“Morning.” ” Morning .” “Good sighting yesterday – elephants, gaurs, deer .Didnt know South India had so much wildlife.”
6 am and the moon shines out of a bright blue sky .There are only 3 of us in the jeep. Olaf ,Katja and I .
” First time here ?” Yes.But we’ve been to Kanha,Ranthambore, Kaziranga ..this is beautiful, we’ve just been to Periyar.. Back home, this part of India is not promoted at all..only Rajasthan and Goa . Must tell the tourists going to Jaipur to come down and see the wildlife..do you get foreign tourists ? A herd of spotted deer stare at us as we slow down. “Sir, a crested serpent eagle..”
“We stay in Cologne for just 5-6 months .We’re mainly in africa..we run a project, a park in Zambia..Ah South Africa is good, Botswana is very expensive, Kenya is very crowded.. you can see one leopard surrounded by 4 jeeps of tourists..In Zambia, not much of crowds ..but you will see a leopard for sure, though mornings can be like this, no sighting..”
” Sir,”..the jeep slows…” gaur behind the bush..” Ah ! It’s sitting, not a good picture..”
” Do you know of any good projects in India ? Our focus is on elephants now, man animal conflict,conservation of forests…” Sir, in Bandipur, 1200 -1400 elephants and 70-80 tigers..” “We do a lot of work in Burma ..we’ve taken elephants from there to Cologne and brought rhinos to Burma from Africa..we’re going to Bangkok for the elephant conference..let me give you my card, we ‘re vets, conservationists and this is my travel agency..we will promote India too..”
” Yen sikhthu ?” Alli yennu illa”..”dam hathira?” “Ok..lets go ..” You see these orange flowers.. “Lantena .” Yes, yes..they are weeds..they make the forests into a shrubbery, good ornamental plants..but bad for the forests..” Are you coming to the village where they are making furniture out of lantena ..? Yes, we are..”