Sunday, November 30, 2014

Leopards at Bera, Rajasthan, India.


Hello Blogger friends!!!
Sorry for the long absence from bloggerland as too many things have happened in the past year and half but hopefully we will be more regular now.
We have since relocated to Dubai(UAE) few months back. Desperate for a break, we managed to team up with Dr. Caesar Sengupta's Photography (DCP) team, a bunch of wildlife photograpers for a Leapord Bera Expedition in India. It turned out to be an awesome experience!!
Bera is a small village situated in the Aravali region of Rajasthan in India. Here leopards (Panthera pardus) roam freely.
Jawai Dam located close by, is one of the largest man made dams of Western Rajasthan, built by the Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur. It is also a Marsh Crocodile Sanctuary. In spite of the hostile terrain and extreme climates, Bera is an abode for various ungulates, including the “Neel Gai” or Blue Bull.
After a change of flight and a drive of few hours we reached Leopard Liar Resort, Bera.
We freshened up and met the rest of the team. Post lunch we set out on our evening safari at 4:30 pm. We travelled about 22kms and reached the spot where the leopards are usually sighted, a hilly slope. We took up positions on top of a small hill facing the slope. The photographers were all excited and ready with their gears. We were to maintain pin drop silence as leopards are shy and alert animals. My job was to keep Diya and Hiya quiet and after a little while we saw one of the leopards emerge from its hide...

All cameras go click click click...and then appears another leopard...
Nothing can get better than have a few shots of them together in the wild...


Gradually the light faded and Diya with her point and shoot captures this lovely sunset...
The leopards disappear into the dark and we all set off back to the resort. After a lovely dinner under the open sky and twinkling stars we retire for the night exhausted but still talking of the leopards.

The kids are too tired so I decide to let them sleep and Arun is up for the morning safari leaving at 5:30 and I try to get back to sleep but my mind is to busy with thoughts of the leopards. We wait impatiently for the group to return but when they return they are very leopards...

War zone- when the Leopard acts too pricey and does not show up. The camera bodies get separated from the tele and get attached to wide angles to reflect the shooters' plight.
A camel herd passing by gives some respite to the thirsty photographers.
So after breakfast I get to capture a few pretty butterflies in the garden which I will share in the next post. Had our lunch and chit chat about our wildlife experiences so far. Time flies and we get ready for our evening safari, this time to a different location called Perwa, 25 km away from the resort. As we reach we are greeted by the leopard,  ambient light is however not conducive and the leopard too is far away but we just manage a few shots before it gets too dark to photograph...

We get back to the resort and have our dinner enjoying the chilly night  and put the kids to bed early, as we all wanted to make it for the last morning safari.
We are all ready by 5:30 a.m and set out for the safari but we were not lucky and did not sight any leopards...just a few morning shots and a few birds we will share later.

A local !

Since no leopards were sighted we finally decide to pose for a team pic.We returned back to the resort a little disappointed but happy to have spent sometime amidst nature and after breakfast we bid adieu to our friends.A lifetime experience and a satisfying one too.