Saturday, 20 April 2013

Crocodile Infested Waters and Elephant Escape at Chitwan National Park

The Chitwan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its rich diversity of flora and fauna which includes many types of birds and wildlife like elephants, rhinos and tigers.

Before doing the Jungle Safari tour, the owner of Eden Jungle Resort (where we stayed) informed that we need to wear dark coloured clothers and be very quiet in the forest. 

The safari tour is an all day event which can be divided into 2 parts, i.e. Part 1: Before Lunch and Part 2: After Lunch :-)

So that morning, the guide lead us from Eden Jungle Resort to the river bank.

I was worried when I saw the sampan that was going to bring us on crocodile infested waters.

The trick is to sit close to each other and don't move so that the sampan won't capsize.

No life jacket were given and when the sampan started moving I was afraid that we would capsize. Moreover, look at what was basking on the river bank:

I dread to think what could have happened had the sampan capsized. But it's all part of the adventure, isn't it?

Soon the sampan grew steadier and we continued on our way.

Pin drop silence ... we managed to spot different types of birds.

Soon we reached another part of the jungle and our guide lead us into the forest.

Our guide pointed out elephant dung, animal tracks, ant hills and all sorts of evidence that proved wildlife were around. The difficult part is to spot these shy creatures. I presume most of them are also nocturnal.

Soon we reached this lake where all the wildlife in the area come for water. Therefore it's a good place to spot these creatures (if you have lots of time and patience). Apart from spotting a few birds, I didn't see any rhino or tiger.

This spot is a haven for bird watchers. We saw many avid photographers here, each trying to spot and snap pics of birds and wildlife. Some of these photographers came with lenses as long as my arm!

Next we visited the Khorsor Elephant Breeding Centre.

Nothing much here except an exhibition on elephants and conservation efforts.

At the back of the centre is a long shelter with a few elephants, all with their feet chained to the ground.

This elephant was swinging its trunk and rubbing it against the tree trunk.

There was this calf who that unchained and running around.

I guess it must have been excited to see us that it started to make an escape - to be close to us.

When it started climbing over the broken fence, I started freaking out. There was no keeper around and we didn't know what to do. That girl in red pants must have instigated the escape, hahaha.

I tried pushing the calf back in but have you ever tried pushing a baby elephant - they won't budge. 

Soon it was free and started running around us. I could have sworn that I saw the look of glee and new found freedom on the calf's face.

Welcome to freedom, calf! Can you see the broken fence behind me?

Then one of the keepers who was standing a little further away started shouting at the calf. At the same time, one of the adult elephants in the enclosure started making a trumpet-like sound loudly. I guess it must be calling its calf back in.

So the little fellow climbed back over the broken fence into the enclosure and went to its mum.

This escape from enclosure incident was one of the highlights of my trip to Nepal. And this picture is just so freaking cute :-)

After the elephant breeding centre, we walked to a river and crossed a bridge to the other side.

Bridge over still waters. 

At the other side of the river, we saw this group of buffaloes (not too sure whether they were water buffaloes or not).

Look at the lady in red. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

As we were snapping pics of the buffaloes, an old man started shouting at us. I didn't understand what he was saying, but our guide told us that the guy was not pleased we were snapping photos of his buffaloes. I'm sure he would have shut up if we had given him a tip, or maybe snapped his fart face instead.

Then we got into the jeep and headed back to the resort for lunch.

Next: Spotting the Elusive One-Horn Rhino

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