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Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Report

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One of Bandhavgarh's tigers stares straight down the lens photographed on the 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday

In late April/early May I completed two back-to-back Indian trips. The first being our Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday. I always look forward to our annual trip to photograph tigers & this year was no different, apart from the fact that I was more excited than usual.

We took a break from Bandhavgarh in 2016, so I couldn’t wait to get back there. I can honestly say that I have never been more excited about going back to what I consider to be my second home.

We have been visiting the park for 7 years now & have gotten to know its residents very well. Along with the drivers & guides who have become our friends, we have mourned the loss of favourite tigers & celebrated the birth of new cubs.

The spot where three tiger brothers have made home their island in the middle of one of the watering holes photographed on the 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday

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Peter’s review of our Bengal Tigers of India Tour

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Bandhavgarh is home to a large amount of wildlife here is a baby Langur Monkey cradled in it's mothers arms image captured during the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of India Photography Holiday

In the beginning of May 2017, it was time for us to make our second attempt to capture images of the impressive Bengal Tigers of India, when I write second attempt it’s because Linda – my wife – & I, had previously been to Bardia National Park in Nepal for the very same reason,  but, because the tigers in Nepal are much wilder, it was difficult to get as close to them as we would like.

So, on this occasion, we joined NaturesLens on a trip to Bandhavgarh National Park in India. Bandhavgarh is one of the best tiger reserves in the world, with the highest population of Bengal Tigers, so the odds seemed good & the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of India Photography Holiday looked to tick all the boxes of what we hoped to achieve.

We met with Pui Hang & David of NaturesLens in New Delhi airport, also with them were Jayne & Simon, two guests from the UK, meaning that we had a nice little group of 6 persons in total.

The flight from New Delhi to Jabalpur is a relative short flight in a small plane. Getting the gear to fit in the overhead luggage compartment could have been a problem, but it turned out to be no problem at all, even David managed to persuade the cabin crew with a rather loud “IT WILL FIT” that his bag would fit, & it did!

After the flight & a drive, we arrived to Tala & our wonderful accommodation, which would be our base for the next 7 days. & a very nice base it was, large rooms, nice bathrooms, &, of course, a pool to cool off in.

The stunning accommodation that is used whilst staying in Bandhavgarh during the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of India Photography Holiday

The lodge which stay at during the the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of India Photography Holiday is luxurious and has a large pool during

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Jayne reports back from our Indian Wildlife Photography Holidays

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Dotty looks back, she is one of the new mothers of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve captured during the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

My first visit to India was in April 2016, also with NaturesLens, & I absolutely fell in love with the place, we had some awesome tiger sightings in Tadoba, but let’s just say I came away with some ‘unfinished business’ so it didn’t take much persuading to book myself onto the Indian Wildlife Photography Holidays that NaturesLens had arranged for May 2017.

In the weeks prior to our trip there had been many posts on social media showing some amazing tiger sightings so the anticipation grew, & Bandhavgarh didn’t disappoint. It has to be said, however, that nothing is guaranteed – we heard of a few people who had seen very little but NaturesLens put everything in place to give their clients the absolute best opportunity, securing top class drivers & guides, who, over our time in Bandhavgarh, became part of our ‘Team Tiger’ group.

When I refer to ‘sightings’ I really mean ‘photographic opportunities’ not a shadow in the bush which is hardly distinguishable or a bum shot! When I say ‘photographic opportunity’, I mean time to capture an image of quality that meets my own personal standards & that I would be happy for others to see. In total, over the week the group encountered 17 different tigers, some shared moments with numerous other folk & some very special exclusive moments with no one else around other than one Gypsy vehicle – just you & the tiger – those really are moments to treasure.

This image is very much one shared with practically everyone else on safari. For several days Kankatti & her cubs visited the waterhole at pretty much the same time each day so naturally, everybody gathered to witness this special event. We sat & we waited for over an hour in the blazing heat – about 45˚ – & then suddenly the sound of camera shutters. I couldn’t see anything to start with thanks to a beautiful growth of bamboo but then the family appeared, walking around the waterhole & bathing in just the perfect spot.

