We've seen a tiger, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhh! We arrived in Ranthambore after a 4 hour drive from Bharatpur - we love the drives cuz you have to go through some real little Indian villages in the middle of nowhere, the roads are just dust tracks and it's amazing what you see, the kids always wave when we pass them, they're so cute! As soon as we got to Ranthambore our driver took us to a guest house we picked from our Bible again, the room was great and we had 2 American sisters next door who said the cook there was great! The room as supposed to be 450rps but we bartered again and got it for 350rps! Getting good at this!
We then went straight to the safari booking centre which was a bit manic but managed to book ourselves onto a 6 seater jeep which left 30 mins later! The safari was only 593rps each, including a guide (so less than a tenner!). There are 5 zones in the park and we went to zone 5, which was like a jungle, so very hard to spot anything. Our driver was great but we didn't see any tigers :-(. We asked the drier which zone was best and he said zone 3, cuz it's more open, so we decided we'd book another safari in the morning. We went back to our room and had dinner with the American sisters, Laura (nice name!) and Sarah. They were lovely - they'd been to zone 3 and seen a tiger!
After another crap nights sleep (there was an Indian wedding going on all night and construction works outside the hotel!) we got up at 5am to go and book another safari, which left at 7am. When booking we specifically asked for zone 3... and got it! Eeeeh! The morning safari was bloody freeeeeeezing, even though we had about 4 layers on! Ranthambore National Park is absolutely gorgeous - loads of old ruins amongst the jungle and surrounded by mountains (which leopards live in!). On entering zone 3 we saw fresh tiger footprints from earlier that morning... good start! The driver followed the tracks... and we found her!!!!!!!!! She was lying in the grass beneath trees, but then she got up and walked towards the jeeps! She was only about 15ft away from us and stood there for a good couple of minutes before crossing the dirt track in from of the canter (a big, 20 seater jeep) in front of us and stalking some spotted deer, who saw her and started making warning calls! We followed her for a good 20 mins, it was amazing! Zone 3 was so much better, much more open with gorgeous lakes. We got back to our room, had some breakfast and left for Jaipur... (TBC!)