Night Safari Experience: Spotting Animals In the Dark

We started the safari just when the sun was setting …

We went in a jeep driven by a nice guy (who happens to be a local of Mudumalai, so somehow we felt safe), and were instructed not to get off the vehicle at any point during the safari.  Minutes later, we spotted this couple who is apparently not on speaking terms with each other …

And then there was this Indian bison who refused to look up and smile for us.  I waited.  And waited some more.  Until both Masood and the driver got impatient while I waited for an opportunity to shoot.  They threatened to leave and drive away without me.  I begged and pleaded, but they paid no attention.  So I leave you with this picture …

Oh, and further deep into the jungle was an elephant camp!  We were quite far from the camp, several times zones away in fact, so I was glad that I borrowed my sister, Sophia’s, 70-300 mm lens with which I was able to zoom in nicely…

Thirty minutes and thousands of blurred images later …

Yes, it was so dark I couldn’t find the water bottle inside the jeep.  It felt silly (and dangerous) to be out there in the wild.  I started missing the safety of the tree house.  We could hear all sorts of animal sounds, and I am sure most of them – the dangerous ones specially – could see us in the dark, so that added to the, er, thrill.

Another vehicle would drive past us, occasionally, and for that brief moment we felt relief, until we’re all alone and could hear the animal sounds again.  In the picture below, you can spot a red eye.  It belongs to a wild elephant.  And she has a baby, so the driver decided that we better not hang around too long …

And here is someone’s behind …

This fellow here ran as fast as it could, for it didn’t obviously liked being photographed by strangers …

Some do’s and don’ts when you’re out there on a night safari:

  • Do blend in with the natural surroundings.  So don’t wear bright colors.  And don’t wear perfume.
  • Do take pictures, but don’t use flash.  (Well, I tried not using flash and the result was complete darkness)
  • Do eat and drink (if you really have to) but don’t litter – it reflects poorly on your upbringing and basic concepts of hygiene and orderliness.
  • Do entrust children to adults who are capable of controlling them.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Don’t bring an animal home with you.  “It might eat you,” adds ‘liya.


I would give the Mudumalai night safari a 3 out of 5 stars.

The thing is, local forest officials do not allow private vehicles to enter deep into the jungle, so we only drove along a main road that runs through the safer part of the wildlife sanctuary.  And since it’s a main road, there is a teeny bit of traffic – but a few were so careless in that they were honking horns and driving fast.  It was sad.

What made the experience fun was trying to be the first to spot wild animals in the dark, plus listening to the various animal sounds was really exciting!

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15 Responses to Night Safari Experience: Spotting Animals In the Dark

  1. Pingback: Night Safari Experience: Spotting Animals In the Dark | Tea Break

  2. rahin says:

    ooooh ! tht must b exciting , safari in the dark ….love the pics

  3. joveria says:

    loved the pic of the couple who were not on talking terms … lolzzz such a cute pic

    • nadia says:

      Joveria, welcome to the blog! *hugs*

      The langoors are so funny! If you spend some time observing their behavior, you can walk away with a dozen cute pics 🙂

  4. 'liya says:

    I’m laughing at the last point, don’t bring it home … the should add “it might eat you” lol.

    I see the red eye 😀

    This is really cool! I love the tree house + safari, looks like such an awesome experience!

  5. Lat says:

    How exciting to explore the jungle at night! Very interesting and cool pics!Liked the elephant the best 🙂 It’s a boon in a way that we humans do not have natural night eye visions.Can you imagine the 1001 creepy living things we can see at night! Who can sleep in peace..except for animals 🙂

    Btw how long was the trip and how would you rate it?

    • nadia says:

      Lat, thank you!

      Oh yes, I agree with you that it’s to our advantage that we can’t see clearly in the dark. Because if we could, I’d always have very dark glasses on at night 😀

      I’m so glad you asked about how I’d rate the safari. Thank you. I’ll add that in the post.

  6. Pingback: Pictures From Our Daytime Safari, Plus Tales of the Annoying Photographers «

  7. masood says:

    Not on speaking terms…lol. It’s fun to read your post along with their funny descriptions, I simply love it 🙂

  8. Mezba says:

    this is cool… although I would be scared in a night safari…. watched too many horror movies I guess!

    • nadia says:

      Mezba, I totally forgot about the horror movies while I was there! I huge alhumdulillah for that! I don’t think I would’ve gone for that night safari had I recalled any of those movies, specially since India is famous for such ‘sightings’. Also, a few weeks before the trip, I had been reading Ruskin Bond’s ‘Ghost Stories from the Raj’ :S

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