The Indian Sundarbans is a delta consisting of 102 islands. Numerous creeks, canals, and rivers crisscross these islands. Out of those 102 islands, only 48 are forest islands. These 48 islands which have dense forests, form a part of Sundarbans National Park. The wildlife photography tours happen in 42 islands, which are deep dense forests. There is no human habitation in these 48 islands. Tigers and most other wildlife reside in these 48 forest islands.
In most other forests of India morning and afternoon safaris are organized. In the Sundarbans, tourists spend quality time in the forest from sunrise to sunset. One needs a boat to cover the tourism area covering more than 350 square kilometers. Most of the safari boats are well equipped with seating and sleeping space, toilets, kitchen, and viewing deck. The boat which we use for wildlife photography in Sundarbans has 4 non-air conditioned cabins. 8 guests can stay in these cabins on twin-sharing basis.
Wildlife photography is challenging as well as rewarding in the Sundarbans National Park. Sundarban tour is completely different from any other photography tour. Tiger photography in other parks happens from safari vehicles which are like jeeps. Tourists can also walk inside the forest in some parks. In the Sundarbans, wildlife photography is predominantly done from a moving boat. Though there are few watch towers in Sundarbans National Park, visiting them is beneficial only if there is some movement of a tiger in the vicinity. Wildlife photography becomes a little easier when one is doing it from a vehicle on land. On seeing a subject the vehicles can be brought to a sudden halt so that it does not get out of sight. In Sundarbans since the boat navigates through tidal waters which have running current, boats can not be brought to an absolute halt immediately. Unlike a land vehicle, a boat does not have a braking system. It is brought to a halt by rotating the propellers in reverse direction. The entire mechanism takes time and hence a sudden halt is virtually impossible. In addition to that, cutting off the boat engine is neither allowed nor advisable as the boat might drift away with the current in the water. So imagine a situation, where one has to do wildlife photography of a moving subject from a moving object. Handheld wildlife photography is always suggested as the tripod might shake and make the images blur, due to the vibrations created by the engine of the boat. A bean bag may be useful sometimes. Shifting the bean bag according to the movement of the subject, however, may result in loss of precious time. You should remember that the subjects in Sundarbans may not allow much time for photographing them.
For tiger photography in Sundarbans, the best time is the monsoon and early winter. The peak tourism starts from 25th December and continues till the end of January. As too many numbers of boats enter every day, the tigers prefer to cross the river mostly during the non-tourism time. The dates of the photography tour are extremely crucial as the movement of tigers or any other wildlife in Sundarbans is heavily dependent on the tidal pattern. It has been noticed that most of the movements happen during the small tide period when the current in the water is less. This duration is about a week that falls between the full moon and new moon. Covering this entire duration of small tide maximizes the chances of tiger sighting. That is why all our announced wildlife photography tours are of 6 nights and 7 days. You can have a look at our tours in the Upcoming Tours section. In case your plans do not match with our tour dates, do write to us as we also design customized wildlife photography tours to the Sundarbans.
A loveless life is futile and what could be more satisfying than loving and being loved by nature? Well, this is for you to decide but he always knew that he belonged with nature. At a very tender age he clearly realised that he is increasingly attracted to nature. The constant longing to get away from the city humdrum guided managing partner, Dibyendu to take up birding and wildlife photography as his profession, working in an IT company could never satisfy the hunger of his soul and mind. A very young Dibyendu took interest in animal skull craft for it used to be his favourite pastime, he read his mother’s zoology books which made his interest in animals grow stronger . His love for wildlife groomed him to grow up into a wildlife enthusiast, he is now an avid traveler and has been to many important birding areas in the Himalayas, honing his skills as a naturalist, birder and a wildlife photographer.
With a huge bird list (which is ever increasing) till date he is currently one of the eminent bird watchers in India. Many of his works have been published in domestic and international publishings, books and newspapers.
Breathing life into the frozen moments of nature is what Soumyajit has been doing through his lenses for the last two decades. Trained as an architect, framing comes to him automatically and composition is his high plus point. Given his early schooling in art & painting, the basic concepts of composition and light always titillated his young brain. Being a self taught he strongly believes in the inherent sense of beauty which at all times, is the best guide than the bookish rules of photography. And he got ample opportunities to cross check his concepts with visiting stalwarts of this field. He valued the criticism of professionals as well as laymen and shaped his creativity accordingly. His photographs strike the very chord in the hearts of his audience urging them to react to the strong messages of nature conservation.
Soumyajit had been long drawn by the mystic world of animals and their natural habitat, the jungle. Coupled with this love for nature and unending patience he makes the right individual to practice wildlife photography. The photographs clicked by him play an integral part in altering the monstrosity of the creatures and highlighting their vulnerability.
Soumyajit is currently whetting his tiger tracking skills especially in the Indian Sunderban, exploring the enigmatic mangroves in a whole new light and bringing the wildlife lovers one step closer to the exotic species of Indian Sunderban not only this but also he shares his knowledge with the clients to ensure that they understand better and the awareness is propagated properly. Having said this, it is needless to mention that not only the tigers of Sunderban, Soumyajit’s erudition about other species of the land of Sundari trees is no doubt remarkable for he has acquired such extensive understanding by spending substantial amount of time in the mysterious mangroves, thus playing a key role in rebuilding the forests and providing protection to its inhabitants.
“Love looks not with the eyes, But with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
His love for tigers is unfathomable. The books of Sir Jim Corbett and of course the wanderlust always made him yearn to be at one with nature, the very thought of observing and photographing the majestic Bengal tigers “filled up his senses like a storm in the desert”, the burning eyes of the majestic beast have lured him to leave his job as an IT professional and made him delve deep into the tangled heart of the forests and breath in the redolence of the jungles. Managing partner, Tamanud Mitra developed a strong understanding of nature and its components, first from the books of Sir Jim Corbett and then by absorbing the jungle lore in the Indian jungles over a considerable period of time, his perseverance and strong determination to walk on the path of his long cherished dream have led him into being an excellent, self-taught tiger tracker and a good enough photographer.