Day 10 (October 26, 2014)   Sundarbans


Map of the Indian part of Sundarbans

   We’ll start this day at Sundarbans ready to spend the most of the day exploring the area marked as Sajnekhali Wildlife Sancturay (the green one at map).

   On this tour we’ll enjoy this huge mangrove, whether on boat or foot, looking for sightings of its peculiar fauna. We’ll go to the top of three watch towers:

 - Sajnekhali

 - Sudhanyakhali

 - Dobanki

   We’ll be taken to Kolkata airport sometime in the afternoon with enough time to board our flight to Delhi scheduled at 8:25 PM.

   Once in the capital city, we’ll be picked up to take us to Silver Ferns Hotel, where part of our baggage will be waiting for us.


   Day starts early: at 6:30 AM we already are in front of our bungalow with the baggage ready to leave. Yesterday we were to bed early too, so no pain for the time.

   At 7 AM we’re taking our seats in the boat deck and wait seeing how the people of the village is taking mud which they must use for multiple things. We know we’re going to lunch chicken today as the staff is bringing one alive to the boat.

Sunrise at SundarbansPeople from village carrying mud

   When we arrive to Sajnekhali it is still closed, so we must wait for some minutes to the small boat with the guides to appear. We’re taking one with us to the Reserve.

Sajnekhali EntranceMonkey in Sajnekhali

   Since this point we sail, first attending the explanation from the guide, and then exploring the shores at both sides of the river looking for a peep of local fauna. We see a Monitor Lizard and some birds.

Monitor Lizard
Little EgretWater bird flying

   One hour later we do our first visit out of the boat to the Sudhanyakhali Camp. In the mud at the entrance we see our first red fiddler crab. We will see hundreds of them during the day.

Sailing through Sundarbans
MudskippersRed fiddler crab

   A path protected by a tall wire fence at both sides takes to the watch towers where we can have a glimpse of the big tongues of mud which bright let us guess they get full of water on high tide.Sughanyakhali watch tower

View from Sughanyakhali watch tower

   The protection fences have really a point here; we’ve already detected yesterday a net over all the Northern part of the Reserve. The guide explains tigers are very difficult to be seen here, but they are, and in a place like this there is a lack of food, just one lizard or monkey for the most of their days, so they’re always hungry here. This makes tigers, as unbelievable as it can seem, have swum the 200 or 300 meters of river from the reserve to the islands with villages to eat some person. The net is there to avoid this happens again.

   We sail two and a half hours more through the narrower parts of this endless mangrove to Dobanki Camp. In all this way we’ve been watching a bunch of water birds, like the Marabou, which we already know from Kenya.

Sailing through Sundarbans
Marabou in SundarbansTiger footprints in the mud

   Here the watch tower is in a closed square circuit in a level above the ground, all wire fenced, which allows exploring securely a big area with a lot of crabs and cone shells. We have the proof tigers get close to here in the form of footprints in the mud along the fence.

Dobanki EntranceDobanki watch tower

   In the mud of the camp entrance we can see, a part of the mentioned red fiddler crabs and cone shells, some other yellow ones with blue parts.

Yellow crab in Sundarbans

   We’ve spent the morning exploring the mangrove and now is time to lunch while the boat is taking the way back through the wide part. This part goes directly to the sea, so we can see some big ship’s cargo on their way to leave the continent.

Sundarbans landscapeSundarbans landscape

   We still are two more hours on boat enjoying this unique landscape and some of the birds here, as the Kingfisher.

Sailing through Sundarbans
KingfisherGreat Egret

   It’s around 4 PM when the boat stops in the quay we know from yesterday is taking to the road. The Boss promises we’ll get Kolkata airport on time for our flight, which is also theOur flight delayed destination for other couple of the group. We go with him on his car and the other couple goes in front of us with the driver who took us to here yesterday. Here we go for a three hours ride through rural India until meeting the night and the city.

   We’re delivered at airport with time enough for the procedures and to find out our flight is the only in the list which is delayed. Fortunately it is only 30 minutes, so we’re in Delhi’s airport by 11:30 PM.

   This time we follow the same steps than in Kolkata: join the line on police desk and prepay a taxi to our hotel in Salek: the Silver Ferns. There we take back the bag we left four days ago and rest in our room our last night in India.

Spicejet planeNight view of Kolkata from sky