Gir National Park is one of the most renowned reserve forests of India for being the sole natural habitat of Asiatic Lions. As of the census in May 2015, 523 lions were recorded in the national park of 545 square miles. The best part of this national park is that you are almost sure to spot lions.
Wildlife at its Best
Imagine witnessing the life of lions within your arms’ reach. Isn’t it amazing? If you wish to bring that picture come real, no place can be better than Gir National Park. With rich flora and fauna abound, it makes up for an adventurous getaway in the woods. Carnivorous animals like Asiatic lions, leopards, jungle cats, hyenas, jackals are found in this national park. Lions are quite easily spotted but it is quite a rare sight to spot other carnivores like maybe Mongoose.
Chital, Blue Bull, Sambar, Chinkara and four horned antelope are the herbivorous animals commonly seen grazing amidst the shade of different trees. There are reptiles like cobra, huge monitor lizard and other snakes. If you are lucky, you may even spot pythons at the banks of the streams flowing through the park. Keep your ears open for the roar of the big cat and alarm call of the herbivores, monkeys and peacocks in case the lion is nearby. Kamleshwar Lake and other water bodies in Gir National Park are home to marsh crocodiles.
Do not forget your binocular because you could spot beautiful bird species like eagles, orioles, treepie and many other birds relaxing on the tree branches or looking for a prey. Kingfisher is quite common near the water bodies. Birdwatchers are sure to have a wonderful time over here.
Jungle Safari is available at 6 AM, 9 AM and 3 PM. 6 AM and 3 PM are the perfect timings for spotting wildlife. You can take your own vehicle or the jeep that they provide. With special permission, you can even go for the safari on foot in the protected area. You would be provided with a cane and a guide in case you encounter the king of the jungle right in front of you.
Bus safaris as well as jeep safaris are also available to Devaliya, 10 kilometers from the entrance to Gir. If you are unable to spot lions and other wildlife in Gir National Park, Devaliya is a great option for you. Lions, panthers, deer and blue bull along with birds like vultures can be easily spotted in this Gir Interpretation Zone.
Devaliya remains closed on Wednesdays.
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Reaching Gir National Park
Gir National Park is easily accessible from Rajkot if you wish to travel by flight. Rajkot is around 168 kilometers from the national park. You can reach Junagadh or Veraval via train. Gir National Park is around 77 and 73 kilometers from those places respectively.
Stay and Food
Several hotels and resorts are available near the gate of Gir National Park and at Junagadh for a comfortable stay. Gujarati Thali or Kathiyawadi cuisine is a must try if you are at Gir.
You can have an adventurous vacation with the lions at Gir National Park, the pride of entire India. Pack a high resolution camera, binocular, some light colored outfits, sunglasses as well as sun caps and head to Gir after getting the bookings.