If there is a way you can enjoy every single trip to the wilderness, it is with the right temperament and the right expectations. And these wonderful folks standing with me, under a majestic banyan tree, are shining examples. Corbett to this day remains my favourite park but it has never been a place where tigers have been easy to see. It's the diversity, both of the landscapes and the wildlife here I am in love with, something amazing always awaits. On this trip, there were huge Indian rock pythons basking away, birds of every color including those amazing hornbills (we sighted all three species known to reside in the park). Beautiful sunny mornings and vast pebbled riverbeds that played host to herds of deer and resplendant peacocks showcasing their gorgeous plumage. Tigers roared outside our place of stay during dusk and dawn including right outside the fence one adrenaline-pumping morning but stayed hidden, tantalizingly close until finally we stole two glimpses, on both occasions, males, one of which included the biggest tiger I have ever seen, in the Jhirna zone. Rued the fact that we laid eyes on him only for seconds before he disappeared into the dense undergrowth, but the sheer thrill of tracking him as a lone jeep with our young gun driver, Simen, and getting even those fleeting glimpses, isn't that what it's all about? The unpredictability, the jack-in-the-box at every turn in this heaven on Earth that is the Corbett National Park.
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