Situated in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district, is the state’s oldest national park, The Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. It houses the famous Royal Bengal Tigers and even a part of Project Tiger since 1993.
The natural habitat of teak and bamboo forests create a picturesque environment for photographers to capture pictures of the tigers and even other residents including, jackals, sloth bears, nilgai, leopards, sambhar and wild dogs. Many also know it as ‘The Jewel of Vidharba’ due to its alluring qualities and bio-diversity.
The Best Season for Photography
If you desire to truly capture the wildlife tigers in all their graceful glory, it is encouraged to visit the resort during the summer especially around 47oC because the thick vegetation would have dried up and identification of the tigers would be easier. Other avenues to spot them include waiting for them to take a break from the heat of sun with the shade of the trees or to take advantage of the watering hole or lake to get water.
But, if you’re a wildlife photographer and prefer your comfort to all other things, the winter might be more apt for you as temperatures such as 25oC to 30oC are seen as more bearable. Due to the fact that bookings start at December-end and the winter season starts in November and lasts till February, it is very difficult to find as the holiday season peaks then.
The monsoon season is the best for photographers wanting to capture the lush vegetation and insect life that come to life with the downpours starting from mid-June. However, it can get difficult to spot animals during the monsoon due to the dense vegetation.
Tadoba perhaps is the best place for a tiger sighting and thus is very popular with wildlife photographers due to its population of 43 Royal Bengal Tigers. A forest guide is necessary to get the best shot of this creatures coupled with a good amount of patience.
According to the locals Panchadhara offers one of the best bets for photography. Ideally, photographers should take advantage of the numerous machans in Tadoba; there is one each at the waterholes at Panchadhara and Vasant Bhandara, two overlooking the Tadoba Lake, and another one at Jamunbadi.
Getting to these locations is easy on any of the many jeeps or buses operated by the Forest Department. However, no vehicles go to Vasant Bhandara, and you need to trek from the reception center the full 5 km distance.
Tadoba Lake – The Best Place to Be
The Tadoba Lake is perhaps the single-most significant place as far as wildlife sightings are concerned. Numerous gaurs, chital and other types of deer can be seen browsing in the grassy patches bordering the lake and around the tourist complex. The trees on the lakeside are also the playground of large number of langur, while the lake itself has a large population of crocodiles.
It is possible to get superb shots of the crocodiles as they sun themselves on the forest paths on the lakeside. Early in the morning or late in the evening, nilgai can be easily spotted too. As you trek to Vasant Bhandara, you should keep your eyes peeled for sloth bears, and even tigers and leopards have their lairs in the vicinity.
The dense forests that abound at Katezari are also perfect for sightings of the sloth bears. Throughout the reserve you can be surprised by flying squirrels, civets, and dholes, while hyenas may make a sudden appearance.