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Last day at Bandhavgarh

Our last day in the park was very different from the previous ones. We arrived at the gate a little latter than usual so we missed the racing start of the 30 jeeps hunting tigers. We took a different route and headed for a lofty escarpment over looking the reserve. We had plenty of time today so we drove slowly soaking up the wildlife and had time to stop and watch any birds rather than having the “pressure” of trying to reach areas where tigers might be seen.

It was a perfect morning, sun rising, mist clearing from the grasslands, spotted and samba deer every where. Two Lesser Adjutant Storks strode alongside a small stream in the strengthening sun. A gorgeous Long tailed Shrike kept watch from a reedbed as Stonechats mobbed it. Alexandrine and Plum headed Parakeets screamed at us from the tree tops as Yellow footed Pigeons swept over. Crested Treeswifts fed over the forest canopy.


We reached the base of the cliffs and here we left the jeep behind and hiked up a very steep path winding up through the trees. Plenty of birds here and it was great to be birding on foot. Red throated Flycatchers zapped around, Common Iora were common, a gang of Tawny bellied Babblers were joined by a Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher.

As we neared the top we arrived at a huge fort carved in to the cliffs and we marvelled at the ancient building that was so well preserved, even the spiked wooden gates still intact. Statues to various gods were chiselled from the solid rock. We marvelled at the ornate stone work and took in the views across Bandhavgarh.

Reached the cliff top the views were even better and we gazed across the forest and grasslands below us with just the odd track to show that man had made an impact here, wonderful. A temple at the top had more statues and amazing carvings and a huge water tank cut from the solid rock allowing the fort to withstand a prolonged siege.

We walked across the hilltop through woodland, stopping to watch a dinky Pale billed Flowerpecker a new bird for us! On the far side of the escarpment another vista opened up and we stood and stared at the amazing view. A huge bird rose up and cruised past at eye-level, an Indian Vulture! As we watched more vultures took to the air and we were thrilled with the close up and personal looks at these magnificent, and very rare, birds. A Peregrine Falcon swept along the cliff edge just a few yards away, what a contrast with the slow moving vultures.


We ate our breakfast here watching the vultures sweeping back and forth, some collecting nest material, others just enjoying the warm morning air. As we tucked in to our lovely meal a roar rang out from the forest below, tiger! The tiger kept roaring and roaring, he sounded pretty unhappy, we scanned hard but could not see the stripy beast but it was magical to listen to that deep roar rolling across the park.

We headed back down to the jeep and were amazed to see two huge Malabar Hornbills flap across the canopy, a fitting end to our last adventure in Bandhavgarh.

We will be back!

Many thanks to everyone who made our trip so wonderful, if you would like more details please do contact us, we are looking at running a guided trip in the future. Check out the wonderful place where we were made so welcome and fell in love with!

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