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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Photographing Foxes - A guide to take best photographs

The Bengal fox (Vulpes bengalensis) also known as Indian Fox are widespread all over the country but seldom seen due to their shy nature. Seldom seen so rarely photographed and very less is known about them. I have been photographing Foxes for some time now. I wanted to try night photography as well which would have given me a better chances to understand the ecology and habits of these beautiful animals. With all preparations done and equipment's ready I got stuck due to Covid situation. 

Still I have photographed them many times and here is a guide to photograph them without disturbing them, in most ethical way. Remember, foxes are very important for our farms and help by controlling population of rodents and other pests. 

Something about Foxes: They are mostly nocturnal but, late evenings and early mornings are also good time to photograph them. Have seen them in pairs mostly. They mate around November and December. Young once ore born around Jan / Feb with a gestation period of 7 to 8 weeks. They are omnivorous but mainly eat rodents and birds. Have seen same pair using same den for consecutive years. 

Fox Den: Look out for Fox dens, they use burrows or use once made by others mostly in and around agricultural fields, grasslands or semi-arid regions. Check for any activities especially in evenings or at night. Foxes have multiple entry / exits to their den so keep that in mind. I have seen one entering from a hole and coming out from another which was almost 100 meters away. Best way to understand if a den is occupied is to look for pug marks or scats. 

Prepare a hide: Prepare a good hide in safe distance and preferably on ground level. If they do not see you they do not feel threatened and give you good chances to photograph them. Hide should be such that you can sit on ground to get good eye level shots. Remember Foxes are very small so if you are on height you will not get good photographs. And, most important is never sit in the open, it will disturb them and if female nursing kittens feels threatened she may not come on time which is detrimental for the young once survival. I use a camping tent as hide as it is large and comfortable as well as has window on four sides to take photographs. 

Understand their movement: As per my experience Foxes normally move around late evening and are most active at night. If Female is rearing kittens she will normally come to feed them at almost same time and mostly will use same route. She will scan the surrounding before approaching the den. Once you understand their movement it will be easy to set up hide at right location. 

Keep lighting in mind: I use natural lighting only to photograph wildlife and suggest not to use flash as it may disturb the kittens and parents. Best is to set your hide in such a way that you get proper lighting. 

Background: Check for uncluttered background. Although it is not possible to get good background always but do not disturb the area just to take a good photograph as this can be harmful for the fox family. 

Kittens playing undisturbed and meeting mother after a long wait are times when you can get some excellent photographs. Remember, mother comes unannounced so keep tight watch. Once kittens are a couple of months old they will come out of their hiding place and wait for mother. This is also the time when they play and give you some good photographs. It is simply breathtaking to see the young once playing and especially when they welcome their mother. 

Taking wildlife photograph is both time consuming and frustrating at times but the result takes away all your tiredness and can help in spreading awareness and better understanding of our wildlife. Basically it is all about good preparedness, understanding of your subject and your practical knowledge of fieldcraft which can help you get good photographs. 

Ethical photography: Last but not the least, always keep safety of your subject on forefront and not that one photograph which you feel can be rewarding. Never disturb your subject or its vicinity and never try to lure them out for that one shot. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Camping essentials - What you need to carry when going outdoors

Planning a camping trip, confused as to what to pack for your adventure? Here is a list to guide you all the way through. 

Camping has caught up very fast being one of the most adventurous holiday experiences. When planning a camping trip one thing we always have in mind is as to what we need to pack. Here we are providing a list of essentials you should not forget to make your trip a great success and memorable one. 

This checklist has been especially made keeping camping in forested areas in mind but can be used in all kind of camping trip be it backpacking, hiking or any outdoor adventure trip. Remember, carry only the best quality items as at most camping destinations you will not get a chance to purchase or replace anything. 

Prepare a list of all things needed for your camping trip with help of this guide. It is always good to prepare everything in advance, understand your equipment well beforehand. 

