Today was my last morning in Tadoba and my last chance, in this wonderful park, to see a tiger. We had the usual morning routine and we were off to the Northern part of the park to try and find those elusive tigers. We headed down the same road as the day before and as we approached the spot, where we had seen the wild dogs the day before, I noticed some deer running across the road ahead. We sat still and watched the deer for a few minutes until they disappeared into the thick bamboo. Only moments later a solitary wild dog appeared from where the deer had emerged and it sat by the side of the road. That was just the start to a wonderful wildlife encounter.
After a few minutes and after we had driven closer to this beautiful animal, we saw some movement on the edge of the bamboo. Then, at the same time, we all spotted a beautiful wild dog pup coming to join the adult. They seemed quite relaxed with our presence but the pup did keep its distance for a while. Then to our horror a park guard was cycling down the road and he did not care about disturbing these two wild animals. He rode his bike straight at them and the pup ran for cover. The adult stood its ground, yawning, to warn the guard not to come any closer. You could imagine it was saying "you see these teeth, do not even think of coming closer!". To our delight the pup reappeared and in actual fact, it came so much closer. This was one of the best moments of my wildlife viewing history, it was so intimate and it was just such a treat. If I was being incredibly picky (as a photographer), I would have preferred them to have been across the other side of the road, in the sunlight.
We returned to the lodge, after seeing very little else, to have our breakfast and get ready for the road journey to Pench National Park. On the way we were to stop in Nagpur and have our lunch in the Tuli Imperial hotel. We left promptly and when we arrived at the Tuil Imperial I was met by the hotel manager, once again. I had chinese for lunch, this gives you a nice break from the curries, and before long we were back on the road. The drive to Nagpur from Tadoba was three hours and we had another four hours travel ahead. On the road to Pench we saw a new species, the Rhesus Macaque, playing on the verges and roadside trees. These are aggressive and extremely intelligent monkeys who often have little fear of man, this can lead to conflict. We arrived at Pench before it was dark and I have to say this lodge was, what I like to call, luxurious. It was a grand, 5 star lodge that seemed to be designed as if it was a Roman Palace and it was a little grand for my liking. Welcome to the the Tuli Corridor of Pench. We had a pleasant dinner and went for an early night's sleep. The rest of our group (those not doing the pre-tour extension) were due to arrive late this evening and would be joing us for a morning safari.
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