Even though a select few of us on the Semester at Sea trip through India never did see our tiger, our safari in Ranthambore National Park was filled with other forms of wildlife that kept us satisfied. And the wildlife didn’t even wait until we drove through the park gates to prompt us to take out our cameras; there were quite a few mammals milling about Sawai Madophur (including a goat wearing a fanny pack!) as we drove through it at 5am on our way to the first game drive of the day.
But once inside the park, the residents aren’t always so out in the open. You have to peer a bit more closely to…see snakes hiding beneath stones.
Scare a crocodile.
Stumble upon fields full of deer.
Glimpse peacocks waddling across the paths.
Or warthogs grazing.
Find stealthy owls sleeping in the trees.
Mingle with cheeky monkeys.
Oh so many, many monkeys.
(The monkeys keeping watch over the herds of deer like shepherds guarding their flocks were my favorites.)
Countless birds teeter on the treetops, like these chatty neon green parakeets.
We also encountered a few suspicious new species. First of all, there’s the Bernie, a highly evolved, talkative genus that the other animals like to pick on due to the fact that it’s one big softie.
There’s the Craig, closely related to the primate, known for its mischievous nature and propensity for causing trouble.
And the RC, no explanation needed. The monkeys in particular did not like sharing their trees with the RC, as he tried to tug on one small one’s tail, who in turn went ballistic and started cursing him in monkey speak.
students questionable species might not rule the jungle just yet, but they have definitely kept our travels interesting, that’s for sure!