04.04.2014 - 06.04.2014
The tour of the Sunderbans we took that was organised by Bengal Tours was spectacular. It lasted three full days and two nights spending the majority of the time aboard the good ship MV Bhelva. We were joined by a lovely couple from Switzerland, and old teddy boy from Australia, a family and rather quiet couple from Bangladesh and a boisterous group of guys from India and Bangladesh, one of them even worked for Nokia in Farnborough a while back at the same site as Robin, Craig etc! We all feasted like kings and queens during the trip and drank endless cups of tea; I don't think we have eaten that well all trip. The vegetation was unbelievably diverse and on one walk through the jungle, accompanied by an armed guard, we must have gone through at least four completely different types of forest in the space of what seemed like 30 minutes. Even had time to go to the beach, one of the strangest I have ever been to and we enjoyed a swim in the Bay of Bengal. The wildlife too was incredible. We saw several kinds of kingfisher, thousands of mudskippers, eagles, spotted deer, wild boar, falcons, monkeys, monitor lizards, bright red crabs, water snakes, dolphins, and a king cobra (one of the most venomous snakes in the world). Unfortunately we didn't get to see the famous Bengal tiger. Considering the Sunderbans covers an area of roughly 6000 square miles and there are only 400 tigers our chances of seeing one were pretty slim at best. Our guide had told us he has been doing this for the past nine years, has done over 200 tours of the Sunderbans and has only seen a tiger on four separate occasions. I guess we will have to hope our luck changes in Nepal.