Gir National Park

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How about a holiday with Asiatic Lions & Leopards at Gir Forest, Gujarat, India?

A lion safari is a popular activity in India, especially at the Sasan Gir National Park and Sanctuary in Gujarat, which is the only place in the world where the Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) can be found in the wild. The park was established in 1965 to protect the dwindling population of Asiatic Lions, which had been hunted to the brink of extinction. Today, Sasan Gir is home to the largest population of Asiatic Lions in the world.

Visitors to Sasan Gir can take a lion safari to see these big cats in their natural habitat. The safari is usually conducted by jeep or open-top bus, and visitors are accompanied by a guide who can provide information about the lions and other wildlife in the park. The best time to take a lion safari is during the morning or evening when the lions are more active.

In addition to lion safari, the park also offers a variety of activities such as bird watching, wildlife photography, and nature trails. Visitors can also visit the Gir Interpretation Zone, where they can learn more about the park’s history and conservation efforts.

It’s important to note that the lion safari and other activities in the park are subject to strict regulations and guidelines to ensure the safety of visitors and the protection of the lions and other wildlife.

Wildlife in Gir National Park Forest

The ideal sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife, the land of the Asiatic lion in Sasan Gir offers a regal experience. Wildlife enthusiasts can embark on a magnificent journey through its rugged hills, where they have the opportunity to encounter approximately 2,375 distinct species of fauna. This remarkable biodiversity includes 38 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles, and over 2,000 species of insects. The carnivore population in Gir is rich and diverse, featuring the majestic Asiatic lions, Indian Leopards, Indian Cobras, Sloth bears, Jungle cats, Golden Jackals, Indian Palm Civets, Striped Hyenas, Indian Mongoose, and Ratels. Although rare, the elusive Desert cats and Rusty-spotted cats also inhabit this region. Gir’s herbivore community comprises species such as Chital, Nilgai (or Blue bull), Antelope, Sambar, Four-horned Chinkara, and Wild boar. Occasionally, Blackbucks from the surrounding areas can be spotted within the sanctuary. Smaller mammals in the region include Porcupines and Hares, with Pangolins being a rare sight in Gir. The reptilian inhabitants are represented by Marsh crocodiles, Tortoises, and Monitor Lizards in the water-rich areas of the sanctuary. Snakes and Pythons can be found amidst the lush vegetation and along the streams. Notably, the Gujarat State Forest Department initiated the Indian Crocodile Conservation Project in 1977 within this reserve area. Moreover, the sanctuary is graced by the presence of over 300 bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers. Among them, there are six recorded species of scavenger Vultures. Some of Gir’s distinctive avian inhabitants include the Crested Serpent Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Crested Hawk-eagle, the endangered Bonelli’s Eagle, Rock Bush-Quail, Indian Eagle-Owl, Black-headed Oriole, Pygmy Woodpecker, Crested Treeswift, and Indian Pitta.

Flora in Sasan Gir National Park

Gir, characterized by its rugged hills, high ridges, densely forested valleys, expansive grassland plateaus, and solitary hilltops, boasts a diverse landscape. Approximately half of the park’s forested regions are dominated by teak trees, coexisting with a range of other flora such as khair, dhavdo, timru, amla, and numerous more species. The remaining half is covered in non-teak forests, primarily populated by samai, simal, khakhro, asundro jambu, umro, amli, vad, and kalam, which predominantly comprise broadleaf and evergreen trees. Among the waterways, the river Hiran stands as the only perennial flow, while the rest are seasonal in nature. Additionally, certain areas within the park feature open scrubland and savannah-like grasslands.

Jungle Safari in Gir Forest

For an extraordinary safari adventure in Sasan Gir, it’s highly advantageous to embark on a jeep safari guided by an experienced expert. The Gir Forest Department also arranges captivating “Lion Shows” for added enjoyment. These shows are designed to provide you with the opportunity to witness lions up close. To make this possible, trackers are dispatched in the early morning to locate the lions and entice them with live bait, ensuring you a remarkable and thrilling wildlife encounter.

Safari Timing

Daily game drives in Open 4WD safari vehicles

06:30 AM to 08:30 AM,
08:30 AM to 10:30 AM and
03:00 PM to 05:30 PM.

Other Activities in Gir National Park

  • Bird Watching
  • Devliya Safari Park
  • The Maldharis Tribe Visit
  • The Siddis Tribal Visit
  • Crocodile Breeding

Tourist Attractions in Sasan Gir

Kamleshwar Dam : This is the most requisite dam in the area being built over the Hiran River. Located inside the vicinity of Gir National Park, the Kamleshwar Dam actually serves as a lifeline of the reserve area where the tourists can find great varieties of marsh crocodiles.

Tulsi Shyam Temple : This is a famous temple in the area dedicated to Lord Krishna. People make a sure shot visit to this temple where major hot springs near to the temple are the other major attraction.

Crocodile Breeding Farm : The Crocodile Breeding farm near the Sasan Gir Reserve is an appealing place to learn about the breeding of the crocodiles.

