Bengal Tigers, Indian Rhinos With A Bunch Of Great People

Bengal Tigers, Indian Rhinos a bunch of great people travel India for Wildlife Photography!

Arriving from Swissyland in Delhi with Carole Deschuymere after midnight, 1:00 am, our first “Incredible India” surprise was waiting in a queue to get our passports checked – go with the flow! The waiting was dragged to one and a half hours!! Pffff… a great start indeed, never mind to this experience, we spent each other company to chat or for synchronized yawning.

Kaziranga National Park was still far away from us! Finally, through passport look & look fingerprints & prints, stamp here and there, grabbing fast our belongings, running out of the airport. Stopped by a heatwave, which hit us right into our face – uffff, accompanied by quite a few people who wanted to help us to carry our bags to a taxi. Well, my “donkey” rolls on wheels, Carole’s too. So no need for all these friendly helpers! We arrived in our hotel, taking a swift shower and a very fast sleep until the alarm woke us up after 2.5 hours of sleep. 6:30 am meeting our “party – go with the flow” at the breakfast table. 😀

Our table got filled up quickly. Jeske & Jan van der Greef was already there. Irina & Evgeny Garhskov were shortly after us. Breakfast was on, yeah, after the long wait at the customs, swift sleep our tummy got something to work with. After our check out from the hotel, our first adventure journey for Wildlife Photography to the Kaziranga National Park could start. Photographing Bengal Tigers, Indian rhinos, and more, with a bunch of great people.

Asian Elephant Calf with mom just coming out of the jungle. FujiFilm X-T2; XF 100-400mm & 1.4xTC

First stop Assam, visiting the famous Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, habitat to the endangered Indian Rhinoceros, Bengal Tigers, and the famous Jungle fowl. What do you not know the Jungle fowl? Just wait and see what Jan has accomplished with this “chicken of the jungle.” The Jungle fowl was one of the wildlife of Jan’s wishlist to photograph, besides Bengal Tigers, of course.

Well, he was able to do the trick for this jungle fowl after many hours searching, waiting, sweating the reward was indeed fabulous. (Wildlife Photography is not just to go out and push a button! It also needs patience.) Not only that, Jan was able to capture this timid bird the way he wanted, but also for me. The second or third day, Jan’s jeep got a little bit far behind. Never mind, we knew that they saw something unusual.

When they finally reached us again, Jan showed me two thumbs up, big smile from ear to ear, as well as Jeske, his wife, Evgeny, and Irina. All four passengers are glowing of happiness. That was one of my most significant rewards on this trip. With their happy faces, I knew that all was sitting perfectly. Most needed, that the jungle fowl will be patient enough, to dare to be a photo model and as a dessert that beloved light, we Photographers dream of. Ooooh, don’t we all Wildlife Photographers (and Landscape Photographers) want to have THAT light? Yes pleaaasssse. 🙂

Indian Rhino is walking along a river in the national park. The Indian rhinos were most time accompanied by birds. FujiFilm X-T2; XF 100-400mm & 1.4x TC

Famous Kaziranga National Park And Wildlife Photography

Kaziranga National Park is one of the most beautiful and Zen parks I have seen in India. We came across so many wildlife to photograph, especially Indian rhinos – one-horned rhinoceros. Sadly the “forgotten dinosaurs” are highly endangered animals. They are as big as a jeep and quite aggressive. No messing with “forgotten dinosaurs.”

We even were able to see and photograph Bengal Tigers due to our stay in Kaziranga National Park. Tigers in Kaziranga are very shy. You get a glimpse of them. One two seconds later, the tiger is gone in the high elephant grass. We were once lucky when a tiger came out of the elephant grass, walking along a lake of many. A beautiful setting for a landscape photograph, huuuuh, combined with Wildlife, of course. Behind the tiger was an Indian rhino mom with calf. Both did not care much about the tiger! A few meters further, the tiger passed another rhino taking its beauty mud bath at the edge of the lake. That rhino did not even move its head around when “his majesty” passed by! Quite ignorant, or just Zen!

Indian Rhino & Egret. It just seems that the Egret is the friend of the rhino showing the rhino the best grass to eat. FujiFilm X-T2; 100-400mm & 1.4x TC

Kaziranga National Park And Its Beautiful Lodge

Zen, indeed it was, also our beautiful lodge, with their rice fields. The chalets on poles are built around the rice fields Everyone has a balcony to enjoy the view. I had a few photographic assignments for Assam.

One was to take photographs of custom made bags from the new Swiss Brand Luc8k. In the afternoon break, I took a custom leather bag to photograph in the rice fields. Something different than wildlife photography! I knew that some of our party were watching me. There we go, their afternoon entertainment got delivered. Me balancing between the rice fields! Actually, it is not easy to walk on 15-20cm thin paths between rice fields. They are muddy, give in quite a lot when you step on them, you sink in.

One composition I liked very much, this required that I had to balance on a thin path to the other side of a rice field to place the leather bag. The way over was a balancing act. I sunk into the path here and there, using my arms to balance, don’t drop the bag into the rice field > water level knee deep & deep mud!

Landing In The Rice Field

On my way back to my camera, it happened. My balancing was not as it should have been, maybe my arms were a tad too much air rowing, never did ballet, the mud gave in, I landed in a rice field. Luckily enough, I was able to prevent the major full-body touch down into the mud to flatten some rice plants. Standing there in the knee-deep water, I was quite sure that my “go with the flow” party has seen me. Indeed they did, the laughs and comments shortly after were on the dot. My red hiking shoes were hanging on the jeep during the afternoon drive to dry, which caused a little photographic fun at the ticket office of the park.

While waiting for our guide to come back with the papers, students of the local school came over to our jeep. They asked me if they can photograph me, my feet with socks up in the sun, as well as my shoes dangling on the vehicle. You might find this picture somewhere on Facebook. If you find it, please send me the link. Thanks a lot. 🙂

The time came faster as we liked to say Good Bye to Kaziranga National Park and Hello to Ranthambore National Park – Bengal Tiger Harbor

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