- Dugout Canoe Ride
- Elephant Safari
- Wild Rhino’s
The early morning was offset by a good night’s sleep, a buffet breakfast and the dugout canoe ride we were about to go on.
We set off down a crystal clear river in search of wildlife. The canoe wobbled from side to side as our enthusiastic guide Harka pointed out a variety of birds. Each time we spotted something he would thank the animals for coming with a massive smile on his face.
Even though we made numerous attempts to fall into the water due to our sheer lack of co-ordination we still wanted to see a crocodile.
After being shown Rhino and Elephant tracks as well as more birds, we finally spotted one. “I’m a vegetarian” she snapped, as we drifted her way, confirming what the guide had already pointed out, that she was lying on the bank!
The Gharial is a special type of Crocodile which only eats fish. “Thankyou Gharial” our guide called out as we floated by and then landed our Canoe on a bank downstream. We got out ready for a walk through the Jungle, but before that we needed to hear the safety briefing.
While it certainly did fit the definition of brief, two minutes is hardly enough time to prepare someone to deal with wild Elephants, Rhino’s and Tigers. All I remember from our safety briefing was “If a Rhino is charging after you run in a zig-zag” and “If you’re really in trouble pick up a stick to fight off the [insert animal here].
Our guide reminded me of Bear Grylls but I still didn’t like our chances of beating up a Rhino with a stick.
It was so peaceful being in the bush, away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
Just like in the city we still had to watch we didn’t step in poo.
There were so many things to see in the jungle but most of the animals were scared of us. Perhaps inventing a prestigious award for the “Awesomest Animal” would help!
An Elephant Ride
In the afternoon we jumped on some Elephants and went for another stroll through the jungle. This walk would be unforgettable, and not just because we were on the back of an Elephant. The power and magnificence of these creatures was something to behold. Up and down steep banks, through rivers they went, barely noticing the five people they were carrying.
Everything about these Elephants was huge.
Despite the fact you could see them coming from a mile away the other animals seemed unconcerned that there was a 3 tonne beast only meters away. The 5 people on its back were completely ignored as each animal looked across and only saw the Elephant.
The highlight for everyone was coming across a few wild Rhino’s. On the back of an Elephant they looked tiny but in reality they were solid muscle covered in 4cm thick armour that looked as if it were welded together in massive sheets. What a blessing to be able to witness Rhino’s in the wild.
Nobody dared to jump off the Elephant and ask this little guy for a pat.
With that the Rhino’s were making a late charge for the “Awesomest Animal” award.
The Elephants were desperate to cement their place as No 1 so when the Safari ended each elephant took the tip from our hand and passed it up to the driver. Judging the competition became an easy tusk after that. The elephants were declared the winners. They could save their “My trunk” parody of Fergie for next year.
Not the most gracious of winners the Elephants headed back into the jungle to give the Rhino’s a spray. “Haha, kiss my butt Rhino’s! Better luck next year.”
Later that night we went to a Tharu cultural performance. The 30 second stick fighting dance below was the highlight.
Then to cap it all off, the hotel had made a cake for Nick’s 19th. Best birthday ever!