1. Camping tent

Most important thing you need is a good camping tent. If you are travelling to a place with extreme climatic conditions do keep that in mind and purchase a good tent which can with stand heavy rain, cold or windy situations, should be easy to set up, light weight and ventilated.   

2. Sleeping gear 

You need a good night’s sleep so your sleeping gear should be very comfy. In winters it is best to carry sleeping bags which can keep you warm, should be water resistant and comfortable. In summers you can just use sleeping bag liners which are easy to carry and use vey less packing space. You can also carry a light blanket. 

3. Camping Roll Mat

Carry a roll mat which is light weight and comfortable. At times you may have to pitch your tent on hard surface. These will keep you comfortable as well as work as insulation in cold winters.  

4. Lighting

We recommend you carry a good torch as well as camping lantern. A head lamp is a very good option. Do check for the battery life. 

5. Cooking Gear

No matter where you are or where you go, certainly good, tasty food is very essential to keep you healthy and going. Pack strong light cooking gear, a camping stove, cooking gas, cooking pots, chopping knife, cutlery set, bowls / plates and mugs. Do carry a lighter / flint stick to start camp fire. 

Take a good storage box and zip liners to keep your food safe. We suggest vegetarian food if you are going for a long trip as they are easy to keep safe and last long. Also, carry enough water and juice. 

6. Camping Electronic Gear

An action camera and a DSLR are sure essentials when we talk about any holiday as photography help us in keeping our memories. A cell phone with GPS and good battery life, a power bank preferably solar one, rechargeable batteries, a GPS if you are going to off the beaten track destination, chargers are few things you should not miss in any conditions. Keep a portable solar battery charging kit if you are going out for a long trip. 

7. Survival / Safety kit

Although it sounds unnecessary but you should always carry a survival kit and survival hand book when travelling outdoors especially if you are visiting forested / wilderness area. A camping knife, compass, map, emergency whistle, emergency blanket, sewing kit, Dry / zip lock bags, torch / head torch, Duck tape, water bottle and water purifier are some important things you should always have when going outdoors. If you are planning to go to a wilderness area it is always advisable to carry some good safety equipment like a knife and pepper spray. Emergency survival kit and life jacket are a good addition always.   

8. Medical Essentials 

Do carry you medical details and medicines along with some basic medical needs especially insect / mosquito repellant. Some basic medicines for aches and pains, scratches, insect stings, sun screen, rehydrating salts are a must when going outdoors. Also, do keep a first aid kit. 

8. Personal Items

Some personal gear like cloths, travel towel, books, entertainment or activity material and like should be packed. A Poncho / umbrella should be kept if it’s rainy season. If you have space you can carry foldable table and chair as well. 

List can be expanded as per your own experience or guidance from die hard camping travelers. But, we are sure above will be good enough and make your holiday experience a memorable one. At many destinations you have especially developed camping sites; if you are using one do check as to what all is available since it will enable you to carry less.

Enjoy Camping!!! 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Camping at Kanha national park

Camping in the buffer forest of Kanha National Park

Camping – just the word itself excites most nature lovers and adventurous travelers. Spending time outdoors in the lap of nature in a small camping tent is one recreational activity which has caught up with youth of all socioeconomic classes. Today many sites have been especially developed for camping enthusiasts and accommodate both recreational and corporate guests.

Camping at Kanha National Park

Madhya Pradesh in Central India is one state which has on offer many such beautiful sites where you can do outdoor camping. In recent years the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Board has been promoting these sites which have been especially developed for campers and have all required amenities. At many places they are providing camping sites adjacent to private resorts or at their own facilities so that campers can stay and enjoy their camping trips. This has caught up with serious campers as well as business organizations that are using these sites for team building activities and leisure.

Camping tent

With perfect mix of wilderness and comfort these sites have been developed at destinations with natural heritage like mountains, rivers, forests and water bodies. They offer an ideal place to relax and indulge in activities giving a memorable experience which will call you back again and again.

