I kept this diary of things we have done in Singapore for 2 years. I have now moved some of it to other travel pages but you can still find links to many of our activities here. I have also created a reading list of books we have read about the region.

Western Japan

Birds in Singapore

Kuala Lumpur stopover

Thai Diving

Singapore Liveaboard

Local Residents

Beijing Summer

Diving with Sharks

Shanghai Heatwave

Taiwan Tourists

An Indian week

Where U bin?

Island hideaway

Steamy running

A Trip to the Zoo

Gardens by the Bay


Singapore walks

Mind the bus

Flower power


Early weeks


Vicky's Blog


Another trip to India provides an opportunity to spend a long weekend on safari with our friends Cindy and Guy. Both Cindy and Vicky are African and we have been on safari with them in Africa several times. Now they are living in India and are exploring the wildlife parks there. Cindy had stayed in Reni Pani jungle lodge in Madhyar Pradesh before and highly recommended it. It is next to the Satpura National park, about 3 hours drive from Bhopal, an hour and a half flight from Mumbai so 'doable' for 3 days. Guy and I stay from Saturday to Monday while Cindy and Vicky stay on another three days.

Reni Pani is a very comfortable lodge set in the 'buffer zone' between the local countryside and the National park. The rooms are spacious villas set in woodland where you can sit on your balcony and watch the birds, or if you are lucky a passing sloth bear or leopard. Our short stay is rather disrupted by torrential rain which is very unusual in March and wipes out Sunday when the park is closed because of the weather. Despite this we have safari drives on the Saturday and Monday morning and go hunting for black buck and birdlife on Sunday when the rain finally clears.

To get to the Satpura National park you have to cross the Tawa reservoir (above) from the ticket office at Sarangpur. When we first arrive on the Saturday herders are bringing their buffalo back from grazing by the water. The reservoir provides a handy barrier which prevents the tigers and leopards from straying into farms and villages and also stopping cows from wandering into the park. Apparently in the dry season it is pretty easy to cross and the odd cow does get eaten.

Satpura is a "Tiger Reserve" and tigers are spotted several times a week by the lodge visitors. Maybe they have been scared off by the rain but we don't see any on our visit although we do get a fleeting glance of a leopard. Despite this we enjoy our drives. Easy to spot are the spotted deer, gaur (a large wild variety of cow), and Sambar deer along with wild pigs and birdlife. We drive through parkland and teak forest, climbing the steep slopes in our Maruti land rover and inspecting lakes and ponds for birds and crocodiles. Despite being pointed out various spots where tiger and leopard kills had taken place we don't find the elusive cats although we do find the large sloth bear, rooting through the forest digging up termites. On our second drive we find a mother bear with two babies clinging to her back. When she stops to dig they jump off and play or try to climb trees. They are hard to watch and photograph as the grass is pretty long but we are rewarded with a few good sightings.

As I head back to Bhopal and then Mumbai with Guy on another hairy taxi ride dodging Tata trucks and motorbikes Vicky and Cindy are planning the rest of their stay including a night in a lodge deep in the park. Will they be lucky and see a tiger kill? I will find out in a few days.

See the slideshow below for more ...