A story about tigers…..

In the middle of the jungle, sitting for hours on a chair way too small, I’m watching a slow-running stream. Every now and then an Indian rhino is coming by to take a bath; a crocodile is lying dead silent, just in front of me, taking a sunbath with its mouth wide open; a white heron is gently walking up and down the water looking for something eatable. What a beautiful world!!!!......... suddenly Padam, our guide, is ticking on my shoulder, holding his finger on his lips: “Ssssttt!!!!”. Quietly he points to the right side, to the dry riverbed with some low grass and suddenly I see it: a tiger!!!!!!! But, wait…….. I see another one!! So, there are two tigers!!!!! WOWWWWW!!!!!!! Emotions race through my body; stress (“I have to take pictures!”), a little bit of fear (the tigers are actually pretty close and we are on foot), but above all euphoria and gratitude that I am being allowed to experience this!! WOWWWWW!!!

March and April 2017 I have been on a 5 week trip together with Albert Carrera. Alberto is a professional wildlife and travel photographer (http://www.albertocarrera.com/), for whom I have arranged and organized a tailor-made journey to the for me so familiar and beloved country of Nepal. After the international flight to Kathmandu, two days later we fly on a small plane to the western part of the country. Our guide is waiting there for us with a 4x4 vehicle to drive us for several hours to the national park where we will spent the next two weeks not only to spot but especially photograph wildlife.

Because this national park lays so remote in an already remote country as Nepal, not many tourists and photographers visit this area. This implies the safari’s in this park are not as developed as in several African countries and India. Because of this the guides are still not commercial and want to spot as many and as special wildlife themselves too. On a regular basis we leave the 4x4 vehicle, in order to walk to a hidden view point, to wait and hopefully spot wildlife. Also on this particular day. In the morning we have seen several tigers tracks, fresh! Also fresh poop! The guides’ explanation is done by whispering and very cautious, showing as little as possible signs we are there. I feel the tension in my body and even Alberto, who has been in many jungles all over the world, looks as he is tense. The prospect may be seeing a glimpse of a tiger in his own habitat is so overwhelming and tense…….but nothing is certain! We do see an Indian rhino. What a massive creature and with his ‘armor plates’ it looks very impressive! The sun is already setting and only just above the horizon, so the light is perfect. Beautiful circumstances for Alberto to take great pictures. Padam tells us, we have to leave soon, as we have to be at the exit gate of the national park before sunset. On this spot there’s nobody else than the four of us: Alberto, Padam, the driver and myself. We are just staying a bit longer…….with my long body I’m sitting for quit a while on the chair which is way too small for me and I’m feeling my muscles protest……..but looking at the white heron, the rhino’s and the crocodile makes it all worthwhile. And then…….Padam ticks on my shoulder………and then there’s the WOWWWWW-moment!! Two tigers!!! And so close to us!!! Together they are drinking water from a small pond! I watch Alberto taking a lot of pictures; I take pictures; how cool is this? How beautiful!! What an experience, what an ADVENTURE!!!!

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Lolkema Adventures Two Tigers Bardia National Park Nepal

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