. In recent years this park, although nominally a Tiger Reserve, has earned a reputation for excellent sightings of Leopards and Sloth Bears. I had great success when I visited there in 2015, encountering numerous bears and leopards. But ironically, a recovery in the Tiger population near the centre of the park has competely changed the dynamic. In the last year, two Tigers have moved into the main area, have killed a number of the Sloth Bears, and made the Leopards far more elusive. And the Tigers themselves are pretty rare to see. Consequently the four days we had in the park were exceptionally slow, although I did have two short Leopard encounters and one very short Indian Wild Dog sighting.

Finally we visited Kaziranga National Park in Assam, famous for the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros. This visit was a spectacular success, the park was brimming with wildlife. In addition to huge numbers of Rhinos (I counted 54 in one location alone!), we also saw Asian Elephants, Asiatic Wild Buffalo, numerous deer, and loads of birds. A truly wonderful experience!

My thanks go to Mark Sisson and Satyendra Tiwari for running such an excellent trip.