How To Survive The Jungle – Saturday’s Travel Story

[:en]At first we just assumed they were just making fun of us. Two park rangers, dressed in camouflage outfits and carrying long sticks, stop at every little sound we hear. They then look at us as if we’re about to get scalped and flicked into space by a hungry T-Rex.

No Emergency Exits

Of course we play along as good as we can. On their cue we anxiously look around, declaring love to one another – in case we never see the end of the forest. You can tell that the rangers know very well that we don’t have a clue what we’re doing here, so they gather us around and whisper some safety instructions our way.

In the very unfortunate, but very possible, event of walking into a sloth bear, we’re supposed to group together and pretend we’re one big bear ourselves.

Well, I once learned in theatre class how to do a fried egg impression, but I was probably ill during the bear-imitation lesson. I can’t imagine in a million years a bear would ever fall for that. And adding the facts that these bears are one of few species known to attack without incitement and we have a German girl amongst us who decided it was a well good idea to dress in bright red clothes during a jungle walk, I don’t really expect us to get away alive from an encounter, to be honest. The rest of the wildlife-survival tips from the rangers don’t really comfort me either. When close to a tiger, they suggest us to slowly walk backwards (I used to think that for identification of your body still having your face would speed things up a bit, I could be wrong…) and if there’s a rhino rushing in our direction, we’re best off in a high tree. Surely, group imitating a bear whilst in a tree can prove to be quite hard (in case of meeting both a rhino and a sloth bear at the same time), but then again, apparently sloths are quite keen climbers, so you might want to save yourself the embarrassing ascent –and quickly following descent entirely.

It’s Coming Right At Us!

I’m not sure if they’d made arrangements with the local wildlife, but as soon as the rangers finish their talk about our possible outcomes (in order of seriousness: trampled, very trampled, torn, quartered, unrecognisable mutilated, pulled by one leg from a tree, dragged through the entire forest and then spread on toast by a family of bears…), we hear a terrifying sound coming from the bushes in front of us.

With every single hair on the back of our necks straight up, we hear the pounding of two pairs of massive hoofs. Through the foliage, we can see heavy bodies crashing into each other, flattening out all the plants and trees around them.

 

Punk’d?

‘Oh yeah’, one of the rangers seems to suddenly remember, as we’re trying to catch our breaths in a tree trunk three meters above the ground. ‘Another possibility is that we meet two male rhino’s fighting each other. Let’s just sit here quietly for a while now.’ After half an hour we’re allowed to go back down and for a moment we wonder if what we just saw wasn’t one of the other park rangers putting up a show for us. If they chase all the tourist groups into a tree, let them shiver of fear up there for a while and bring them back to the resort where they can brag about it to the other guests. But after a 15 minute walk we arrive at a river and know immediately that we weren’t fooled at all. In the middle of the water we can clearly see a big fat and very satisfied looking rhinoceros taking a bath. He doesn’t seem to mind the small audience and takes another plunge with happily rotating little ears. Our jaws drop to the floor and where not too long ago, right here in the Chitwan National Park in Nepal used to sound the hail falling from many rifles… we just shot pictures… lots, and lots of pictures….

  

Travel Memories - How To Survive The Jungle

 

Did you ever go on a jungle tour? What was your best survival skill?

[:nl]At first we just assumed they were just making fun of us. Two park rangers, dressed in camouflage outfits and carrying long sticks, stop at every little sound we hear. They then look at us as if we’re about to get scalped and flicked into space by a hungry T-Rex.

 

No Emergency Exits

Of course we play along as good as we can. On their cue we anxiously look around, declaring love to one another – in case we never see the end of the forest. You can tell that the rangers know very well that we don’t have a clue what we’re doing here, so they gather us around and whisper some safety instructions our way.

In the very unfortunate, but very possible, event of walking into a sloth bear, we’re supposed to group together and pretend we’re one big bear ourselves.

Well, I once learned in theatre class how to do a fried egg impression, but I was probably ill during the bear-imitation lesson. I can’t imagine in a million years a bear would ever fall for that. And adding the facts that these bears are one of few species known to attack without incitement and we have a German girl amongst us who decided it was a well good idea to dress in bright red clothes during a jungle walk, I don’t really expect us to get away alive from an encounter, to be honest.

The rest of the wildlife-survival tips from the rangers don’t really comfort me either. When close to a tiger, they suggest us to slowly walk backwards (I used to think that for identification of your body still having your face would speed things up a bit, I could be wrong…) and if there’s a rhino rushing in our direction, we’re best off in a high tree.

Surely, group imitating a bear whilst in a tree can prove to be quite hard (in case of meeting both a rhino and a sloth bear at the same time), but then again, apparently sloths are quite keen climbers, so you might want to save yourself the embarrassing ascent –and quickly following descent entirely.

 

It’s Coming Right At Us!

I’m not sure if they’d made arrangements with the local wildlife, but as soon as the rangers finish their talk about our possible outcomes (in order of seriousness: trampled, very trampled, torn, quartered, unrecognisable mutilated, pulled by one leg from a tree, dragged through the entire forest and then spread on toast by a family of bears…), we hear a terrifying sound coming from the bushes in front of us.

With every single hair on the back of our necks straight up, we hear the pounding of two pairs of massive hoofs. Through the foliage, we can see heavy bodies crashing into each other, flattening out all the plants and trees around them.

 

Punk’d?

‘Oh yeah’, one of the rangers seems to suddenly remember, as we’re trying to catch our breaths in a tree trunk three meters above the ground. ‘Another possibility is that we meet two male rhino’s fighting each other. Let’s just sit here quietly for a while now.’

After half an hour we’re allowed to go back down and for a moment we wonder if what we just saw wasn’t one of the other park rangers putting up a show for us. If they chase all the tourist groups into a tree, let them shiver of fear up there for a while and bring them back to the resort where they can brag about it to the other guests.

But after a 15 minute walk we arrive at a river and know immediately that we weren’t fooled at all. In the middle of the water we can clearly see a big fat and very satisfied looking rhinoceros taking a bath. He doesn’t seem to mind the small audience and takes another plunge with happily rotating little ears.

Our jaws drop to the floor and where not too long ago, right here in the Chitwan National Park in Nepal used to sound the hail falling from many rifles… we just shot pictures… lots, and lots of pictures….

  

Travel Memories - How To Survive The Jungle

 

Did you ever go on a jungle tour? What was your best survival skill?

[:]

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