This turned out to be the icing on the cake!
After about two hours of searching we eventually came across a female about a 100 yards or so from the track in tall grass:
As you can see she is very focused, a short distance away from her was a group of Spotted Deer, they were totally oblivious, to what was creeping up on them. We watched the progress with baited breath as she ever so slowly moved forward, then stopped, moved forward again and so on:
Occasionally she would stop and check us out too!
We watched this for a long time until she was to far to photograph and very difficult to see in the grass without binoculars. We got to a point where she was at the edge of the grass and there was only clear ground between her and the Deer. Just then another vehicle that had stopped to see what was happening started it's engine, this startled the Deer and the Tiger was left with no choice but to go for it! Next thing there were Deer running everywhere and the last we saw was the Tiger chasing a Deer into the bush. All quite amazing.
We were delighted with this sighting, but right at the end of the drive it got even better. We were heading back to the gate, by this time all the Jeeps were re-grouping and joining up on the track back to the gate, 3 Jeeps were some distance ahead and we were the second of a group of 4. Suddenly chaos ensued as a large male Tiger came out between the Jeeps not far in front of us, it looked like he was just going to cross the track,
but he stopped before re-entering the forest and turned down the track,
now the drivers became very agitated as the Tiger came at us relentlessly, for 10 minutes he forced us backwards, the policy obviously being to keep out of the Tigers way, in fact one Jeep in front of us nearly tipped over as it moved off the track and into a ditch. It became even more anxious as the Jeeps behind us didn't want to move, because the people wanted a good view of the Tiger, so some heated Hindi words were exchanged between Jeeps. But for us it was all very exciting and as he got close it did make the heart beat a little faster! But I don't really think we were in any danger, the Tiger was saying this is my forest and I'll go where I want and you will get out of my way. So to conclude our Tiger encounter here are a couple more snaps:
What a morning! We did actually see some birds too and a Mongoose:
So the last post will wrap up all the other stuff seen outside of the parks.