Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kabini - Another face of the leopard land!

The term Kabini, among the wildlife photography community in India is so much synonymous with the enigmatic cat found in its forest that it is called as the leopard land. There are so many leopard images from this forest - some iconic and many stereotypic. Finding a leopard sitting on the fallen tree or walking along the jeep track or crossing the road or occasionally on the branches of some high trees or some sublime moments like getting down from the tree in a truly cat fashion and many more images are made to death in these forests of Nagarahole National Park.

Leopards and tigers are main attractions for thousands of tourists who visit this National Park all through the year. I was there too, for the first time! Though sighting a leopard or a tiger was a small wish in the heart but that was not the only thing I had wished to see. Sahana and myself were there to enjoy the forest. Hence not sighting a single leopard or a tiger in the evening safari didn't make much difference to our enthusiasm.

But what we enjoyed the most was something that not many people would like to opt for when they are at Kabini and especially when they are there for photography. We took the boat safari the next morning and we both later convinced that it was the best decision that we made on last night.

Things slow down a lot when you are on a boat and that helps a lot to look for compositions in nature. Absolute lack of crowd in the boat was another boon for us and later we realised that it is the case most of the time. But I really feel sad for the people who go back without enjoying the boat safari.

The dead trees, the reflections in still water, the mild blue sky and sparse clouds of the winter, the occasional ripples and the way it distorts the reality of the reflection, the lone Osprey and the lone Fish eagle, calm and cold breeze of the morning and as a bonus for us - huge congregation of Bar Headed Geese! I just loved the setting throughout.

A lovely morning very well spent on the waters of the river Kabini.