2015 December Bandhavgarh tour, the first 3 safaris failed to yeild any tiger sighting though we were very close to spotting the Banbei Tigress in the morning safari in Tala zone but somehow she managed to give us a slip. The afternoon safari was in Magdhi zone and we got ready as early as possible to reach the safari gate first. Among the key intelligence gathering process involved during afternoon safari rounds in tiger tracking and tiger sighting is what tiger movements have been there in that particular zone during the morning safari, and we came to know from drivers and guides of a few vehicles who had been to Magdhi zone in the morning that a female tiger (Patiha Tigress) was seen in the Bhool-Bhoolaiya area in the morning round. Immediately we decided that we will spend some time in Bhool-Bhoolaiya area on our way to Sukhi waterhole.
The safari gates opened on time and our drive began, at a steady speed of 15-20 Kmph we progressed looking and hearing for any tell-tale signs of tiger presence like fresh pugmarks, tiger roar or alarm calls of prey animals but unfortunately there were none. Slowly we approached the Bhool-Bhoolaiya area and taking the middle jeep track we proceeded towards the Sukhi waterhole. As mentioned earlier, we were the first gypsy to enter the zone in that safari and suddenly we spotted on the track, a big and beautiful male tiger lying. Happiness knew no bounds for it was our first tiger sighting of the tour and what a sighting it was, a roadblock every tiger lover wants to come accross when visiting a tiger park. The tiger gave us a lot of time to observe and make images of him before he left the track and went inside the jungle.
One of the reasons why one should look to take maximum safaris possible for that individual or their group is this, you can never be sure how many safaris it may take for a tiger sighting, even in the parks which are most famous for tiger sightings for afterall these are forests and tiger is a very shy animal. The more safaris you take, higher the chances of spotting this elusive big cat.