Call of the Canines

Usually when I visit India – I plan separate trips - one for meeting family and friends and others purely for wildlife photography.
But this time; due to the time crunch-I had to cut short on my wildlife part of the visit. So, squeezing my equipment with other items in the luggage and juggling with the International baggage into the 15 kgs limit of domestic airlines, I managed to reach Nagpur airport right after my London-Delhi travel.
With my dear passionate friend Kunal and his son Arnab from California waiting there in the pick-up car, we hit the road towards Chandrapur and made sure that we don’t miss a wonderful lunch break at Jamb. A  quick fill up for the camera beanbag and a  crate of mineral water -  we arrived  at the gates of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) – when it was already an hour past the entry time of the safari. Still – whatever time of the day it may be - the aroma jungle is always exciting !  
The sky was a mix of scattered clouds and I was a bit concerned about some untimely winter shower but the weather behaved quite well and instead of playing a spoilsport – it provided a show of some stunning cloud formations in the sky. 
This trip to Tadoba will indeed be remembered witnessing a pack hunt by Wild dogs. The manner in which they severed a chital fawn was mind boggling. Although I have come across packs of wild dogs before in other sanctuaries but it was the first time I saw a hunt by a pack of wild dogs – which they are well known for. No wonder a Tiger maintains a respectable distance with such a ferocious pack of canine hunters. 

Since I carried my new 10 fps camera body for the first time, I was a bit more inclined to test the action / speed performance and high ISO output. Though I didn’t come across as much action I was anticipating in this trip – I could still attempt a few in flight / in speed images. However, in-spite of carrying my long lens, I did most of my work with 100-400mm lens. The gypsy driver Nitesh did a superb job for us. 
Some parts of the jungle (Jamunzora, Pandhartpani etc) were indeed a lovely experience in the greens and waiting at the Yenbawdi waterhole – a Sloth bear greeted us with a” familiar” smile and disappeared  in the thickets. To make the visit  complete – we were rewarded a couple of Tiger sightings as well. 


With some amazing food and wonderful Stay at Manish Varma’s Hornbill Tadoba lodge, the next 3 days was a bliss into the wilderness!! It was also great to meet a few groups of nature lovers from Mumbai and other places. It was also a great privilege to do a small presentation of my images  to these groups. 
As  such, I was heading for my talk session scheduled at IMA hall in Nagpur - so sharing the same set of images was a pleasure.