Ranthambore saga: Have money, see tiger

#1 May 18th, 2011, 16:13
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  • aarosh is offline
#1
Next time out on a safari to the Ranthambore national park curse not your luck if the tiger remains elusive. Instead let the money do the work!

Full article here http://articles.timesofindia.indiati...thambore-tiger

I read it in today's issue. Apparently the article shows Monday May 16th.

Is this true?
#2 May 18th, 2011, 16:23
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#2
Even I read the article in Times of India. Hope this is not true. Actually I feel most of the guides try their best to show Tigers, since every sighting acts as an advertisement of their park as the tourist will go back home & spread the word that they saw a tiger in this park.

Ronak.
#3 May 18th, 2011, 18:04
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#3
Money makes the world go round.
Have no problem believing it. Doesn't mean I approve, quite to the contrary.
I have the feeling many western tourists are willing to pay high amount of money for many different services not only tiger spotting. In doing so they are "ruining" "normal" prices in tourist places.
#4 May 18th, 2011, 19:18
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#4
Unless things have changed recently I find it hard to believe about this tipping requirement.

In the five safaris I did I never heard the guide say anything like it - although obviously I can only understand English not Hindi.
#5 May 19th, 2011, 14:13
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#5
Tipping is a individual thing. I had encountered some guides who would do nothing but snooze in the front seat and expect a tip (one called Mauni Baba in Ranthambhore, was a great example, waste of oxygen and a seat in Gypsy).

If we leave apart a few of these guides, I have so far found really nice people who have done their best to make sure I get to see what I want and part as friends and not as guide/client.

Although I have tipped the guides and drivers at all times but I have made sure that guides who did not take an effort were pointedly excluded from the tip. Only time I did not tip a driver was because he thought it was okay to speed in the park.

What I do not agree with is that giving money will magically increase my chances. It may encourage them to try harder though. If my driver/guide does not understand my requirements or do not know tracking, I would end up doing the spotting and tracking.
#6 May 21st, 2011, 20:47
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#6
Have also read this article.

Have been to Ranthambore twice had 8 safaris & 1 sighting.
All these were booked by myself and not through any agent.

But think is not 100% true.
Most of it may be just theories i feel.

1. More Trips per person more Money.

This may be what some may interpret that less tiger sightings means more trips & more money. Each traveler books 2 safaris daily for the entire stay duration. But All bookings are done from the internet only few are done on counter. They have to pay only a part and the rest is paid on the counter. Only agents charge the full amount to traveler while booking. So one can always cancel the trip & only lose Rs.100 per trip if agents excused & also go to areas other than the core. A fair charge & others get the benefit as the sanctuary is always almost full i guess during the peaks.


2. Switching of Zones

Zones are allotted randomly by a computer they say. But maybe its not true as there was no documentary evidence which i had seen which mentioned my Zone. Every time i had got different zones to my luck or their setting. There may be some minimal corruption in the allotment and some influential agents may play a part. But they did respect my zone change request once and helped me. Paying for a zone change request to the agent would be foolish as i fell tiger sighting is a matter of luck. And how do you trust someone who says that today the tiger sighting will be in this zone.

3. Tipping the Guide.

Tipping had never been compulsory in any of my 8 trips. I just tipped thrice, once during the sighting (200 for 3 of us), 100 twice for 2 of us because of their friendly nature & they did drop us to station. They do try hard for the sightings and then maybe ask for a tip. Unless they provide a sighting people wont like to tip them. Foreign Tourists do tip them handsomely but that is good for the tourism industry. This is the norm i fell and there is no harm in this. You do get some pesky guides & drivers sometimes but that can be ignored.

Also visit my Blog to get a first hand on my experience with handling the formalities and the joy of the first sightings.

http://ranthambore-tigers.blogspot.com/
#7 May 21st, 2011, 21:04
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#7
I suppose if you had a totally naive client & an enterprising guide/driver .... anything could happen. But most of us who know wildlife, know that spotting the rarer birds & mammals is like winning a large raffle draw. Sure, you can buy as many tickets as you like but one is never 'guaranteed' anything.

On the otherhand, there are 'service roads' @ Ranthambhor that are 'officially' off limits to tourists ....but occasionally & with the right guide & on the right day & with some timely nudge-nudging - you might just get to roll down these trails a kilometer or two......



Grrrrr! Grrrrrr! Roar!!! Chomp!!!!!!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#8 May 21st, 2011, 23:30
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post I suppose if you had a totally naive client & an enterprising guide/driver .... anything could happen. But most of us who know wildlife, know that spotting the rarer birds & mammals is like winning a large raffle draw. Sure, you can buy as many tickets as you like but one is never 'guaranteed' anything.

On the otherhand, there are 'service roads' @ Ranthambhor that are 'officially' off limits to tourists ....but occasionally & with the right guide & on the right day & with some timely nudge-nudging - you might just get to roll down these trails a kilometer or two......



Grrrrr! Grrrrrr! Roar!!! Chomp!!!!!!
Definitely agree with you that right guide,day,nudging can get you the offbeat path & also maybe raise sighting chances, but still not a guarantee. Once Our guide, a professional & he did knew a lot about the different zones, on his own took a detour in the interiors but hard luck. All this depends on the circumstances and in 3 hours it is difficult to time a tiger. We manage to see foot prints at times but diffuclt to fird the tiger. The point in the article is if you pay good tips then only you will see tigers, which is absurd & will do no good for the sanctuary.

As far as birds, bears & other animals are concerned you can also opt for the other 3 zones which are also worth a visit.


The whole article gives the sanctuary a bad name for tipping the Guides rather than fighting the corruption in the sanctuary management system which itself is flawed.

The Article instead of enlighting the traveler of malpractices is demotivating him to travel.
#9 May 21st, 2011, 23:34
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#9
Well I witnessed lion baiting for cash in Sasan Gir, so why not.
#10 May 22nd, 2011, 00:12
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#10
Interesting to see that there might be some truth in the report looking at the responses here.

It is strange that the report talks only about Ranthambore National Park, or is this the state of affairs at most of the National Parks of India (looks like after Klompen's response).

It may also be the case that the reporter had visited only Ranthambore National Park and reported. It would have been better if the reporter had visited all the parks and then compiled a report on it.
#11 May 22nd, 2011, 00:19
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#11
I too have only visited Ranthambore and hence do not have personal opinions on other Parks. But through friends who are wild life enthusiasts have never seen anyone complaining about tips.

I also feel that such system will be prevailing at all national parks as the booking & working procedure is same.

The system is not clean anywhere that is what i understand. but you have to avoid being a part of it.
#12 May 23rd, 2011, 13:15
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post Is this true?
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanTragic View Post Unless things have changed recently I find it hard to believe about this tipping requirement.

In the five safaris I did I never heard the guide say anything like it - although obviously I can only understand English not Hindi.
I concur with OT, the news piece is fluff. The news piece implies that in absence of a money you do not get to see the tiger. All forest rangers know passable English, which is a requirement. Hindi is obligatory, Bengali is desirable.

TOI does not impress me with many of its pieces which contain errors.

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