Kankatti and cubs a regular sight in Bandhvagarh in May 2017 captured during the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

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Join our Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday with £250 discount

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After being declared a national park in 1968, & with numerous conservation efforts going on in the area, Bandhavgarh has fast become one of the best reserves in the world for nature & wildlife photography. Join us in 2017 to experience Bandhavgarh for yourself & better still, there are 3 places available on our 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday with a £250 discount – which means you’ll pay £3049 instead of £3299. These places are limited however, once they are gone, they are gone! The headline features of this photography tour, which is has a special price of £3049, are as follows:

  • To be conducted between the dates of April 18, 2017 – April 26, 2017.
  • Lead by Pui Hang Miles.
  • 11 morning & afternoon safaris providing photography of the Bengal Tigers & other wildlife of Bandhavgarh National Park!
  • Included all day safari, which is an opportunity to explore the park & capture images at a time when the park is not open to the public.
  • Like most of our tours – No single supplement!
  • Easy flights into & out of New Delhi.
  • All meals, airport transfers, accommodation & activities whilst in Bandhavgarh are included.
  • Tuition on an as-needed basis from Pui Hang.

A Bengal Tiger Cub photographed on a NaturesLens Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday in India

Our Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday is lead by photographers, drivers & guides experienced in the park & the region as a whole to help you extract the maximum creativity & photographic opportunities from the experience.

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Reminiscing on the Tigers of Bandhavgarh

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The recent spate of enquiries about our photographic holiday to India to photograph the Royal Bengal Tiger has got me reminiscing about our last visit to India & why this tour is one of my favourite trips. Young Bengal tiger walking in the long grass - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

I know I keep saying this but seeing a wild Bengal Tiger really is something very special. The first time I saw a wild tiger, I almost forgot to breathe because I was so spellbound by this majestic big cat. I can still remember seeing the pug marks in the soft sand before B2, Lord of Bandhavgarh, strode into view & lay just a few feet away from our car. We choose to visit Bandhavgarh because it has the highest density of tigers of all the national parks in India. As with all wildlife photography, there are no guarantees but one can always stack the cards in one’s favour by choosing the right time of year to visit. In our case, we choose to visit during the height of the Indian summer because the wildlife has to come to water. Bengal tiger and her cub walking through Bandhavgarh National Park - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Our Tigers of Bandhavgarh India workshop is probably one of our toughest due to the searing heat but at the same time, it’s also one of our most relaxing workshops thanks to the luxurious accommodation we have chosen for our downtime. And what an awesome base we have chosen! Bengal Tiger walking along a rocky outcrop inside Bandhavgarh National Park - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Each person or couple has their own villa measuring a minimum of 1000 sq. ft. Each villa has a bedroom, a dressing area, spacious bathroom, private courtyard with rain shower (perfect for cooling off after a hot game drive) & a private deck. The rooms are air-conditioned with TV, mini bar. safe, phone, wifi, hair dryer, basically all the modern conveniences that you may expect to find in a modern hotel. The courtyard at night - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography HolidayBandhavgarh Bedroom - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography HolidayVilla bathroom leading to outdoor rain shower - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography HolidayThe Pool - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday A typical day starts at 4am when we make our way to the jeeps for the short drive to the entrance of Bandhavgarh National Park. Once we have been assigned our naturalist & route, we head into the park. In May, the landscape of the park is probably at its most diverse with areas of arid dry grassland, pretty meadowland & pockets of lush green jungle, reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. As you will see from the photos, all make fantastic settings for a Bengal tiger. Wildlife aside, there are also some fantastic architectural photographic opportunities such as the 35 foot long statue of Vishnu, carved out of a single piece of sandstone which is located halfway up to Bandhavgarh Fort. The path leading to & the area where the statue is located looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie with water falling into a pool just below the statue & monkeys chasing each other across the statue. Giant statue of Vishnu hidden in the indian jungle of Bandhavgarh where you can also photograph Bengal tigers - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Man-made caves that were once used as stables, guard rooms & justice courts also make for great images, especially if a Bengal tiger happens to wander in front of them. One such cave is home to hundreds of bats which can be photographed if you are brave enough to enter. The morning safari typically ends around 10am when the heat is starting to become uncomfortable. After a refreshing cool shower, breakfast is served as we talk excitedly about what sightings we had achieved. I remember one morning drive where my guest & I had no tiger sighting BUT we managed to grab photos of a sloth bear & her cub. We watched with much amusement as David & the rest of our guests sympathised about how my guest & I had not managed to see a tiger, that is, until they saw the back of our cameras. Sloth bear sightings are incredibly rare & definitely trump tiger sightings! Sloth Bears in Bandhavgarh National Park, where you can also photograph Bengal Tigers - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday After breakfast, the rest of the morning is at leisure for you to either catch up on some sleep, go through the morning’s images, take a dip in the enormous swimming pool, take advantage of the massage or therapy rooms or all of the above! A light lunch is served around noon if you fancy a bite to eat & we head out for the late afternoon/evening safari around 3pm. Whilst our target species is the Royal Bengal Tiger, there is also a wide variety of colourful birds & other wildlife such as Sambar, Spotted Deer, Langur monkeys, Gaur & wild boar. If we are lucky, we may even see Leopard, Sloth Bear & Asian Wild Dog. We leave the park as the sun goes down to head back to our villas. The evening meal can be served either indoors or outside under a star strewn sky. The cuisine is truly international with all requirements catered for. One evening, David had a hankering for fish & chips & that evening, he got exactly that for dinner! Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Bengal Tiger Cub sat in long grass - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Our Safari tour is based on the use of private jeeps & expert local naturalists. These guys really know their stuff & are excellent trackers. One morning, we were lucky enough to photograph a tigress emerging from the jungle because our naturalist had heard her sneeze & was able to judge where she would emerge! With just two people per jeep, there is plenty of space for camera equipment, tripods & for you to move around. David & I can offer one to one sessions to anyone who wants it. The Tigers of Bandhavgarh India Photography Holiday will run from 28th April to 7th May 2015. We have just one place left on this tour so if you are interested, please use our contact form to register your interest. Please note that all bookings have to be made by 28th December 2014 to guarantee the game drives.

