The Bandhavgarh National Park boasts of the highest tiger density in the world. It is also tourist friendly, easily accessible, has good visibility and has well made jungle tracks. In short, it is the best place in the world to see tigers in the wild.
During the last couple of years I have had the good fortune of visiting this park many times. I was photographing the Samode Safari Lodge, Bandhavgarh, and my work involved repeated visits.
I must have made at least 25 jeep safaris into the park during this period. Given the number of safaris and the “highest tiger density in the world” one would be forgiven to think that I would have seen a huge number of tigers during this time. Not true. Seeing tigers is not as easy as seeing their more exhibitionist cousins, the lions. In fact the Indian jungle is very different from the staple diet of the “African Savannah experience” tabled by the TV channels every day.
The tiger is a solitary but social animal. It is reclusive, private and likes to keep to himself. Even when tigers are seen, most of the sightings are of females with cubs. A good sighting of a dominant male tiger is a rare thing indeed.This rarity of sightings makes ‘shooting tigers’ so much more exciting and interesting.
Below is a gallery of images made during my safaris into the Bandhavgarh National Park. In the 25 Safaris, I must have had an audience with the King of the Jungle only about five times. These images are my memories of these enchanting encounters.