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The Sunderbans and Kaziranga February/March 2014

My journey to the tiger reserves in the Sunderbans and Kaziranga began when I arrived in Delhi on 16 February and then departed for Bharatpur to visit the bird sanctuary of Keoladeo National Park.  Having spent 2 days photographing the magnificent variety of birdlife there, my onward journey took me to Kolkata where I explored the city. The Sunderbans was my next destination for five days.  Meandering along the numerous waterways of the area, I photographed birdlife and mammals living amongst the thick mangroves.  Although tiger sightings were not easy, from a watchtower at one of the many islands, I was lucky enough to see a young tiger  (photograph shown above). I am reliably informed that the Sunderbans (of which one third of the area is located in India) contain an estimated population of 150 wild tigers with many more big cats living in the remaining two thirds of the Bangladesh Sunderbans.  My stay was followed by a visit to Kaziranga in Assam. Besides a healthy tiger population, this park is well known for its large number of one horned Asian rhinoceros.  On one occasion I watched as a female rhino and her youngster approached the edge of a lake where a large male water buffalo was resting.  Although buffaloes are both extremely strong and dangerous, they are no match for the rhino and he soon moved away from the area allowing the mother and her offspring to drink.  From a small boat on the Brahmaputra river, I even chanced to see a tiger walking along the riverbank.  My next visit to India will be in April 2014 when I will be returning to Kanha tiger reserve.