Friday, December 5, 2008

On Safari

Only about 100 miles south of the Himalayas, a completely different world exists. A world of flatlands, lush jungles, palm trees, broad meandering rivers, and rice paddies stretching into the distance.


The south of Nepal is also home to all manner of wildlife, like this Asian rhinocerous that stood silently contemplating our jeep for a moment before crashing off into the brush.

Royal bengal tigers are also native to the region, though due to their nocturnal nature (and decades of determined poaching) they are rarely seen. The tiger below (eyeing me hungrily through the rather flimsy wooden bars of his enclosure) was captured by the Wildlife Service after he and his mother terrorized some local villages.

There is no better way to see the jungle that from the back of an elephant.

The elephants were very friendly with us. They didn't bat an eye when we ungracefully scrambled up their trunks to ride on their backs, even giving us a helpful lift. I found them remarkably beautiful, with deep, wise eyes framed by incredibly long lashes.

This little baby elephant was particularly feisty and eager to play. It's all fun and games until a 400-pound 8-month-old mistakenly steps on one's foot. Ouch!


Coming up: the last post of my Nepal series.

36 comments:

amy said...

I have SO enjoyed hearing about your trip, I cannot believe you are only giving us one more post! more! we want more!
gorgeous photos all around, and i so want to hug that elephant!

amy said...

oh and i particularly love that second photo of the boat on the water...

Maggie May said...

some truly, truly amazing photos.

Elizabeth said...

Amy - I'm glad you enjoyed. I wish I could dwell in my happy vacation memories forever, but I've gotta move on sometime!

Maggie May - Thank you for visiting and for your sweet comment!

Soma said...

My first visi here & i have completely fallen in love with this post...

I am from bengal and would visit darjeeling so frequently. we would live near a monastry and still remember seeing the colors on the peak at the sunrise while looking down at the monks walking down. its like a dream..

going back to read ur posts...

maya said...

beautiful! amazing!

you lucky girl. :)

limonana said...

goodness me! just love these photos! the baby elephant is killing me with it's cuteness! they do have such wise eyes...thank you for sharing such wonderful moments...

raining sheep said...

I have so enjoyed this series of wonderful images from Nepal. I must say I love that baby elephant photo. The Rhino is scary looking and so it the tiger. I am suprised that fence keeps him in.

Tartelette said...

Oh wow! That had to be something!! Love this set of pictures too!

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Elizabeth!! These are extraordinary! I hope I can take a trip like this someday. I *especially* love the shot of the tiger and the close up of the elephant. I can't wait to show the boys tomorrow (husband included - he really loved seeing your last post). Have a great weekend! xo

Elizabeth said...

Soma - Welcome! I've always wanted to visit Darjeeling. It's just over the border from Nepal. Someday...

Maya - I know, I am a lucky gal.

Limonana - That little guy was so adorable, and so ready to play!

Raining Sheep - Yes, that tiger fence didn't look too sturdy to me. We didn't stick around there long.

Tartlette - Thank you!

A Day That is Dessert - I hope the boys enjoy the shots!

Camille said...

WOW!!! I am speechless. The photos are stunning. I love the photo your brother took in the post below. The close-up of the elephant is fantastic. The photos are all so wonderful and the adventure of your trip makes me want to pack my bags today and just hit the road.

Elizabeth said...

Camille - I know, looking back on the trip just makes me wish I could take off somewhere again!

a friend to knit with said...

ahhh! i can't even begin to explain how much i love your photos!!!!!
and i can't imagine how cool that experience was!

The Lil Bee said...

This was so beautiful...thank you so much for sharing! I love animals and looking at them in the wild through your lens was a lot of fun.

Fifi Flowers said...

GREAT photos... I adore the elephants!

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Love, love these posts - beautiful photos of an obviously fantastic trip - thanks for sharing..:)

Angry Asian said...

again, your pictures evoke such a warmth in me! i love the tiger picture.

please sir said...

Wow so amazing...wishing I could travel more and more.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Awe, riding through the jungle on the back of an elephant sounds AMAZING! Boy am I a little jealous right now ;)

Elizabeth said...

A Friend to Knit With - Thank you!

Lil Bee - It is so amazing to see animals in the wild, even the little ones we sometimes take for granted!

Fifi Flowers - I love them too!

Here, There - Thank you!

Angry Asian - That tiger was SO scary!

Please Sir - Me too. Always wishing for that.

Wayfaring Wanderer - It was amazing, and weird too!

linnea said...

What wild pictures :o) I can't wait to see more!

Robin said...

A rhino in real life! I just can't believe it. You got that photo from a travel brochure, right? :)

Mrs.French said...

I am so glad you are back...thank you for sharing your trip with us in the most beautiful way. xo t

Elizabeth said...

Linnea - More coming soon!

Robin - I know, a little surreal!

Mrs. French - Thank you for the warm welcome back.

Sabrina said...

Wow- love that photo with the boat and the river! And that baby elephant is too adorable...hope it wasn't your foot getting stepped on.

Elizabeth said...

Sabrina - Mmmph, it was my foot actually!

Julia said...

These are such incredible photos! I can't believe it, it looks like an epic adventure :)

Bart Boehlert said...

What a beautiful site you have - you might enjoy my blog at bartboehlert.blogspot.com

dolcechic said...

These photos are amazing! I am crazy about elephants these days.

Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for visiting. That is fat Rose. We also have little Bell.

Elizabeth said...

Julia - Thanks Julia!

Bart - Hi Bart, thanks for visiting!

Dolcechic - I am loving elephants too. Such interesting animals.

Edi Style said...

So loving. I kiss there's and your eyes

Carolina Lange said...

The place is gorgeous and your photos are simly amazing! Wow! More! please!

Elizabeth said...

Edi Style - Thanks for visiting!

Carolina - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed!

bee said...

that baby elephant has so much personality!!!!