April 2018 saw my third visit to photograph the Tigers of India, although this was the third time, the anticipation of that first tiger sighting was still as exciting as ever. That first glimpse of a tiger walking freely in their space sends a tingle down the spine & we didn’t have to wait too long.

Our clients made a point of noting it took only 25 minutes, & what a fantastic sighting it was to start our Bandhavgarh-based Tigers of India adventure. Our first encounter was with one of Spotty’s cubs. She has three cubs, approximately 18 months old, but they’re now rarely seen all together. As our guide liked to say – they’re in their ‘probationary period’ learning to be independent & to develop their hunting skills, but still coming together as a family on occasions. We could see one of the cubs resting in the leaves by the waterhole & what a fantastic treat it was to see her cooling down in the water a few hours later.

One of Bandhavgarh's tigers cooling off in one of the small lakes within the reserve photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers cools off in one of the small lakes within the reserve photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers relaxes in a leaf strewn area of shade photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers strides through a waterhole photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

The excitement of the first day set the scene for the rest of the week. Of course, these are wild animals & nothing can be guaranteed. Sometimes a sighting may be from a distance & sometimes through thicket at the side of the track, but the percentage of fantastic photographic opportunities was phenomenal. David & PN, the pair that set-up NaturesLens, have, over the years, developed a close rapport with the best drivers & guides within the reserve. These guides & drivers know the landscape of Bandhavgarh very well, & all that it has to offer; their expertise certainly paid off on our daily games drives. One of my favourite images to capture is the tiger emerging from beautiful golden grass, and, as the tiger approached the drivers knew exactly where to position the jeep to get the shot.

One of Bandhavgarh's tigers emerges from the golden grass of the reserve photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers strides through the golden grass of the reserve photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

The drivers & naturalists are continually listening for alarm calls & looking out for pugmarks, which indicate the direction of movement & timescale. If a pugmark has collapsed around the edge, it may well be several hours old, but a clear, crisp pugmark is fresh. On this occasion, the tiger’s movement could be tracked along a dried up river bed & we were able to spend a couple of hours with her as she stretched, wriggled & yawned!!

Pugmarks, the evidence left by one of Bandhavgarh's tigers photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers yawns and shows off some impressive canines photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

For the morning game drive, an early start is always essential, so a 4.30am alarm call is a norm. Breakfast time is flexible, dependant on tiger movement & sightings but there’s guaranteed to be a tasty treat in store for our clients, & an opportunity to stretch legs in a specified area – often the central region of the reserve, when you can meet up with other safari-taking participants.

Some of the group, who have stopped for breakfast at centre point within the reserve photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

Mid-day is a time to chill in the hotel pool, catch up on some sleep or spend time processing images, before heading out once again for the afternoon drive.

One of Bandhavgarh's tigers relaxes in a spot of shade photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers cools alert to all noises within the forest photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

The Tigers are, of course, our main photographic target but there’s so much more to see & it’s great to be able to capture some of the other species which the jungle forests & grassy plains of Bandhavgarh have to offer.

One of Langur Monkeys sat with it's baby photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Langur Monkeys sat amongst the golden grass of the reserve photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of the deer withuin the reserve peeks at the photographers photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's peacocks displaying it'sm impressive tail photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

We’d had a fantastic week, the accommodation as always was superb, serving excellent food & the group made for magnificent company, &, as we headed out for our final drive everyone’s thoughts were the same – let’s make this a good one & end on a high – & we certainly did!

We watched from a distance as the tiger relaxed in the morning sunshine on the other side of the waterhole. Then, as she made her move, she disappeared below the bank … & to the delight of our clients gently strolled up the bank to give us a perfect sighting to end our trip.

One of Bandhavgarh's tigers strides alongside an already drying out waterhole photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday One of Bandhavgarh's tigers snarls at an unseen threat photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

So long Bandhavgarh – until the next time!