Camping is for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts

One such camping site has been developed at Kanha National Park which is being managed by Kanha Village Eco Resort, famous for its authentic mud houses and tribal village ambiance. Looking over dense forest at one side it is a great place to relax and rejuvenate. Away from the noise and pollution of city you can just relax or do adventure activities which include jungle safari, nature walks, medicinal plants identification walks, village visit, ethnic village food, cycling, star gazing, camp fire and host of other games which will keep you indulged full time. Corporate organizations are welcome to stay in mud houses or tents and special team building activities can be planned which will make your holiday at Kanha enjoyable and educational.

Camping tents at Kanha Village Eco Resort

Just imagine staying in a camping tent adjacent to forest which has Tiger, Leopard, Deer, Jackal, Fox and many other wild animals. Still, you are safe since site is secured and a constant watch is kept. You want to cook your own food or do Barbeque, no issues; they have a small kitchen in the camping site. You can just sit around the camp fire and enjoy your dinner listening to nature which is so peaceful. You can carry your own tent or ask them for one available on rent. You can also ask for a package which will include activities and food.

So, what is the adventure enthusiast in you waiting for?

Spotting a Tiger at Kanha national park

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Kanha National Park - a perfect destination for Corporate Team Building exercises


Team building activities have been promoted by many management gurus and rightly so, they are fun events which bring all employees together and create a bonding which is very helpful in progress of any organization. In today’s world when we face competition everywhere what can be the best strategy to move on, certainly the whole office, each and every staff member has to work as a team. Learning is a process that is continuous and we should never think that once our education is complete we have mastered everything. One thing which can help us the most is working as a team and this can be learnt with help of small activities.

Truthfulness, right attitude, smart working are just some other important aspects which can help us in moving ahead in our life with positivity. Here are some benefits of team building activities:

1. Communication

Team building exercises helps in better communication between departments and staff which helps them in completing tasks and solve problems in better way. It relaxes the working atmosphere, improves communication and synchronization which is very vital for any business. 

2. Productivity

A relaxed atmosphere and better communication means better productivity at all levels since duplication of work is reduced and help is always available from all.

3. Improved Morale

Better communication and synchronization of work breaks many barriers making everyone more enthusiastic thereby improving morale in the office.

4. Motivation

Once a bonding develops motivation and confidence improves ensuing better results which is good for everyone’s development.

5. Leadership Qualities

One of the biggest advantage is management can identify leaders and positive employees which can help them in promoting right people which is very important for development of any organization.

6. Creativity

In team building exercises people show their creativity and take initiative as well as find solutions which can have an amazing effect on the whole office and its working.

7. Increase in Confidence

When all the staff members know that they are a team, this increases confidence and helps them in better completion of tasks thereby leading to successful results.

8. Superior Mental Strength

When all employees know that they have full backing and support of all other staff members, this reduces stress which improves mental health and boosts your working and the effect is - better results. 

9. Responsibility 

Team building exercises makes everyone feel responsible, a key to success of any business.

10. Trust

When you know that the whole organization works as a group it improves trust between everyone which leads to better teamwork and improved work ethics.

11. Respect

Respect is one thing we all desire and this is one of the most valuable thing any employee gets when his creativity and other skills are acknowledged. 

12. Value and Vision

Team building can help us in better understanding of our organizations value and vision which further motivates the workforce and increases the productivity.

What can be better place than Kanha National Park where you can sit in the lap of nature away from noise and pollution of city and enjoy some nice fun filled moment with your staff members? Kanha Village Eco Resort can plan a perfect get to gather for your organization and incorporate some nice team building activities which will help your establishment grow. 

Here you can either stay in mud houses or camping tents as per your choice. Along with activities you can do jungle safari to spot tiger and other free roaming wildlife of Kanha.  

Tiger at Kanha National Park