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.