Gir National Park

Gir National Park Gir Somnath

 

About The Location:  This forested, hilly, 1412-sq-km sanctuary about halfway between Veraval and Junagadh is the last refuge of the Asiatic lion (Panthera leopersica). Taking a safari through the thick, undisturbed forests is a joy – even without the added excitement of spotting lions, other wildlife and myriad bird species. Access to the sanctuary is by safari permit only, bookable in advance online.

https://girlion.gujarat.gov.in/GirJungleTrailBooking.aspx

If you miss out on a permit, your other option for lion encounters is at the Devalia Safari Park, a fenced-off part of the sanctuary where sightings are guaranteed but more stage-managed. The sanctuary’s 37 other mammal species, most of which have also increased in numbers, include dainty chital (spotted deer), sambar (large deer), nilgais (blue bull / large antelopes), chousinghas (four-horned antelopes), chinkaras (gazelles), crocodiles and rarely seen leopards. The park is a great destination for birders too, with more than 300 bird species, most of the residents. While the wildlife has been lucky, more than half the sanctuary’s human community of distinctively dressed maldhari (herders) have been resettled elsewhere, ostensibly because their cattle and buffalo were competing for food resources with the antelopes, deer, and gazelles, while also being preyed upon by the lions and leopards. About 1000 people still live in the park, however, and their livestock accounts for about a quarter of the lions’ diet.

Twelve kilometers west of Sasan Gir village at Devalia, within the sanctuary precincts, is the Gir Interpretation Zone, better known as simply Devalia. The 4.12-sq-km fenced-off compound is home to a cross-section of Gir wildlife. Chances of seeing lions and leopards here are guaranteed, with 45-minute bus tours departing along the trails hourly. You may also see foxes, mongoose, and blackbuck – the latter being lion fodder.

Brief History: The sanctuary was set up in 1965, and a 259-sq-km core area was declared a national park in 1975. Since the late 1960s, lion numbers have increased from under 200 to over 523 (next census in 2020).

Note: Safari trip is 100% online booking at https://girlion.gujarat.gov.in/

Visiting Hours

6–9am, 8.30–11.30 and 6pm; museum 7am–7pm and souvenir Shop 5am–end of safari; closed from mid-June to mid-October for monsoon

Location

Gir Somnath

Gir national park

How to get there

  • By Road By Road Junagadh (60 km) and Veraval (45 km) has bus connectivity to national park.

  • By Train By Train Junagadh (60 km) and Veraval (45 km) are the major rail heads from the national park.

  • By Air By Air The closest airport to Gir National Park is Rajkot, nearly 170kms away.

 

Registered Tour Operators

Tour Operators

Best Tours & Forex Pvt Ltd

Mobile 9924459800
Website www.besttoursandforex.com
Tour Operator

Devi Travels

City Rajkot
Pincode 360001
Mobile 9033833888
Website http://www.devitravels.net
Tour Operator

Kesavi Tours and Travels

City Rajkot
Pincode 360004
Mobile 8866283471
Website http://www.kesavitours.com
 

Registered Tourist Guides

Tourist Guides

Bharat Ponkiya

Mobile 9909060351
Website
Tourist Guides

Nikhil Bhatt

Mobile 9825276528
Website
Tourist Guide

Salil J. Joshi

Phone 02812223111
Mobile 9825164552