Visitors to Rajasthan might be slightly perplexed by the regular signs depicting a leopard. Leopards are indigenous to Rajasthan, but these shy creatures have been long overshadowed by the tiger as Rajasthan’s star attraction. Like the tiger, leopard numbers continue to decline but with less public awareness. In a move to highlight the plight of these fascinating creatures, boutique travel agency Wire will be adding leopard safaris to its growing list of unique activities in Rajasthan, north India.
Thakur Devi Singh, an expert at tracking leopard and understanding their behaviour is the driving force behind Wire’s new safari option, offering a credible alternative to the usual tiger safaris around Sariska and Ranthambore National Parks. Mr Singh’s persistence and passion for these remarkable creatures has increased the chances of a sighting on his trips to 95%. This increased probability, combined with the more mountainous terrain in the area around Ranakpur offers international visitors a perfect opportunity to see an alternative side of Rajasthan.
Wire’s operations director, Gerd Dupré talks about the new venture: "Devi Singh is somewhat of a local legend and we’re thrilled that he will be able to show our clients these very elusive animals. Seeing a leopard in the wild is breathtaking. Ranakpur and its surroundings have long been overlooked as a quick stop off point, so we can promote the region as a whole and more importantly raise awareness of the significant drop in leopard numbers over recent years."
Ranakpur is famous for the historic Jain temple complex and lies on the road between Udaipur and Jodhpur.
Leopard safaris last for about three hours, depending on how soon a leopard can be tracked. Devi Singh or his son lead the safaris personally and they have even puchased land where leopards live in order to be able to protect this vitally important natural habitat. This gives them unprecedented access to leopards’ daily routine and therefore increases the chances of spotting one – much more so than with tigers.
More information about the leopard safaris, Ranakpur and Rajasthan in general are available on the Wire website – http://www.mywireindia.co.uk or http://www.mywireindia.co.uk/leopard_safari_rajasthan.html
Source = Wire