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Tiger and Leopard encounter in Nagerhole national park


It was early February 2015 and photography contacts were describing to me how incredible the tiger and lepard sightings had been in Nagerhole tiger reserve during the last month and how during my visit I had an excellent chance to see the Big 3 of Nagerhole; Wild Dog, Tiger and Leopard.

As I sat in the motor boat on the 10 minute ride from Orange County Resort to Kabini river lodge, I wondered how my second safari in Nagerhole would turn out. My expectations were that tiger sightings were going to be very difficult and my best chance was of a leopard sighting. However that morning the canter which I was originally booked to be on – before managing to switch to a smaller Bolero vehicle – had managed the 'Big 3' of tiger, leopard and wild dog.; while we had to be content with wild elephants and mongoose.

Our first hour and a half had produced great sightings of the striped-necked mongoose, jackal and elephant, but still the elusive big cats eluded us. Our senses were re-awakened by spotted deer alarm calls echoing through the woods and we switched off the engine and hoped for the cause of their alarm to walk our way. A striped cat emerged from the shadows and walked slowly but purposefully towards us. It was the famous 'backwater' male tiger of Kabini and he was walking his territory and scent marking some of his favourite trees. We left him enough room to cross in front of us and then slowly disappear into the forest like a ghost.

Ecstatic with my first tiger sighting in South India I was in a relaxed and content frame of mind as we slowly drove back towards Kabini river lodge to catch the boat back to Orange County. A cry from inside our vehicle to stop was met with a rather patronising response from our guide, that we had already seen 'that male Gaur earlier today'. Little did he realise that the tourist had actually spotted a young female leopard lying under a tree. Very soon after we stopped I heard another voice mention  there was a spotted deer fawn close to the leopard and I immediately positioned my camera and 2 seconds later she 'exploded from the blocks'. It was rapid fire time with my Canon 7D as I tried desperately to pan and follow the attack of the leopard. It was all over in moment, with the leopard seen again, hidden amongst the branches of a tree consuming his opportunistic kill. 

Join us on a custom India wildlife tour to Nagerhole with the chance to see Elephant, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Tiger and Leopard and enjoy one of the best Indian wildlife lodges.

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