CORBETT : An Afterthought


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Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Corbett National Park
April 11th 2009
Published: April 11th 2009
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On the whole, I had lovely time in Corbett, met many nice and wonderful people, saw places, games which I had not seen on my two previous visits. Most memorable was tiger sighting on three different occasions. A visit to Jim Corbett's summer home in Kaladhungi and nature walk in surrounding area was an icing on the cake. Mr. Ghosh, Oliver and Mohit went out of the way to make my stay memorable, comfortable and delightful. Manoj at the Riverine Camp, Vanghat was a wonderful lad, always smiling, accommodating and helpful.

Will I go back again ? DEFINITELY. February 2010 and I am in Corbett again.

A word about guided game drive and elephant back game watch in India. I have been to Kaziranga National Park, Assam and Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand. In my view, elephant back game viewing should be banned. It is inhumane and dangerous. In normal, wild circumstances, elephants and tigers avoid each other. Here, we not only tame a wild elephant but force him to approach the tiger. This makes both tiger and elephant uncomfortable, irritable and resentful. There are well documented instances when such safaris led to tiger jumping on the elephants to maul the mahout. A few video footage of such incidents are posted on youtube.

No guest on arrival at the camp are given a briefing as to Dos and Don'ts during their stay, as happens in Africa. I saw a jackal who has killed a spotted deer and was having his breakfast in the morning. I saw three elephants, mounted by twelve people who approached the poor thing to a few yards, thus disturbing the animal. This should be avoided. Then same people followed too closely a herd of wild elephants - too close for the wild ones to show resentment by loudly trumpeting their displeasure. It was a dangerous thing to do. Another reason why elephant back safari should be stopped.

I saw children under twelve years of age. Normally, in Africa, most of the camps don't allow them. Some do and have special facilities. Children under six are never taken out on game drive there. Here in Corbett, a four years old child was sitting with his father on our elephant on a look out for a tiger and on sighting one, loudly chirping. Again a dangerous thing to do. They should stay in camp and entertained. Children between age of six and twelve can go out on game drive using a 4w drive.

Dress code is important too. I saw people wearing brightly coloured dresses. In Africa, one always wear olive green, beige or similar neutral colour that amalgamate with the surroundings. People should be told not to throw rubbish in the forest. We picked quite a few during our wanderings.

Let me thank all and time to close this blog.

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