I was thrilled that my tour included a “safari” through The Ranthambore National Park, a refuge for tigers. My five year old grandson’s favorite color is orange and therefore, using little kid logic, his favorite animal is a tiger. I promised to bring him one back from India and a lot of pictures.
Ranthambore was once the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Remains of many of its buildings still dot the area. In 1955, the land became a sanctuary and in 1980, a national park.
The preserve is mostly grassland and semi-desert with enough trees and waterways to sustain a lot of wildlife.
We went out with our naturalist two times the first day, really early in the morning and then before sundown.
No tigers but a lot of very interesting animals.
The next day we went out for a third time. My daughter-in-law had emailed to say that my grandson was asking when I was coming home with his tiger. The sun was setting and I started to think I was going to disappoint him without even a picture.
But suddenly the driver stopped the jeep and our guide signaled us to be quiet. He pointed down a dry riverbed. A tiger was leisurely walking toward us.
We were thrilled. It was Noor, one of the females known as a great hunter and good mother to her cubs.
Noor proceeded to saunter around our jeep allowing all of us to take great pictures.
,As Noor exited into the trees, another jeep filled with more tourists pulled up to us. This group’s guide talked to our guide. Another tiger had been sighted and our two jeeps sped down the trial.
Wow! We were rewarded with another tiger simply named Number 97. He was magnificence as he remained quiet and unafraid, lounging under a tree.
I had my pictures for my grandson and was able to buy him a realistic stuffed animal tiger. He loves it. Grandma came through again. Thank goodness!