Gir National Park
West IndiaRugged, scraggly, brown and dry, Gir is best known as the last bastion of the Asiatic lion. A beautiful hilly but harsh and thorny habitat in southern Gujarat, it is the last remnant of native landscape within the Saurashtra peninsula, yet often compared with the African bushveld. Old lion adversaries including leopards, hyenas, jackals and sloth bears live here too. The lions that once ranged from Asia Minor to the northern plains of India almost came to the brink of extinction due to a combination of reduced habitat and mindless hunting. Today, roughly 526 of them can be found in and around Gir, the only individuals left on the subcontinent. The forest area and its lions were declared as ’protected’ in the early 1900’s by the then Nawabs of the princely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only fifteen due to endless trophy hunting. In the years after India’s independence, Prime Minister Nehru, spurre...d on by conservationists like Dr Salim Ali, formally declared Gir a Forest Reserve in 1965 and eventually a National Park in 1974 with a total area of 1,412 square kilometres. While on your safari, don’t be surprised if you find tribesmen roaming this lion country on foot with their cattle without a care. These people are from the Maldhari tribe that translates to ‘owner of animals’. These colourful, nomadic people have lived alongside lions for millennia – with mutual respect.
How To Book
Your lodge or tour operator can book a safari for you, or you can visit: www.girlion.in
Morning: 06:00 am to 09:00 am and 09:00 am to 12:00 pm Evening: 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm Gir Jungle Trail remains closed from 16th June to 15th October every year
Getting Around the Park
Jeeps called ‘gypsies’ that carry 4 to 6 persons. Book through your operator, lodge or at the gate. Cost from R 1,200 per game drive.
For Indian NationalsWeekdays: R 800 | Weekends: R 1,000Festival days: R 1,200 For Foreign Nationals: Weekdays: R 4,800 | Weekends: R 6,000Festival days: R 7,500
By Air: Diu (110 km), Rajkot (156 km), Ahmedabad (348 km). Transport can be hired to drive to the park. By Rail / Road: Junagadh (65 km) is the nearest town. Transportation is available from the railway station.
Travel Here with the Best Travel Companies & Agents
Plan you Indian holiday, Nepal adventure, or Bhutan visit using one of a large number of the world’s best known travel companies, or Indian based agents to put your very own itinerary together. Every travel company here has committed to drive their own sustainable travel practices, seek PUG certified accommodation providers wherever possible and support our conservation efforts.
Now you can enjoy a flawless and carefree travel itinerary to many of Indian subcontinent’s greatest wilderness destinations and combine this with its rich cultural and historic heritage.
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