WildZests: A weekend with Pozu - Bandipur & Kabini Explored!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A weekend with Pozu - Bandipur & Kabini Explored!

Last weekend was going to be without Gozu (wifey) since she was off to ISB at Hyderabad for a training until Tuesday. The idea of sitting alone at home with Pozu (our 22 month daughter) and going through the usual routine was so damn boring, so we decided to have some fun! I've been out with Pozu without her mommy before but that time I did have Elly with me for help. This time I was going to single-handedly manage Pozu and hope to make some good photographs too, it doesn't get any better than this!

Gozu left on Saturday morning and we were left on our own. The rest of the day was spent with the gang who wanted to try out fishing with their newly bought equipment. We had a late start for the fishing idea, but we did get a couple of hours to practise how to setup the fishing rod, no real fishing though!

Pozu and Rhea had a good time together and they sat by the lake shore as if they were out on a holiday.

Tech Specs:
Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 70-200mm F4 L IS
Shot at 93mm, 1/640s, F4 at ISO 400
Fishing Day 07

The next day's plan was kept as tentative until the last minute though I kept checking availability at Bandipur till Saturday night. Being a Sunday, there wasn't a risk to get one room on arrival at the Jungle Lodges at Bandipur but I thought I will make a call and reserve it in the morning to be sure. The idea was to stay for one day and then if luck doesn't favor us at all, may be extend it for another day.

6AM on Sunday, we were on our way to the jungle, Pozu slept mostly through the way and we reached Bandipur at 11.30AM or so. The evening safari was pretty uneventful except for the time when we were anxiously waiting for the tiger to cross paths. One of the jeeps had seen the male tiger sitting on the road but he quickly disappeared into the bushes and we were hoping he'd show up on the other side. We did see all the usual suspects like the Gaurs, Elephants, Monkeys, Peacocks etc but no big cat. I was hoping that the next morning wouldn't be as quiet, but it was!

Tech Specs:
Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm
Shot at 600mm, 1/1000s, F4 at ISO 800
Gaur - The Indian for Bison!

After the morning safari, I was in no mood to go back and started thinking on whether to extend my stay at Bandipur or give it a shot at Kabini. A quick call, puts the decision to rest and I was on my way to Kabini. The evening safari was similar to the previous 2 rides and the camera had seen no big action. The jungle was quite nice with the fresh green cover and the light was brilliant. Alas, the Makhna near the backwaters was the only big find for the day apart from the Changeable Hawk Eagle!

Tech Specs:
Canon 7D + Canon 70-200mm F4 L IS
Shot at 81mm, 1/50s, F4 at ISO 400
Makhna @ Kabini

Next day, baby was up at 6AM for the morning safari and we were lucky to spot a pack of wild dogs right as we entered through the Kalpare road. The dogs were visibly hungry and were on the lookout for a breakfast meal. They let us enjoy their company for a while and then started moving onwards. This was a good photo-op and I was happy with the overall sighting.

Tech Specs:
Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm
Shot at 600mm, 1/160s, F4 at ISO 800
Dhole - Wild Dog

Next up, we found a Juvenile Serpent Eagle on a tree near the track who obliged with some good pose even though the lighting wasn't as expected.

Tech Specs:
Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm
Shot at 600mm, 1/250s, F4 at ISO 800
Juvenile Serpent Eagle

Soon, the safari ended and we were headed back home after breakfast. But I'm a happy man, not only I managed to get some good pictures, but Pozu had a good time too. She found new friends at both resorts and had a gala time at lunch and dinner events. All in all, this was a time well spent and even though I had to catch up on all the pending work from Monday, there are no regrets!

Here's a link to more pictures from this trip: Bandipur & Kabini with Pozu

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