Country specialist Tom recently returned from a trip to Nepal where he had a close encounter with a tiger…
By the look of concentration on my guides face, and his reaction to the warning calls of the birds and nearby Langur monkeys, I could tell we were close. The elephant that was my transport for the morning picked its way through the trees, stepping cautiously towards what I believed to be a far away big cat lurking somewhere in the bushes.
We stopped and surveyed what was around us. Thick, lush forest and vegetation far too dense to be able to access on foot, and the odd patch of sunlight managing to find its way through the leaves above. An odd silence settled, save for the insects and the occasional reminder from the Langur that we had company. Despite being many feet above what possibly lurked beneath, it was hard not to be aware of my racing heart and the difficulty with which I clutched my camera, wondering whether it was in fact better to simply put it back in my bag given my complete naivety as to which direction it should be pointed.
I leaned back to ask my guide a question and he simply put his finger on his mouth and gestured towards the trees ahead. As I started to think perhaps we might be waiting for a while, our trusty elephant whined surprise and a tiger darted out from the bushes no more than twelve feet in front of us letting out the most tremendous roar! It was giving us a clear message: ‘I’m here and I can see you!’
The Mahout immediately decided it was time to respect the tiger’s wishes and turned the elephant to move away from the area. Whilst I didn’t capture this beautiful cat on film, that sound will stay with me forever and it remains one of the most exciting and memorable experiences I have had on a game excursion.
Tom’s game excursion was in Bardia National Park in Nepal (tiger sightings are not guaranteed though). He stayed at Karnali Lodge. To arrange a game excursion or trip to Nepal phone our specialists on 01993 838 315 or contact us online.