I never thought what started as just another vacation spot has now become my go to place for any de -stressing period......Ranthambhore,Sariska & Bandhavgarh National park in that list..... It's so intoxicating .... The Wildlife.... The Tracking of the Tiger and all the related efforts which goes with it. The fact that in my last 2 years of visits to these places, the emotions that I had of not having sighted even one Tiger in the wild is a load on a soul of a wildlife enthusiast and a beginner photographer. Here is my journey ! My journey with wildlife started when I first visited Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Reserve on the banks of river Murti in 2011. On this trip I encountered wild Indian Rhinoceros, Gaur and Elephants. This piqued my interest in wildlife. My second outing was after my marriage in 2013; my wife insisted that we visit Ranthambore. We visited with a borrowed Sony superzoom Cybershot (some model of 2012). The trip turned out to be a dry outing but the experience of capturing the landscape and other fauna in the park was enthralling. As soon as we were back we decided that every year we shall go out atleast once a year to various national parks. I bought a Canon 700d and Tamron 70-300m and after a visit to Masai Mara National Park, Kenya, after couple of local Bird Parks visits and after a Sariska visit I upgraded to Tamron 150-600 mm. We learned from our mistake from our Ranthambore visit and I decided to call upon a very close friend of mine who had then recently taken up photography and had mastered it, and who had also taken few trips with GoingWild. He suggested to us to consider GoingWild and especially suggested to take Tamanud along as he is a TIGER MAGNATE. The best part of GoingWild is that it is brilliant for people who RESPECT the Wild and also love photography. Their philosophy of “Know and respect The Wild and Get respected by the Wild” is pure and true to the cause of educating and creating awareness of conservation of wild. Plus they have lots of energy (Don’t Go by Tamanud’s size). Their Knowledge about various parks is phenomenal and for that I have a huge respect for them. And, to top it all the TRIO- Tamanud, Dibyendu and Soumyajit (as per me ) are excellent photographers themselves with good knowledge of photography so come in handy for a Novice like me. We also had the chance to interact with various guides and drivers after our trips. Some come to meet Tamanud and in turn we interacted with them. It is such an engaging discussion. And for people like me, we get to know more about the wild and the people involved in conserving it. This extra for no cost (Pun intended. It’s just great experience in short) Finally we met Tamanud on our Maiden trip to Bandhavbgarh with Going wild in November 2015. The trip was fabulous. I tested my newly acquired photography skills and the Tamron 15-600 mm in real action. I was well guided by Tamanud for better picture and composition. This trip not only about the elements to consider for photography but also taught us how to understand the signs from the wild, how to track and how to anticipate. On this very trip we saw our FIRST TIGER in the wild and that too a road-crossing one. We sighted 6 Tigers in 5 safaris during this trip. I Couldn't have asked for more- One- 14 month Male Cub. One of the 3 cubs of Pathia's litter, another- Rajbehera -Mother with four , 6 months old cubs. We Couldn't take pictures as light was extremely bad/under dense undergrowth. This experience to the naked eyes, was clear joy to watch them frolicking amidst the undergrowth. It seems we were officially the first to sight them. It was an amazing experience I can’t express the feeling. Goosebumps, sweating and the emotions that me and my wife experienced, is something words will not do any justice. Tamanud “The Tiger Magnate” was again called upon our next trip in April 2016 to Bandhavgarh and again he lived up to our expectations- we saw 9 tigers over 6 safaris. Ever since then we decided that if we ever go to any of the wildlife places then GoingWild will be our first Choice. After this trip we followed it up with a visit to Pench and we sighted OUR FIRST DHOLE (A pack of 11)_ INDIAN WILD DOG- Live Hunting of a large Stag. Sadly we missed sighting Collar Wali. Another great thing about GoingWild is that they put together a likeminded group. We have met some amazing, pure hearted people on the trips we have had with GoingWild. Great Going GoingWild. Kudos and god bless you ! Sundarbans is on our Bucket list. Hope to travel soon with GoingWild Team.
- Ritesh Patnaik
Going Wild has always been our invaluable ground partner for the Sunderbans. We had an amazing experience with them. As seasoned travelers, our team and guests were happy with every aspect of the trip organised by them and just could not find a flaw.
There are few things which need absolute special mention:
1. The food cooked on our houseboat was the best meal we had on the 90 days overland trip. So the best out of 270 different meals.
2. Their knowledge about the Sunderbans is superb. They know the place inside out hence leading to some great sightings.
3. The guides and the boat skippers know what they are doing. They got the bull's eye... the swamp tiger right on the first Sunderbans trip with them.
We highly recommend Going wild and sincerely hope to continue working with them in the times to come!!
- Overland Expeditions India
I joined GoingWild's for 10th Feb. to 15th Feb, 2016 East Sikkim tour. It was with Dibyendu Ash. Due to harsh winter no one else joined that tour. But believe me, Dibyendu left no stone unturned to show me Himalayan Monal!! No moving thing escaped Dibyendu's eye. Despite temperatures between -5C to -15C We had good birding. I would love to join GoingWild again, at least once a year.
- Mehul Patel
I have joined GoingWild THRICE in less than a year. Hence, I will be writing obvious things if I say that GoingWild team members are professional, dedicated, committed, and helpful to the tour participants to the last mile. GoingWild has helped me ignite my dormant love for the wildlife. My first peep of the tiger in the wild from Bandhavgarh to the immense pleasure of seeing the colourful Himalayan birds in Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the best moments of my life realised in these tours. I am not done with them. My eyes are constantly on the calendar for the next tour with GoingWild to â€¦â€¦..
- Ranjan Dash
Before embarking on Sunderbans tour, I kept my expectation low. Certainly, tiger was not on its wish list, as I heard before, for sighting of the swamp cat in this mangrove, the lady luck need to be on your side.
The weather in this tour during first week of October was quite pleasant. As it was my first visit, the topography was all but new. I enjoyed every moment of my stay on the small boat, which gently toured us all day long through its ever winding streams. The freshly prepared snacks and meals by the cook added value to the itinerary.
I was introduced to varied flora and fauna of the mangrove forest by our guide Nityananda. There were so many lifers for me particularly Brown winged Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Mudskippers, Grey-headed Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew, Pacific Golden Plover, etc, to name a few. I also enjoyed the sighting of Salt-water Crocodile, Peregrine falcon and Irrawaddy dolphins from the close quarter. A kill of pied sterling by Changeable Hawk eagle was quite interesting.
During the last leg of our tour, a fresh tiger pug mark was seen moving towards Sujanyakhali. Our guide Nityananda suggested us to wait on the watch tower. After a while, we could see the tiger coming out from the clearing and moving straight to us. It was a huge male. It maintained an eye-contact, as it approached us and then took a detour and vanished into the thicket of mangrove. For me, it was more than a bonus. I had a good amount of data of the swamp king. I returned back on a happy note.
- Joybroto Dass
If one wishes to see Sunderban , you need to see through "GOING WILD "EYES !
A true exhilarating experience I had during my maiden trip to such a beautiful and mysterious forest, along with Going wild team , needless to say the guidance and comfort provided by the team was exceptional.
Thank you Soumajit and team, looking forward to more in future.
All my best wishes to the team for their work to make Sunderban "known" to the" unknown".