Layer 1 Downloading

Bandhavgarh
To India in search of Tigers.

I wanted to experience tigers in the wild in India and on four long trips to the subcontinent I was fortunate enough to have seen sixty five different tigers. Many of the initial sightings were spoiled by traffic jams of jeeps laden with poorly behaved tourists. But I soon came to understand how difficult it is to get quality sightings of tigers away from the tourist crowds that throng India's relatively small conservation areas. To get really good sightings of tigers on your own you have to visit these places with a very experienced local guide. It helps to rent an elephant for your own exclusive use as I did with Vivek Sharma. Another important factor for success is to spend at least a month in one of the tiger reserves so that statistics can come in to play. The longer you are there the more chance of satisfying encounters. After Clarissa and I had notched up several good sightings alone with tigers we relaxed and began to appreciate the spectacular cultural and historic aspects of visiting tiger reserves in India. After a month of sensory overload in exotic India returning to Durban was always an anticlimax, but very satisfying as well because having seen so many tigers in the wild I felt that I was now an artist that could genuinely depict wild tigers in paintings.

1/20 : The Himalayas - the backdrop to every visit to India and Nepal.
An image of a  distant, solitary snow-covered mountain rising up above the jungle forest in the foreground.
2/20 : The day starts with ones elephant being kitted out with a passenger platform.
An image of an Asian elephant quietly sitting collapsed on its folded legs, while a mahouts helper is going through the process of fixing in place on the back of the elephant a passenger seating platform with guardrails. There are lots of belts and staraps being fitted and tied off by the helper.
3/20 : Getting on to a elephant near a known tiger sighting.
An image of passengers accessing the seating platform in the jungle. A stepladder is in place and a woman is struggling to get up the ladder to where there are 2 other tourists already in place next to the mahout who is trying to keep the elephant steady while this happens.
4/20 : First sighting of the day.
An image of a mahout looking down on a reclining tiger from his position above the elephants head. Image taken by Paul Augustinus from behind the Mahout.
5/20 : A special sighting - two tigers reclining on rocky outcrops.
An image of  two tigers taken form the back of an elephant very close to them where they are lying and almost at eye level to the viewer. Paul aAugusytinus took this image just as his elephant has stretched out its trunk towards the closest tiger, almost to the point of the elephant touching the tiger which is watching this with suspicion.
6/20 : Tigers crossing over the National Park boundary wall.
An image of three tigers crossing a road and climbing up and over a low wall made of roughly constructed stone to access a forssted region outside the National Park. The wall has many gaps and broken sections. Paul Augustinus took this image from the back of an elephant in a part of the National Park where a forest Reserve is on the other side of the boundary.
7/20 : Elephants carefully negotiate a gap in the border wall.
An image take by Paul Augustinus from the back of a Bandhavgar elephant showing a close up of the feet of another accompanying elephant as it carefully picks a path through broken section of the stone wall.
8/20 : Early morning sighting.
An image of two tigers making their way through the jungle. The tigers are delicately back lit as are some of the leaves and grass stems they are walking through.
9/20 : Two Indian leopards! My one and only sighting.
An image of two distant leopards frozen momentarily as they stare back at the elephant on which Paul Augustinus took this image from.
10/20 : The reality of trying to see tigers in the Jungle.
An image taken by Paul Augustinus from the back of an elephant that is surrounded by an inpenetrable thicket of bamboo. In the distance another elephant with tourists onboard is approaching - barely visible above the dense vehetation. In the foreground a tiger can only just barely be seen as it walks through the bamboo fronds never showing more than a few patches of its hide at any one time.
11/20 : For a few seconds you see this and then its gone.
An image taken by Paul Augustinus from the back of an elephant showing a tiger paused for a few seconds in full view in a narrow opening in the dense bamboo thicket.
12/20 : One morning we climbed up the side of Bandhavgarh Mountain.
An image of two people slowly hiking up along a narrow jungle clad side of a hill towards an ancient fortification which can be seen in the distance.
13/20 : The mountain plateau was covered with ancient monuments....
An image of an ancient weatherworn building covered in carvings and sympols. It is surrounded by waist high grass sparse jungle.
14/20 : ...and strange animal statues.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus, Vivek Sharma and an Indian Holy Man looking at an ancient, weather worn, bus-sized statue of a turtle on the plateau of Bandhavgarh Mountain
15/20 : Clarissa and Vivek Sharma, the Emperors Throne on Bandhavgarh Mountain.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus and Vivek Sharma, the guide, having a picnic lunch on Bandhavgarh Mountain. Clarissa is seated on the stone throne which overlooks jungle far below.
16/20 : Signs of tigers on Bandhavgarh Mountain.
An image of Viveck Sharma, the guide, pointing out the fresh red scars of a tigers scratch markings on a tree beside the path.
17/20 : More signs of tiger on Bandhavgarh Mountain.
An image of Vivek Sharmas finger pointed at the fresh droppings that lie on the path we are walking along.
18/20 : A fleeting glimpse of a tiger.
An image of a partially obscured tiger which is peering intently off to the right at some unseen quarry.
19/20 : The Plateau has several ancient water reservoirs.
An image of  Clarissa Augustinus picking her way through long grass to an ornate and ancient stone shelter that had been built overlooking a large football-pitch sized artifical water reservoir that had been cut out of the rock to supply the fort.
20/20 : The 'crew' on the last day.
An image of Clarissa and Paul Augustinus, Viveck Sharma, driver and National Park guide posing next to their safari vehicle on the last day.

A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image
A thumbnail image



.