To see a tiger in the wild has been a lifelong dream of mine and when a dear friend invited us to join him for a safari at the Nagarhole (Kabini) reserve near Mysore, R & I readily agreed. Mr. Tiger stubbornly refused to make an appearance but we were amply compensated by the sight of Mr. Leopard below, who cavorted before us for a good 45 minutes, before strolling off nonchalantly into the bushes!
Our daughter, having been on safari to South Africa just this past year, sniggered at our lone cat sighting but I was undeniably ecstatic as I had never seen a big cat in its natural habitat before.
These images aren’t the greatest, being as they are my first attempt at wildlife photography with pitifully inadequate equipment. But that doesn’t take away from Mr. (Torn Ear!) Leopard’s star quality…isn’t he magnificent?
This lady, relaxing on top of a branch, was farther out and just barely qualified as a ‘sighting’.
We saw many other less elusive animals and birds but the highlight of the weekend for us was getting to watch a herd of elephants up close and to be privilege to a moving display of tender maternal emotions. Their amazing dignity in the face of human interference was humbling and left me with goosebumps.
Our long weekend actually began in Mangalore with a cousin’s 80th birthday celebration where I met more cousins than I remembered having! And while there, we got to attend a “Bhuta Kola’ – a ritual dance of divine spirits – indigenous to coastal Karnataka. But that is another story that I hope to get out before I set off for La Serenissima. Stay tuned…