One of Bandhavgarh's tigers saunters away photographed during the NaturesLens India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

PHOTOGRAPH THE BENGAL TIGERS OF BANDHAVGARH FOR YOURSELF

10% DISCOUNT ALREADY FACTORED INTO THE PRICE SHOWN BELOW

Join us in India at the beginning of December 2018. Our India’s Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh is a photography holiday off 7 night/8 day duration, which, after 10% discount, costs £2999 INCLUDING A FULL-DAY SAFARI & takes place in India, between the dates of 11 – 19 December 2018.

It is ideal for photographing Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, black kite, black vulture, brown fish owl, crested serpent eagle, dhole, Egyptian vulture, gaur, grey mongoose, Indian roller, jungle cat, langur monkey, leopard, little egret, little grebe, red jungle fowl, rhesus macaque, sambar, sloth bear, spotted deer, striped hyena, tiger, wild pig & more.

This photography holiday is led by David & Pui Hang for NaturesLens. The photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 6 participants & a maximum of 8, plus David & Pui Hang.

All the details of the Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh photography holiday.

VIEW FULL DETAILS OF THIS PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY
Cape Buffalo under a starry sky as photographed on the NaturesLens African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday

Last month I had the pleasure of guiding a great group of guests on our South African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday. This tour is the perfect blend of traditional safari game drives coupled with some extraordinary hide sessions. There was something for everyone – majestic mammals, beautiful raptors & little birds.

Zimanga, the South African wildlife reserve is a 3-hour drive from Durban airport. Upon arrival at the reserve entrance, we transferred to the lodge by a land cruiser. We were greeted by giraffe, buffalo, impala, warthog, kudu & nyala as we drove the short distance to our accommodation – what a great start to the trip!

Warthog welcome party as photographed on the NaturesLens South African holiday

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One of the new mother tigers of Tadoba leads her quartet of cubs down one of the jungle racks image captured during a NaturesLens Photography Holiday to photograph the Benhal Tigers of Tadoba

Andrew was one of the guests on this year’s Tigers of Tadoba photography holiday. We arranged the tour for Derek & Andrew after we learnt that two of the tigresses in Tadoba had recently given birth, which meant there was the possibility to photograph tiger cubs.  One of the new mother tigers of Tadoba with her quartet of cubs on one of the jungle tracks image captured during a NaturesLens Photography Holiday to photograph the Benhal Tigers of Tadoba Read more

The money shot, one of the young tigers of Tala zone strides through one of the watering holes image captured during the NaturesLens TIgers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday in April 2018

Jean & Kevin joined Jayne on our April 2018 Indian tour to photograph the Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh.

Looking back, one of the younger tigers, totally unconcerned by the attention he is recieving image captured during the NaturesLens TIgers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday in April 2018

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Three Dalmatian Pelicans photographed at water level on Lake Kerkini - an image captured during a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Omar & his friend came all the way from Kuwait to join our Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece photography holiday. Our trips this year attracted many international clients from USA & Kuwait to Denmark, Belgium & Germany.
A close up headshot of a Dalmatian Pelican an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday
I have to admit to being blown away when I opened Omar’s email & saw his images. Some of them are absolutely sensational.

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A pair of Dalmatian Pelicans with their beaks just touching the water an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Jessica was a guest on one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Workshops that we conducted in January 2018. Having run this tour for the past four years, the itinerary is now, in our opinion, the perfect experience. But it’s not what we think that matters, the opinion of our guests matter more.

Jessica said, “I had the pleasure to go to Greece in January 2018 to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece & I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Not only were there plenty of opportunities to capture images of these big & charismatic birds in various conditions, but we also had a lot of fun with the group. Our guide Sean was always attentive & ready to answer our questions & give photography advice. The accommodation was ideal & the trip very well organised. Being able to photograph the pelicans very early in the morning & late in the afternoon added a special touch to the photos. I would certainly recommend going on this photography trip in Greece.”

A close up of a dalmatian pelican red pouch an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday Read more

Tiger cub looking fierce as his mother rests an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

David learnt that there were two female tigers who had recently given birth to cubs in Tadoba National Park. This was probably around late November 2017 & two other females had also given birth a little earlier. It seemed that a visit to see the Tigers of Tadoba was on!

