We eventually pulled into Katni Junction at 0515hrs where we were met by 3 cars. After a further 2 hours in the cars, we finally arrived at Nature Heritage Resort. After 2 days of hard travelling and very little sleep, I could not wait to go to my room to freshen up and to get some shut eye. The resort was absolutely gorgeous and the rooms have to be seen to be believed. Truly luxurious.
Before retiring to our rooms, there was a quick briefing on the rest of the day’s itinerary – rest, freshen up, lunch at 1pm, afternoon game drive at 3pm so we were to be at the jeeps for 2.45pm.
For the next six days, our itinerary was as follows:-
4.00am: get up
4.30am: be at the jeep to be driven to Tala Gate
5.00am – 9.00am: game drive around Bandhavgarh National Park
9.00am: return to lodge for breakfast, freshen up, review of photos and maybe some sleep
2.45pm: meet at jeeps for game drive
3.00pm – 6.00pm: game drive
6.00pm: return to lodge to freshen up
8.00pm: dinner and review of photos
Getting up earlier than I would normally to go to work was hard work but after a couple of days, I got the hang of it. The itinerary may look like a punishing schedule, but in reality, it wasn’t when you take into account how much free time we had in between eating and going out in Bandhavgarh National Park. Having finally arrived, I couldn’t wait for my first game drive.
2.45pm: David and I left the lodge and met up with the rest of our group in front of the jeeps. We were to ride two people to a car so that we would have plenty of room for our photography equipment. After we were assigned our jeep and driver, we rode in convoy to Tala Gate. Upon arrival, we joined the queue of cars, waiting to be allocated a route and guide before gaining access to the park.
After what seemed like a very long time, our driver came back, accompanied by a guide and we were off! Our tiger safari had finally begun..