Kaziranga spread over 425 square kilometeres or so is home to about 2400 one horned rhinos (10/12/2017).
You can see these majestic animals every where in Kaziranga, though sighting these is better in the Western Range. Kaziranga also hosts the elephants, wild water buffalo and the tiger. You can also see the swamp deers (Barasingha), hog deers, wild boars and few more species of mammals.
I arrived at Gauhati by Jetairawys flight form Pune. Jetairways runs a direct flight via Kolkota to Gauhati. At Gauhati I was recieved by Mr Hazarika who was to drive me to Nature Hunt Eco Camp where I was to stay. The camp management had tied up the safaris for the next few days. During the safaris which were spread over the next few days, I sighted a number of species of mammals and birds. I managed to get some nice pictures of these which I am sharing with you in this blog.
We were driving in the Eastern Range and then I spotted this Rhino approaching the banks of this seasonal lake which gets formed in monsoons due to the flooding of the flat plains. We stopped and waited till the Rhino bent down to drink water, this was the moment which I wanted to snap.
….and then it entered the lake.
We spotted the Rhino’s each and every day during all are safaris but more so in the western range.
Nature has it’s own way. The egrets help in getting rid of insects on the rhino’s body.
Off and on there are cases of poaching. Rhinos are killed for there horns which is considered to be having medicinal values. I learnt later that this is a total fallacy as the biological composition of a rhino’s horn is same as that of the human nail. You will find the park being patrolled by armed guards quite frequently.
The only way to explore the park is by jeep safaris. The jeeps move on a designated path, so you only see what you come across during your safari. You cannot get off the jeep.
The next of the big four which we saw was the elephants, though in small numbers. The big four in this park are the rhino’s, elephants, wild water buffalo and the tiger which generally stays elusive. We could sense it but did not spot one.
I was told that only lucky one’s see a tusker as there numbers are few. Tuskers stay alone and do not form part of the herd.
We saw wild water buffaloes in large numbers, mostly in the Eastern Range.
It is the size of there horns which distinguishes them from the domestic ones.
Kaziranga National Forest mostly comprises of grasslands interspersed with few wooded areas. The grass here is called elephant grass, and rightly so as it is very difficult to spot the animals when inside the grass land.
Kaziranga also hosts a large number of wild boars. We did spot a few.
Kaziranga also has a healthy population of swamp deer also called Barasingha.
….and the hog deer were every where.
While on a safari you may also come across this hoary bellied squirrel.
Kaziranga is a fascinating place and attracts many foreign tourists and wildlife photographers who come here to see the one horned rhino.
A visit to Kaziranga is not complete without visiting the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary located at Mariani near Jorhat. It is about 100 km from Kaziranga.
Located around 20 km from Jorhat, this isolated wildlife sanctuary is famous for its hoolock gibbon population. Surrounded by the Brahmaputra river on one side and with tea gardens everywhere else, this is a good enclosure for the 26 or so families of hoolock gibbons that reside here.
Apart from the gibbon, one can see capped langur, stump-tailed macaque, pigtail macaque, Assamese macaque, rhesus macaque and slow loris here.
On our visit here the first one to greet us were the capped langurs.
….then after quite a walk we spotted a family of gibbons which were jumping around high up in the trees. We were informed by the guide that these never come down to the ground.
During our walk around the sanctuary we also saw many pig tailed monkeys.
For me this was a trip to remember and I am sure I will come here again for more and to find the elusive tiger. Kaziranga is also famous for birds, to know more read my blog on birding in Kaziranga on this very website.
That’s me (right) with my escort who accompanied us during the safaris. Best wishes.