|We wander around the Elephant Breeding Centre.
|We were able to buy flatbread, that we could feed to the Elephants.
|Elephants have always been my favourite animals and it was a special moment for me, to be able to spend time with them in peace and quiet away from a Zoo.
|Just after leaving the Elephant Sanctuary, our guide takes us trekking along the flood planes.
|Our guide speaks to a colleague. He quickly asks us, if we can move really fast (I though he meant run, but he meant walk quickly) for about 10 minutes.
We move quickly through the scrub, and are rewarded by a sighting of a rhino.
At one point, the Rhino looks slightly spooked, we back away as instructed (we could see it, but it was too far away to photograph without a zoom lens).
|After an exhilarating half hour, we head back to the Elephant sanctuary entrance, to cross the river and go back for lunch.
We were surprised to see this.
|We had spent the morning, looking in the wilder parts of the park. We were astounded at the irony, when a Rhino walked right across the grass in front of us, bold as brass.
We were able to get really close and see it. One Japanese guy took a real chance and went a bit too close to it.
My guidebook was clear about this: Before getting inquisitive with Rhino’s and ignoring the advise of your guide, just imagine being trampled to death !.
|After an amazing morning, we head back across the river, to our waiting Jeeps.
An old man on the bank, was carving small animals from wood (it was how he made his living).
Interestingly, he had Elephants and Rhino’s (I bought one each, have them to this day, they are treasured possessions) and since the spectacle of the Rhino passing, the carved Rhino had doubled in value.
|After lunch, our guide arrives with an elephant, and we take it in turns, to learn how to climb on its back, like the locals, using its very strong ears.
|We head to the loading station, where our 3 Elephants arrive, complete with “viewing platform” seats.
|We head gracefully along the trail.
|Crossing through Wetlands.
|Finally we reach the bush.
In this terrain, it was like being dragged through the proverbial hedge backwards.
It was pretty cool cruising high above the forest floor.
|We saw loads of wild animals (but unfortunately, no Tigers. Our guide had said lf we see a Tiger, we should go home to the UK, and easily win the Lottery !)
The Rhino’s were relaxing in the long grass (well I think that’s what they were doing) and we were able to get right up close to see them, as you can see from this picture.
There are 400 wild Rhino’s in the park.
|Afterwards, its time for some R and R.
The Elephants needed to be bathed, and we were invited to go down to the river to bath them.
|Not my sort of hobby really, so I sat on the bank (with a Beer, obviously), kept hold of the Camera’s and took pictures of everyone.
Here Kingsley tries to stay on the Elephants back.
|Later, we wander around into the village.
I bought some presents, a beautiful painting of 3 village women carrying baskets (which hangs on my wall at work) and something I have always wanted, a Gurkha Knife.
I bought lots of stuff from this Charity shop, which contributes to single mothers in the area.
|In the evening, I relax around the bar with Kingsley, the famous Pencil entrepreneur of Indian legend.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the ascent of Everest, a special brand of Lager had been produced.
They were still selling it a couple of years later, and it was still delicious.
Its moments like these that I treasure, when you sit amongst friends and recount the days events.
|Up early again, and back to the Jeeps, for our final trip out
In only 2 days, we had done a village visit, a Canoe Safari, a walking Safari and an Elephant Safari.
This was an early morning Jeep Safari, to see small animals.
|As we crossed the river by bridge, there was an early morning eclipse (not photographed terribly well.
|As we set off, we see more Elephants along the road.
During the Monsoon season, roads like this one are impassible.
|As we drive through the forest, in the early morning, there were loads of birds and other creatures to see (there are over 450 species of birds in the park).
Sadly, my Camera just wasn’t powerful enough to photograph them.
|I decided to just enjoy the experience.
I love driving over rough terrain anyway, and the surroundings, just made it even better.