Seek the Tiger, find the jungle

Imran Khan, a well-known name in the wildlife circles who is known for his passion for tiger conservation. On board of several government and non-government wildlife organizations, today he lists a few tips on how best to enjoy the jungle in their natural habitats.

Wildlife tourism in and around tiger reserves was devised solely with the purpose of educating the visitors to the extent where they feel connected and get to know of the wilderness in their natural habitats. But some of these reserves that are known as Tiger habitats saw a rush of visitors only to see the beautiful animal. That is not how it should be.

Well-known naturalist and tiger conservationist, Imran Khan lists a few tips on how best to enjoy the jungle next time you are there.

“A jungle is much more than just the tiger. Make the most of your trip to jungle.”

wildlife

Wildlife tourism in and around tiger reserves was devised solely with the purpose of educating the visitors to the extent where they feel connected and get to know of the wilderness in their natural habitats. But some of these reserves that are known as Tiger habitats saw a rush of visitors only to see the beautiful animal. That is not how it should be.

Well known naturalist and tiger conservationist, Imran Khan lists a few tips on how best to enjoy the jungle next time you are there.

In his words –

“A jungle is much more than just the tiger. Make the most of your trip to jungle.”

Enjoy the forest:

  • When on a jungle safari, learn and develop a relationship between yourself and the direct or indirect bearings on the forest based food chains in varied settings – the role of insects, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals in their respective habitats, varied topographical settings, floristic qualities and the specific need to conserve them for the betterment of humanity besides the role of tiger as the apex predators in the natural selection and complete ecosystem conservation.
  • Pay attention to nature’s detailing — diverse topography ranging from undulating hilly terrain, river valleys, hill slopes, lake or reservoir, ravines, plateaus, marshy depressions, grasslands, river, and lake.
  • Keep the eyes and ears open and make sure to keep your surrounds clean — no garbage, no littering.
  • Dress right like in khaki or light green or olive green or any colour that doesn’t that’s less distractive.
  • Absorb nature in its entirety instead of looking for tigers. You cannot expect to spot a tiger within the first three hours of a safari! Keep the expectations low and let the tiger sighting be the bonus to your trip.
  • Live tiger sighting is just one of the nine ways to know the beautiful animal. The other ways include the pugmarks, baith, claw marks, scent marking and his poop, alarm calls from monkeys, alarm calls from deer, his kill, his roar and growl and his own carcass.
  • Spend time observing other animals. For instance, watch a jackal bringing feed for its family is as rare a sighting.
  • Read up on the other inhabitants of the jungle and don’t be in a rush to leave the forest.
  • Follow the trail: Every trail is distinct in character and no two trails read the same. Observe how each is different from the other and do your own marking!
zebra

Imran Khan says –

“We need to understand that these forests are sacred places and they are directly supporting human life outside them by providing us oxygen, carbon sequestering, potable drinking water or otherwise the symbols of humanity.

Be equipped:

  • It is always wonderful to carry a pair of binoculars and a camera. There are quite a few brands as far as Binoculars are concerned and I would recommend a Bushnell 8×40 or 10×40 or 10×50 (varying magnification – the first digit is the size of the object while the second digit brings the object closer by so many times), which are easily available and cost around INR 5,000 to 6,000. There are other brands such as Sarawoski., which cost around 50,000 INR.
  • Modern day DSLR’s allows you to click infinite frames and you can choose the best. Any 3-digit D either Canon or Nikon along with a Zoom lens of 70-300mm would give you ample opportunities to click the happenings in the forests. I would even recommend inbuilt zoomed Samsung or Sony high pixel cameras.
  • Even the smart phones these days are giving all these camera giants a good fight for money.

The Bottom line

Seek the tiger, find the Jungle. The idea of a jungle safari should be to educate the visitors in the natural ways and our direct dependence on these processes for the sustenance of life. And not just tiger sighting!