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Rediff.com  » News » PHOTOS: Royals in the jungle: Will and Kate@Kaziranga

PHOTOS: Royals in the jungle: Will and Kate@Kaziranga

Last updated on: April 13, 2016 18:40 IST

British royal couple Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton on Thursday visited the Kaziranga National Park in a jeep safari.

ENTER THE ANIMAL KINGDOM: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine help out in feeding baby elephants at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Photograph: Heathcliff O'Malley/ Getty Images

Wearing the Assamese honour scarf bihuwan, they sat in an open jeep with security vehicles escorting them into the Bagori range of the world heritage site known for one-horned rhinos.

They also went to the Dunga and Rowmari Forest camps mostly inhabitated by rhinos and tigers in the park.

LOOK AT THE ANIMALS, HONEY: Prince William points his wife Catherine to a wild animal at the National Park. Photograph: Heathcliff O'Malley/ Getty Images

After they came out of the park, officials accompanying the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge briefed the waiting journalists at the gate of KNP saying the couple saw rhinos, buck deer, buffaloes and many other animals.

I'M A BIG EATER: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, feeds a baby elephant at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Panbari reserve forest in Kaziranga. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/ Reuters

They had breakfast at Bimoli camp and interacted with the KNP frontline staff asking about the habits of rhinos and elephants, the officials said.

RHINO RECREATION: Kate pats the back of baby rhino. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/ Reuters

They also enquired about the anti-poaching measures and if they were satisfied with the efforts.

Prince William enquired about the challenges they faced in their efforts to keep the animals safe from poachers and if they required superior weapons.

JUST LIKE JUNGLE BOOK: Kate feeds a baby rhino. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/ Reuters

The Duke and Dutchess also asked about the families of the forest personnel, they said.

The couple was informed about forest conservation efforts and anti-poaching measures adopted to reduce the killing of rhinos by poachers.

EVEN A PRINCE BOWS DOWN TO ME: Prince William bends down to feed milk to a baby elephant. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/ Reuters

Before setting out on the safari, the royal couple was welcomed in front of the Kaziranga Infomation Centre by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest O P Pandey and Additional PCCF N K Yadav with the traditional bihuwan.

They read in detail the map of the park and information about the animals with senior forest officials explaining to them where the animals could be spotted.

ALL SMILES: Kate and William share a light moment during the safari through Kaziranga National Park. Photograph: Heathcliff O'Malley/ Getty Images

The royal couple had on Wednesday arrived at Tezpur on a two-day visit.

After a 90-minute drive from Tezpur Airport, they came to the Diphlu River Lodge in Kaziranga where they were entertained with Assam's folk dance Bihu and Jhumur dance of the tea tribes.

CEREMONY ABOUND: The royal couple was honoured with the Assamese scarf bihuwan. Photograph: Heathcliff O'Malley/ Getty Images

Before the dance performances started, they observed the tradition of offering a 'horai' (bell metal plate with a stand) of 'paan-tambul' (betel nuts) with 'dokhina' (offerings) to the 'Gurujona' (God) for peace and prosperity of all.

The Duke and Duchess interacted with the dancers, drum players and pepa (local flute) players and Prince William even attempted to blow a pepa.

BETTER THAN A CONVERTIBLE: Prince William and his wife Kate enjoyed the safari whilst riding on an open jeep. Photograph: Heathcliff O'Malley/ Getty Images

He asked one pepa player Ankur Phukan from the bihu troupe at what age he started playing the instrument.

Before setting out on the safari, they soaked in the view from the sight seeing tower of the Diflu River Lodge while having their morning tea.

 

EYE TO EYE: 'We're all safe' Kate is said to have told her husband William as the adventurous safari ride came to its conclusion. Photograph: PTI

Both the Duke and Duchess are scheduled to visit the Kaziranga Discovery Centre, where the Mark Shand Asian Elephant Learning Centre is situated, to see and know the activities of the Captive Elephant Clinic which completed 4883 cases.

The royal couple will also be briefed about efforts to protect the Asian Elephants by the local people of Rong Terang village, considered friends of Mark Roland Shand, a renowned travel writer and conservationist.

BORN TO BE WILD: William, a keen conservationist and president of the United for Wildlife conservation group, has long wanted to visit Kaziranga. Photograph: Heathcliff O'Malley/ Getty Images

Shand was the brother of Duchess of Cornwall Camilla and the co-founder of the Foundation of Elephant Family in 2002. 

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