From being hopeful around pug marks to having several uneventful safari days to sighting a tiger, my relationship with Corbett National Park has been nothing less than an emotional rollercoaster. I am in love with its stunning landscape, maybe because I did my first safari there, 12 years back. And I am always excited to be there. Husband and I spotted a Bengal tiger in our recent trip to the Corbett jungle and we couldn’t be more excited. It happened in the third week of November ’22 and I apologize for posting it late. However, the memories from that special safari day are intact and I would love to share it now. If you have been reading my blog regularly, you must be aware that I quite enjoy the jungle safaris. I have been lucky with tiger sighting in other national parks but they had been elusive in Corbett. But not anymore. My commitment actually paid off. This time, we did not have to wait for long. We did spot one for good ten minutes, by the water hole in the Jhirna Zone of Corbett National Park, and all my trips to this gorgeous jungle seemed worth it. That feeling of seeing the tiger whiling away in the river bed and then walking away care-free in its natural habitat was an exhilarating experience.
A Good Safari Day and my Husband’s beginner luck
Well, no one has any control in the jungle. It is an absolutely unique and unpredictable ecosystem. It is huge and no one knows what the animals are upto? Or what the tigers/tigresses and elephants are doing and where to spot them. We move around in the accessible part, our eyes peel through the forest greens, our ears wake up to every alarm call, and we keep close to the sources of water. But you may not always spot an elephant or a tiger. It really has to be a good safari day.
A good safari day is also a lot about your guide and the jeep driver. A good combination of a forest guide, naturalist or an experienced driver can really make your experience worthwhile with or without tiger sighting. They know the jungle better and they also know the recent occurrences and events. They must act quickly at the alarm calls. I would like to give credit to my forest guard and the driver. They worked in tandem. They knew where to stop and wait. There had been a sighting in the morning. They did some calculations and made predictions about the movement of the tiger and kept the jeep around that area. We waited at several hotspots. And as soon as they heard the alarm call, they acted promptly. Some of the jeeps which were not very far away from us missed the sight.
Also, there is something called beginner’s luck. I think it works. My husband had never been to Corbett before and that was his first safari ever. I was more excited than him. He himself was looking forward to this new experience. I had always told him all good things about Corbett and now he was really keen to see it for himself. I am so glad he could see a tiger on his very first visit.
Tiger Sighting happened in Jhirna Zone of Corbett National Park. Let us know more about it.
In Corbett, tigers are in plenty but it is difficult to spot them every time. The forest is really dense here and also, there are no rules to finding the big cat. However, one can keep a track of the recent sightings, time of the year (summers), and zone of the National Park where there have been sightings. When I made a visit to Jhirna Zone, there had been some sightings in that very week.
Jim Corbett National Park has six ecotourism zones – Bijrani, Dhikala, Durga Devi, Jhirna, and Dhela have been around for years. A recent addition is Phato zone. Jhirna is an old and popular zone of Corbett National Park and one needs a permit to explore it. It is made up of riverine, hills, deciduous, secondary forests as well as grasslands. It offers amazing views. To enter Jhirna, one must go through Dhela zone first. The zone is great for bird watching as well. This zone is also popular for elephants and sloth bears. Have you seen one? I have seen herd of elephants here.
Some facts about Tigers, Corbett National Park and India!
- INDIA is estimated to be home to around 70% of the world’s tiger population
- In Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh, it is possible to get some wonderful close-up photographs of tigers but Corbett National Park is special for many reasons.
- Project Tiger was first launched in the year 1973 in Corbett National Park.
- Corbett has one of the highest densities of tigers (Panthera tigris).
- In the last census in the year 2018, Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) had registered a steep rise from 230 to about 252 tigers.
During this trip, I stayed at Hriday Bhoomi in the Dhela village! They had booked my safari.