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Ranthambore National Park

15.5K steps and 47 flights of steps – all in a jeep

We both have a Garmin Fenix – Susan has the 5 and Mark has the 5X.  This watch is very accurate when it comes to distance.  When we first got them before we left Colorado, we did a 5K (3.1 miles) and the watch recorded it as 3.12 miles!

On our trip to India, we went Ranthambore National Park to look for tigers.  For all of you thinking “Didn’t you see Tigers is Africa?”. Nope!  Tigers are in Indian; lions are in Africa. To see tigers, you need to go on a safari either for 4 hours in the morning or 4 hours in the afternoon.  We were picked up at the hotel about 7 AM and the fun began. (We actually did 3 of these safaris, two in the morning and one afternoon safari.)  As noted in our blog, the roads are extremely bumpy and the drivers drive like maniacs.

About half way through the one of the safaris, both our fitness watches indicated we hit 10,000 steps and that we’d reached our step climbing goal of 10 flights.  When we finally got back to the hotel after being shaken like a can of paint, Mark’s watch said we walked 15,500 steps and climbed 47 flights of stairs and descended 31 flights.  Susan’s watch had an amazing 104 flights climbed and 132 flights descended.

19116 Steps all while sitting in a jeep

Susan’s 19116 Steps all while sitting in a jeep and bumping across India!

If you want to cheat your fitness tracker, just go on a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, India.


Ranthambore National Park is home to tigers along with a variety of birds, monkeys, sambars, but the tigers are the big draw.  Tiger safaris leave in the morning or the afternoon. It was back on safari schedule – 6 AM wake up with coffee and tea, quick showers and off to the NP.  We knew we’d be in a 6-person vehicle but we had no idea with whom.  The first morning we ended up with 3 other people – a couple from the UK and Abeget, an Indian from Cupertino who works for EA Entertainment Arts.

The safari vehicles have no top; they are completely open air.  Khem Villas provided a wool blanket with hot water bottle, 2 bottles of water and 2 sandwiches. We laughed when we read this but, when we hit the road, the blanket with the hot water bottle came in mighty handy!

The driver drove fast, making our heads and faces even colder.  First stop was at the main gate of the National Park so the hawkers could try to sell hats and gloves and fleeces. For some reason, they didn’t bother Abaget!

The park is divided into zones and each vehicle is assigned a zone never to be violated by entering another zone! Zone 2 was ours with the road following along the bottom of the hill with the Ranthambore Fort which is high and VERY large.  Pictures can’t do it justice.

Ranthambore Fort

The walls of Ranthambore Fort

tiger paw print

A tiger paw print in the road.

Victory! We saw two tiger “cubs”. This guy is only about 18 months old.

The tigers blend into the background quite well.

Hawkeye spotting!  A lady in a passing vehicle in the National Park saw Mark’s shirt and said “GO Hawks!”

Sambar deer in the lake

This lake was full of birds and Sambar deer during the afternoon safari

female NP guide

Our afternoon National Park Guide. She is the ONLY female guide in the National Park.

Naturalists are freelance and work on a rotation basis.  She tried really hard to find a tiger for us in the afternoon but to no avail.

sambas having sex

These sambars had some afternoon delight.

The birds were spectacular even if the tigers are in hiding.

owl in tree

The guide spotted two owls nestled in the tree.

Fruit bats

Fruit bats hanging around in the trees!