Ranthambore National Park is quite stunning. It was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India, and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. It is stunning because it is so varied. The Aravali hills in the distance, the fort perched on forbidding tall rocks, the plains stretching as far as the eye can see, the lakes shimmering in the rising heat.
It is rich in another way as well as this is where a large population of tigers can be seen together with the many animals some of which form tiger dinners. A lot of visitors go to Ranthambore expecting to see tigers and proportionately the possibilities are good as there is quite a number of them in the park.
This however is where I go into a rant, which I don't often do on this blog. When we visited we tried to get in as many safaris as possible. First we were sent the most complicated process to comply with in order to book them which we balked at saying we have never had to do this in any other national park. Then when we finally organised the safaris through the place we were staying we were so disappointed at how badly they were run and how little they offered.
Our interest in wildlife is not centred on tigers though we have enjoyed every minute of our viewings. However our guides and our vehicles were just hopeless. We were hearded into a "canter" a twenty seater where the engine was so bad that it could barely make the small inclines in the park, not to mention the NOISE that came from the engine which must have driven away any animal within a two mile radius. They drove round the park with the only motivation of getting to the end of the journey. The guides were useless- imparting little or no infomation about the wildlife - we knew more so were able to actually stop the "beast" and explain to the rest of the eager onlookers some of the treasures that the guides were not able to share with us.
We were so disappointed with this mass ill treatment that we requested a jeep which we thought would make a more sympathetic view of the park. Sadly this was just as disappointing. The guides took us on exactly the same route we had been before. They were simply not interested in sharing any of the park's treasures.This is a government run service and it is woefully inadequate.There is SO MUCH on offer and it takes little to impart the beauty and the variety but this was a bureaucratic nightmare of monumental proportions.
SO given all this you might think well what did we see ? We saw a tiger on the ramparts of the fort ! The tiger sauntered by turning to look briefly at the unruly humans who were misbehaving in these oversize trucks trying to get a good view of it. It disappeared very quickly into the undergrowth thinking no doubt, good grief these humans could really be taught how to behave better ! However there was so much more in spite of their insistence to race around which I am happy to share with you all !