Amidst several identities like digital marketer, social media strategist, travel blogger, nature lover, wife, daughter, sister, friend and a mom, let me pick two identities for this post – nature lover and a mom. I always find ways to let my daughter connect with nature to give her some extra dose of vitamin G (G stands for green). Hap Magee Ranch Park in California is a beautiful green park that I discovered on our road trip to the Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is an easy stop right off Highway 680.
A forest has a language and ecosystem of its own. Animals living there have respective rules, territories, freedom and responsibilities. It’s a different world. A forest attracts me for its wilderness. It generates a feeling of fear and excitement at the same time inside me. I feel something is going to happen abruptly; I feel the adrenaline rush in my veins. After the end of each and every safari till now, I wanted to redo it again. I simply love being a part of untouched and untamed nature. Here is a list of India’s top 4 forests to go for a wildlife safari.
One afternoon in a weekend!
We drove nearly an hour to reach the Moss Landing State Beach, California. We took our little girl, her beach toys, two beach chairs, a mat to sit and a water bottle. While seeing my child play, a question was traversing my mind.
Tring, Tring! Tring, Tring! I picked up the phone while I was half asleep. A voice from the other side told “Madam, this is your wake up call. Our jeep is ready and we will start sharp at 4 am”. Within seconds my sleepy and indolent body charged up. Out of curiosity, I looked outside our room in the government lodge of Bandhavgarh national park and I could see nothing; literally nothing! It was a dark moonless night. The dark in the woods was a welcome break from the never ending city lights. We hurried up and walked briskly to reach to the spot from where our forest safari in Bandhavgarh would begin.
Whenever I look at my camera sitting alone on my table, an urge to pick it up and get outside to a new place overcomes me often. And then something incredible happens. I end up exploring a new place; a new perspective. On our way to the Big Basin Redwood State Park in California, we visited a Buddhist temple, the Taungpulu Kaba- Aye Monastery – a hidden gem. It is situated amidst redwood trees. This place is a stark contrast to the otherwise high paced silicon valley of California.
When we reached the forest office to secure our passes for an elephant safari at the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, the morning was awakening. The unique smell of the forest was heightening my senses. I heard a morning sonata sung by the birds. When I tried looking at the forest from the entrance gate, I saw closely knit trees standing tall, giving the forest a boundary.
“Zara jaldi chalo” (Please hurry up) we said to our driver as we couldn’t afford to miss the safari that was to begin at 3pm sharp. We were excited partly because we were to embark on a safari ride and partly because it was our first day of the honeymoon. After all the sightseeing, we were ready for the new adventure. We reached the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve half an hour before the scheduled time. The complete name of this forest is The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and it is located in the southern part of India. We reserved our tickets and while waiting for the safari to begin, I got a cute companion.