A Tiger Cub checking the scent on a tree an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

David & I, plus my friend Andy, could not miss this great opportunity of hopefully viewing 3 to 4-month-old tiger cubs. So, we caught a plane to Nagpur & then travelled to Tadoba for some excellent tiger viewing & photography.

David is always networking which helps significantly in the meticulous planning NaturesLens always carry out when preparing wildlife photographic trips & workshops. This was no exception.

Tiger cub looking fierce as his mother rests an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

If you want to get the best possible viewing in the core tiger zones, you usually have to book at least three months in advance.  David learnt that two of the Tigers had made their home outside of the core zones of the reserve. We therefore decided to take a gamble & arrange some of our drives in the lesser used reserve areas. We hoped this would increase our chances of seeing as many different cubs as possible. Of course, this could have gone wrong if the Tigers had returned to the main areas but we felt confident they would not.

Our gamble paid off! In reality, this was probably not an enormous gamble due to the planning by David. Most tourists tend to stick to the traditional core areas as they believe they offer the best sightings. I believe we were the only westerners in the areas where these two females were to be found, which made our viewings & images even more special.

Royal Bengal Tiger with two cubs an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

It was sweltering hot & extremely humid. More so than Gujarat, (see my other blog post about the trip that preceded this, to The Little Rann of Kutch). But we chose this time because there would be less water about & animals including tigers would congregate more around the central water holes. It can be a difficult time to see other wildlife, & while we did have excellent views of many other species, we did not see the Sloth Bear or Leopard which Tadoba is also famous for, although others did see them. The Tigers more than made up for this though.

David & I also arranged to do a full day game drive which has to be agreed well in advance. I believe only one safari vehicle a day is allowed to stay in the park. A full day can heighten your chances of more game viewing, but it can also be a long hot day in 30c – 40c temperatures. During our time on our own in the reserve, we had great views of the dominant male tiger, Bagrang.  We were very lucky as he is usually only seen a couple of days a month mainly due to his vast range.

A tigress rests as her cub keeps watch an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

The tigers we saw are as follows:

  • Maya with two cubs about 3-4 months old.
  • Sawmili with three cubs about 7 months old.
  • Mavhuri with four cubs about 3-4 months old
  • Sonam with four cubs about 7 months old.
  • Bagrang the dominant male.

A large male tiger crossing the road an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

I have attached a selection of images & hopefully, this will whet your appetite to book a tiger photography tour with NaturesLens in the future.

Photograph the Bengal Tigers of Tadoba for yourself

Join us in India at the end of March 2019. Our India’s Bengal Tigers of Tadoba is a photography holiday of 7 night/8 day duration, which costs £3299 & takes place in India, between the dates of 23rd – 30th March 2019.

It is ideal for photographing asiatic jackal, bengal fox, black kite, black vulture, brown fish owl, crested serpent eagle, dhole, egyptian vulture, gaur, grey mongoose, indian roller, jungle cat, langur monkey, leopard, little egret, little grebe, red jungle fowl, rhesus macaque, sambar, sloth bear, spotted deer, striped hyena, tiger, wild pig & more.

This photography holiday is led by David Miles for NaturesLens. The photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 3 participants & a maximum of 7, plus David.

All the details of the Bengal Tigers of Tadoba photography holiday.

Two young Langurs playing an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Two tiger cubs playfighting in water as their mother watches an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tigress lounging in water with her two cubs an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tigress leading her three cubs down the road an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tiger resting her head on her paws an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tiger family cooling off in water an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tiger cub exploring his environment while staying close to his mother an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Three indian tiger cubs crossing the road an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Portrait of a male Samba Deer an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Mother and cub an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Indian tiger walking on the road with her three tiger cubs an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Female tiger at water hole looking backwards an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Crested Serpent Eagle posing at the end of a tree branch an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

An Indian Gaur with its one day old calf an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

An Indian Gaur peering through the long grass an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A young indian tiger cub an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A young baby langur looks up at its mother an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

 

 

A solitary Indian Gaur in long grass an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A large male tiger emerging from the jungle an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday