This is the gate-keeper at Turia Gate, Pench National Park.
Seemingly his only job is to raise and lower the boom,
thereby controlling the number of vehicles that enter the park.
We did only 1 drive via this gate.
For those waiting to get into the park,
there are vendors selling a variety of edibles to keep both locals and tourists fed.
Several stores line the side of the road outside the gate,
which stock tourist orientated products and souvenirs.
That being said, I did see many of the locals buying hats
as well as face masks to keep out the dust.
6 of our game drives were done via Khursapar Gate.
Out of the darkness they came...
This is how many of the guides arrive for work.
Scooters/motorbikes/mopeds seem the be the preferred mode of transport.
The local photographers that we came across almost all had very impressive equipment.
Not many mobile phone lens-men here.
It seemed that the minimum requirement is a 300mm lens.
Unfortunately for me, I had to leave my 840mm at home,
due to weight constraints but I did have a 50-500mm with me.
And that made me feel part of the "club".
They also believe that dressing in camouflage is important.
I think they forget that they are in a noisy vehicle,
surrounded by people talking excitedly in loud voices.
One of the guides that I came across on a drive.
We often sat for a while, waiting for a sighting.
It was during those times that I amused myself by taking images
of those in the surrounding vehicles.
This fellow was not impressed,
either by me or by having to sit around looking at an empty waterhole!
As an aside, it seems that some of the children do not like tigers.
One several occasions when tigers arrived, I could hear children crying.
It was also the only sound that caused the tigers to respond.
Either by looking in the general direction of that noise
or by the flicking of an ear.
It seemed to me that adult noise did not cause any reaction.
Our guide on one of the drives.
We had a different driver and guide on each of the drives that we did.
The guides were very quiet and aside from either "hello"
or "goodbye", they did not really interact with us.
For that reason, I cannot comment on their level of expertise.
What I can comment on is the drivers,
some of whom were new and therefore not yet experienced.
And some of whom were excellent at what they did.
Unfortunately, it is just the luck of the draw as to who gets behind the wheel.
This is the head ranger of the park.
We had stopped to chat about the behaviour of another driver
and I took the opportunity to ask him to pose with my hare.
They were invariably not introduced to us by name.
As mentioned earlier...
"Hello" when they got in and "Goodbye" when they left
These happy fellows were next to us on one drive.
I could not resist taking the picture!
This was just BIG lenses, not much camouflage.
Our trip itinerary was superbly handled by this travel company.
Ans specifically by Mr Aman, their Senior Travel Advisor
I would highly recommend that you contact them,
should you be considering a trip to India.
For more information on what they offer,
visit their website:
Taken on one of our game drives...
L to R:
Our driver, who looked like a Bollywood actor, bright scarf and all,
my wife, Carolyn, and me.
Our naturalist/ guide for the duration of our stay
at Tuli Tiger Corridor, Omveer Choudhary.
At the back, our unnamed guide and an Australian traveller,Nigel,
who joined us for three drives.