Events

India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

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Dotty looks back, she is one of the new mothers of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve captured during the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

NaturesLens offers you the opportunity to journey into the heart of India, in the pursuit of capturing the elusive Indian tiger on camera as it thrives within a protected national park. Open to both amateur & semi-professional wildlife photographers, the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday has been designed to offer guests unrivalled opportunities to photograph these amazing animals within Bandhavgarh National Park, whilst also looking out for other native species; such as the Indian gaur & langur monkeys.

We have created a package which includes full board accommodation, jeep fees, park fees & airport transfers to make things as straightforward for you as possible, to ensure that you can make the most of this unique wildlife photography experience.

If you are a pair of travelling companions or a couple then you can share accommodation & book two places for £2499 each instead of £2749 per person! Quote TIGERPAIR in the referral code text box to have the discount applied to your booking – you can book now & hold your places with 20% deposit only! Please note, both bookings, for the travelling companions or couple, must be made at the same time.

Book early to experience the Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh for yourself!

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India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

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Dotty looks back, she is one of the new mothers of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve captured during the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

EVENT CLOSED FOR BOOKINGS

NaturesLens offers you the opportunity to journey into the heart of India, in the pursuit of capturing the elusive Indian tiger on camera as it thrives within a protected national park. Open to both amateur & semi-professional wildlife photographers, the NaturesLens Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday has been designed to offer guests unrivalled opportunities to photograph these amazing animals within Bandhavgarh National Park, whilst also looking out for other native species; such as the Indian gaur & langur monkeys.

We have created a package which includes full board accommodation, jeep fees, park fees & airport transfers to make things as straightforward for you as possible, to ensure that you can make the most of this unique wildlife photography experience.

If you are a pair of travelling companions or a couple then you can share accommodation & book two places for £2499 each instead of £2749 per person! Quote TIGERPAIR in the referral code text box to have the discount applied to your booking – you can book now & hold your places with 20% deposit only! Please note, both bookings, for the travelling companions or couple, must be made at the same time.

Book early to experience the Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh for yourself!

Read more

India’s Bengal Tigers & Leopards of Kabini Photography Holiday

The black leopard that has made Nagarahole a great venue for photography in recent years typical of the image that may be captured on the NaturesLens Tigers & Leopards of Kabini Photography Holiday

A flash of golden orange in the trees, somehow camouflaged amidst a canopy of jungle green, is the first suggestion that you are about to witness something truly special. The NaturesLens Bengal Tigers & Leopards of Kabini Photography Holiday marks a significant addition to any photography portfolio, with days spent in the heart of the leopard’s lair, waiting for a chance to capture on camera this most graceful, enigmatic & captivating of predators.

A leopard yawns whilst perched high in the jungle canopy of Kabini typical of the image that may be captured on the NaturesLens Tigers & Leopards of Kabini Photography Holiday

We have created an itinerary which includes full board accommodation, jeep fees, park fees & airport transfers to make things as straightforward for you as possible, to ensure that you can make the most of this unique wildlife photography experience.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

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