The Ultimate Guide to Gir National Park Gujarat

Nestled in the western state of Gujarat, India, Gir National Park is a true gem for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Renowned as the last refuge of the majestic Asiatic lion, this national park offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the wonders of Gir National Park, from its diverse flora and fauna to essential travel tips for an unforgettable adventure.

Getting to Gir National Park Gujarat

Gir National Park GujaratGir National Park Gujarat

Getting to Gir National Park in Gujarat is a journey that involves careful planning and consideration of transportation options. Here's a guide on how to reach this incredible wildlife destination:

1. By Air:

The nearest airport to Gir National Park is Diu Airport (DIU), which is approximately 80 kilometers away. Diu Airport is well-connected to major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad. Once you reach Diu Airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Sasan Gir, the gateway to the national park.

Another option is Keshod Airport (IXK), which is about 90 kilometers away from Gir. However, flights to Keshod Airport may be limited compared to Diu Airport.

2. By Train:

The nearest railway station to Gir National Park is Junagadh Railway Station (JND), which is approximately 65 kilometers away. Junagadh is well-connected to major cities in Gujarat and other parts of India. You can take a train to Junagadh and then proceed to Gir by road via taxi or bus.

3. By Road:

Gir National Park is well-connected by road to various cities and towns in Gujarat. You can use private vehicles or public transport to reach Sasan Gir, the main entry point to the park.

  • From Junagadh: If you are arriving by train at Junagadh Railway Station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Sasan Gir, which is approximately a 2-hour drive.

  • From Diu: If you arrive at Diu Airport, you can hire a taxi to take you to Sasan Gir, which is about a 2-hour drive.

  • From Ahmedabad: If you are traveling from Ahmedabad, you can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Gir National Park. The distance is approximately 360 kilometers, and the journey takes around 7-8 hours by road.

  • From Rajkot: Another option is to arrive at Rajkot Airport (RAJ), which is approximately 160 kilometers away from Gir National Park. From Rajkot, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gir.

4. Gir National Park Entry Permits:

Gir National Park Gujarat Entry PermitsGir National Park Gujarat Entry Permits

Before entering Gir National Park, it's essential to obtain the necessary permits and permissions. These can be obtained at the Sinh Sadan Forest Lodge Office in Sasan Gir or online through the Gujarat Forest Department website.

Price (Indian) :

INR 4500 / Jeep ( Maximum 6 Persons are allowed in ONE Jeep )

Price (Foreigner)

INR 13800 / Jeep ( Maximum 6 Persons are allowed in ONE Jeep )

Zones :

Gir Jungle Trail

Timings :

06:00 AM – 09:00 AM | 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM| 03:00 PM – 06:00 PM

The price includes :

Jeep & Driver (1900), Permit Charges (1000), Guide Charges (400), One Camera Charges (200), Online Payment Gateway Charges (200) & Our Service Charges and Taxes (800).

Make sure to check the current rules and fees for permits.

5. Local Transportation:

Once you arrive in Sasan Gir, you can easily explore the park and its surroundings by hiring local taxis or taking guided safaris offered by the park authorities. Jeep safaris and lion tracking tours are popular ways to explore the park while enjoying the expertise of experienced naturalists and guides.

Read more: Top 10 Wildlife Safaris that you must Experience in India

History and Background

Gir National Park GujaratGir National Park Gujarat

Gir National Park, also known as Sasan Gir, was established in 1965 to protect the dwindling population of Asiatic lions. Today, it covers an expansive area of approximately 1,412 square kilometers, making it the largest wildlife sanctuary in India.

Biodiversity

Gir National Park GujaratGir National Park Gujarat

Gir is celebrated not only for its lions but also for its rich biodiversity. It is home to various wildlife species, including leopards, spotted deer, sambar deer, chital, nilgai, wild boar, and more than 300 species of birds.

The unique ecosystem of the park comprises semi-evergreen and deciduous forests, rocky hills, and perennial rivers, providing a perfect habitat for these species to thrive.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Gir National Park is from October to June, with the peak tourist season being from November to March. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are more frequent. It's advisable to avoid visiting during the monsoon season (June to September) when the park remains closed due to heavy rains.

Where to Stay

Gir offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Some of the popular places to stay include the Gir Forest Lodge, the Fern Gir Forest Resort, and the Maneland Jungle Lodge. Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during the peak season.

Must-Dos in Gir National Park Gujarat

Visiting Gir National Park in Gujarat is an exciting opportunity to witness the incredible wildlife and natural beauty of the region. To make the most of your trip, here are some must-do activities and experiences while at Gir National Park:

1. Lion Safari:

Gir National Park GujaratLions, Gir National Park Gujarat

The primary attraction of Gir National Park is the Asiatic lions. There are various options, including jeep safaris and lion tracking tours. These tours are guided by experienced naturalists and offer the best chances of spotting lions in their natural habitat.

2. Bird Watching:

 Bird Watching, Gir National Park Gujarat Bird Watching, Gir National Park Gujarat

Gir is home to over 300 species of birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Carry binoculars and a field guide to spot and identify different avian species. Some notable birds you might see include the Indian Pitta, Paradise Flycatcher, and Crested Serpent Eagle.

3. Wildlife Photography:

Wildlife Photography, Gir National Park Gujarat Wildlife Photography, Gir National Park Gujarat

Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, Gir National Park provides incredible opportunities for wildlife photography. Be patient, and you can capture amazing moments of lions, leopards, deer, and other animals in their natural surroundings.

4. Explore the Interpretation Zone:

Interpretation Zone Gir National Park GujaratInterpretation Zone Gir National Park Gujarat

The Devalia Interpretation Zone, also known as the Gir Interpretation Zone or Devalia Safari Park, is an enclosed area within Gir where you can view wildlife from a bus. It's an excellent option if you want a closer look at animals without venturing deep into the forest.

5. Visit the Crocodile Breeding Center:

Crocodile Breeding Center Gir National Park GujaratCrocodile Breeding Center Gir National Park Gujarat

The Sasan Gir Crocodile Breeding Center is located near the park entrance. Here, you can see various species of crocodiles and learn about their conservation efforts. It's an educational and interesting visit for all ages.

6. Trekking and Nature Walks:

Some parts of Gir National Park offer trekking and nature walk opportunities. Guided walks with experienced naturalists can help you explore the park's diverse flora and fauna on foot, providing a different perspective.

8. Explore Nearby Attractions:

Junagadh GujaratJunagadh Gujarat

While in Gir, you can also explore nearby attractions such as the historic Girnar Hill, famous for its Jain temples, or the picturesque town of Junagadh, which boasts a rich cultural heritage and historical sites.

Tips for a Memorable Trip

Here are some essential travel tips for your visit to Gir National Park:

  • Obtain the necessary permits and permissions from the park authorities.

  • Follow the park rules and guidelines to ensure the safety of both wildlife and visitors.

  • Dress in earthy tones and wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear.

  • Carry binoculars, a camera, and a water bottle.

  • Respect the natural environment and maintain silence during wildlife sightings.

  • Stay hydrated and carry some snacks, as there might not be many food options inside the park.

Read more: Bandipur National Park: Your Ultimate Guide to Wildlife Exploration

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