Tracker Academy Blog
We head out with Bright (one of our trainers at Tracker Academy) in a Land Rover. Scanning for tracks we were going pick up Renias Mhlongo (one of South Africa’s renowned trackers and a trainer at the academy). En route, a leopard leaps out of a bush and seizes an impala from its herd, literally fifteen feet away from our vehicle. By the time we realise what just happened, the leopard (a female) had successfully killed and dragged the impala to the base of a tree. Bright, also stunned with the suddenness of the sighting drives us into the thicket to try and get a closer view of the leopard. In the middle of all this, two hyenas stroll by, possibly attracted by the commotion the impalas created as they witnessed one of their herd snatched by the subtle predator. Relying on their highly acute sense of smell, the hyenas manage to locate immediately the trench in which the carcass and leopard lay under the shade of an acacia. As soon as the leopard hears the hyenas approaching, she bolts, disappearing into the bush and leaving her hard-earned food behind. Within seconds the two hyenas had mangled the impala and erratically tore off its lifeless limbs in a savage frenzy. I will not and cannot for all of our sakes describe the sound of the joints popping out of their sockets or the crack of the bones as they manically devoured the corpse. They laughed in their characteristic way as they competed for the last ounce of flesh and after a mere 20 minutes, the impala was gone.
Read More LONDOLOZI Despatch: Part II
Vedant Thite and William Asquith, both Rangers from the JAWAI and Sher Bagh Field Teams respectively send their first despatch from the Londolozi Private Game Reserve, where they are attending a three-week training course over the summer. Over the next few weeks we will follow their progress and adventures as they report on their experiences from the African Bush! Stay tuned…
Read More LONDOLOZI Despatch: Part I
Rajasthan was gifted with a very wet monsoon season last year: Ranthambhore’s verdant nature had returned and the wildlife rediscovered their Arcadia. In October, as you meandered through the jungle, you were able to witness the park’s rebirth, the dhok trees flourishing in their senility, the grass long, thick and lush and the network of water channels flowing full. This allows wildlife to disperse throughout the park and the numerous watering holes scattered around the area were full for cheetal, or sambar deer to quench their thirst and leafy groves for nilgai antelope to browse and feast upon.
Read More A Walk Through the Seasons at Sher Bagh
Bisalpur Hill, close to our camp JAWAI resembles a steep mountain in the lower Himalayas and has been the home to many Hindu priests and wild animals over the centuries. The ancient Ashapura Mata Ji Temple which is situated half way up the hill, overlooks and is believed to guard the entire Bisalpur Village that lies beneath it. Many pilgrims from all over the country come and pay their regards to the mother goddess at this auspicious temple. On the other side of the hill you are met with stunning views over the agricultural fields & rural farmland below, interspersed with the faint sound of the water being pumped from the irrigation wells. The daily routine of a small rustic village can be witnessed close by. Read More Oh Lakkad Bagga! The Striped Hyena
The Thar Desert extends between the Aravalli Hills in the northeast, the Great Rann of Kutch along the coastline, and the alluvial plains of the Indus River in the west and northwest. Most of the desert is covered by huge shifting sand dunes that receive sediments from the alluvial plains and the coast. The sand is highly mobile because of strong winds that sweep across the open expanse at the onset of the monsoon. The Luni is the only river integrated into the desert. Rainfall is limited, only 100–500 mm per year, quenching the thirst of the sand between July and September.
Read More The sands of the Thar desert!
JAWAIs solitary hills are dotted with temples, shrines and memorials. All events and festivities in this region are devoted to religion. This can be mainly attributed to the fact that this region was secluded and not many invaders managed ruling over this area. Over centuries, the various communities of JAWAI have preserved their traditions and are proud to have maintained their customs. Every temple has some spiritual significance and has a legend attached to it. Such is the legend of Devgiri. Read More JAWAI: The Legend of Devgiri- God’s Own Hill
The JAWAI family is delighted to announce the return of one of our most beloved leopards: The Temple Female Read More The Temple Female: The return of an Icon!
Blackness turned first to gloom and then to pale blue. Soon papaya orange painted the dusty skies of the east as morning crept gently up upon the world, climbing the back of the hill on which we sat. A dry but green land of fields, parched riverbeds and impossibly sculpted granite hills lay spread out around us, slowly opening its colours to the sky as the sun broke the horizon. Pink rocks, orange soils and precipitously green crop plantations prepared themselves for another day of the intense Indian heat, memories of the recent monsoons gradually evaporating under what would almost certainly be another relentlessly clear Rajasthani sky. Read More Cats of the Dawn
The day started with a feeling of celebration in the air. All the staff were exceptionally chirpy and every corner you turned you were wished “Shub Diwali” (Happy Diwali). Sweets were a main feature of the day with staff recieving vast boxes of Mithai (a selection of confectionary and desserts) and everyone who came through the gates was greeted with Sohan Papri, a crisp and flaky textured sweet. Read More Diwali in Tiger Country
Every drive at JAWAI is an exploration into the wilderness of rural India. Every outing, whether it be on foot, or in car, is a journey for the senses. There is just so much at play here and one can not help but find yourself staring out at the landscape, the people, the birds, the animals and the colour. In a landscape with rocks believed to be over 850 million years old is truly astounding to be able to enjoy the beauty with which they provide us today. We are privileged. It is remarkable. Take a minute to scroll through just some of the images from the last few days at JAWAI Leopard Camp… Read More JAWAI: A week in pictures