Travel Information: How to Reach Gir?

By Air : The nearest airport is located at Diu at the distance of 92kms from the reserve area and Rajkot will be next convenient airport to Gir located at the distance of 160 kms. From Mumbai, the tourists can catch the daily flights to these two destinations towards Gir.

By Rail : One can travel by rail to Junagadh from Ahmadabad or Rajkot and then take a 65 km road trip on bus or taxi to Sasan Gir.

By Road : Gir National Park is 60 km from Junagadh, the most common base for making a visit, and 360 kms away from Ahmadabad. The main centre is at Sasan Gir, and has a forest guest house maintained by the park, just opposite the railway station.

Gir National Park

Glimpses Of Major Attractions At Sasan Gir :

Animals

Gir National Park is home to Asiatic Lions and 300+ Leopards in the dry deciduous forest of Saurashtra, with a total lion population of 523 (2015 data). It also hosts two species of Deer, including the Sambar, the largest Indian Deer, and the unique Chowsingha, the world’s only four-horned antelope. Smaller carnivores like Jackals, Striped Hyenas, and Indian Foxes inhabit the park as well.

Gir National Park

Birds

Gir National Park is a haven for over 425 bird species and holds the status of an important bird area in India. It’s home to raptors like the critically endangered white-backed and long-billed vultures, Egyptian Vulture, vulnerable Greater spotted Eagle, and endangered Palla’s Fish Eagle. The park also hosts breeding grounds for the Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, and other birds of prey. While driving around Gir, you can spot birds such as the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, and Fantail, among others.

Gir National Park

Reptiles

Sasan Gir is home to over 40 species of reptiles and amphibians. The Kamleshwar reservoir within the sanctuary is a prime spot to observe a significant population of Marsh Crocodiles. The park hosts various snake species like the King Cobra, Russell’s Viper, Saw-scaled Viper, and Krait. Visitors can also spot Star Tortoises, freshwater turtles, monitor lizards, and Indian rock pythons in the sanctuary. The Crocodile Hatchery at Sasan Gir National Park is an intriguing attraction to explore.

Gir National Park

Bakula Region

The Ranthambore Fort in India is a UNESCO World Heritage site located within Ranthambore National Park, approximately 13 km from Sawai Madhopur railway station. Built in 944 AD, this historic fort played a significant role in Rajasthan’s history, representing the valor and pride of Rajput rulers. It changed hands multiple times and was under the control of the Maharaja of Jaipur at the time of India’s independence and the end of the imperial era.

Gir National Park

Gir Interpretation Zone, Devaliya

Devaliya Safari Park is an enclosed area within the Gir National Park, offering visitors a chance to experience the park’s rustic beauty and wildlife. A safari tour, conducted in a mini-bus, takes visitors on a 20 to 30-minute journey through the park, where they can observe a diverse range of wildlife, including the Asiatic Lion. This area was created to reduce human interference in the main part of Gir National Park and educate tourists about the park’s significance and its varied wildlife through an interpretation zone at Devalia.

Gir National Jeep Safari – Tariff

Jeep PriceINR 4700 / per Jeep (Indian) | INR 13800 / Jeep (Foreigner)
Timings (16 Oct to Feb)06:30 AM to 09:30 AM | 09:30 AM to 12:30 PM | 03:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Timings (1 March to 15 June)06:00 AM to 09:00 AM | 09:00 AM to 12:00 PM | 04:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Entry GateGir Jungle Trail – Forest department organized open Jeep Safari ride approximately 3 hours.
Permission of Gir Jungle Trail, Jeep, Driver, Guide Fee, Permit and All Entries & Taxes.
* Pick & drop is not included from hotels.
Maximum 6 Adults and 1 child (3-12 years) are allowed in 1 Jeep
Do not forget to carry the same original ID (Adhar Card/ Driving Licence/ Voter ID Card / Passport / Student Id/ OCI) provided at the time of booking.
Gir National Park

Devaliya Safari Park – Sasan Gir Interpretation Zone

Devalia Safari Park is located at Talala Gujarat and it is the best place for those tourists who wish to ensure sighting of lions in their natural habitat. Devalia Safari Park is around 13 Kilometer from Sasan Gir.

Safari Zones :Devaliya Safari ( Maximum 6 Adults and 1 Child are allowed in 1 Jeep )
Price (Indian) :INR 4200 / per Jeep ( Inclusive of Permit, Gypsy & Guide Charges, Services & Taxes )
Price (Foreigner):INR 13800 / Jeep ( Maximum 6 Adults and 1 Child are allowed in 1 Jeep )
Safari Timings :07:00 AM – 07:55 AM | 08:00 AM – 08:55 AM | 09:00 AM – 09:55 AM | 10:00 AM – 10:55 AM
Evening Safari Timings :03:00 PM – 03:55 PM | 04:00 PM – 04:55 PM | 05:00 PM – 05:55 PM
Devalia Safari Park Closes on every Wednesday. Therefore tourism activity is not available on Wednesday.

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