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Best time to visit Gir National Park

Discussion in 'Wildlife and National Parks' started by Prakash, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Prakash

    Prakash New Member

    Monsoons are nearly over, so I think it is an ideal time to go to Gir National Park in. The plan is to go to the national park mid-September when the kids have a few days off. I wanted to know whether this is a good time to go to Gir National Park or not?

    We had thought about September because the weather gets a bit better and there hardly is any rain, if I am wrong in thinking this, please advise correctly to when the best time to visit Gir National Park is?

    How many days do you think should be spent at Gir National Park?

    What can we expect from the park, types of animals, any activities for the kids?
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Prakash! Welcome to the forum!

    The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as Sasan Gir. It is located in Talala Gir in Gujarat. It was established in the year 1965 and now, it is the sole home for the Asiatic lions. There are also about 38 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and over 2,000 insects in the park. They also have a lion breeding program and has successfully bred over 180 lions. About 126 Asiatic lions were given to zoos in India and all over the world.

    The Gir Forest National Park is closed every year from June 16 to October 15. This means that by mid-September, the park would also be closed. You can visit the Devaliya Safari Park or the Gir Interpretation Zone though, which is open all-year round, except on Wednesdays. The Devaliya Safari Park is about 12 kms from Sasan Gir and it's a park where animals are fenced within 4 kms. In here, the chances of spotting lions and other animals are higher.

    The best time to visit the Gir National Park is when it's open, which is from October 15 to June 16. Ideally though, here are the best months for spotting wild animals in the park:
    • From December to February, it's an ideal time to visit the park since the climates and temperatures are pleasant. Be warned though that this is also the peak tourist season so you need to book your permits and tickets in advance. During these months, it won't be uncomfortable to push through with the safari. Lines would definitely be longer though and the chances of spotting the lions in the Gir Jungle Trail Zone are not secured.
    • From March to May, these are considered the summer months in Gujarat. However, the chances of seeing lions and the other animals are higher as they come out to look for water. It might be uncomfortable though especially for children and older people due to the heat and humidity.
    It depends really upon you. Some visitors were able to spot the majestic Asiatic lions on their first safari. Others were not so lucky and it took them a few visits before they were able to see the Asiatic lions in their natural habitat. You can opt for the Devaliya Safari Park although the sightings here are fixed and tracked by the rangers. But I think one to two days would be enough for exploring the park fully.

    So as I've mentioned, the park has two sections: Gir National Park or Gir Jungle Trail and Devaliya Safari Park. The Gir National Park or Gir Jungle Trail does not operate all year round, it's closed during the monsoon season. The safari in this route is about 2 and a half hours long. The path is fixed and the likelihood of seeing lions is based on luck.

    The Devaliya Safari Park operates all-year round but is closed on Wednesdays. It's a half hour drive either through your own vehicle or the vehicle of the tour guide given to you. The route is on a fenced area so it's more like a safari across a zoo. The likelihood of spotting lions are higher as the area is smaller and sometimes, they lure the lions out as well.

    Here are the timings for the park:
    • Time Table for Gir Jungle Trail - Monday to Sunday - 6:00 am to 9:00 am, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
    • Time Table for Devaliya Safari Park - Monday to Sunday (Except Wednesdays) - 8:00 am to 11:00 am and 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
    Here are the entry fees for the park:
    • Gir Jungle Trail - Monday to Friday at Rs. 800 for Indians and Rs. 4,800 for foreigners. Saturday, Sunday and Festival Days at Rs. 1,000 for Indians and Rs. 6,000 for foreigners. Cost for hiring jeep is Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000. A guide costs Rs. 200 and camera charge for Indians at Rs. 200 while it's at Rs. 1,200 for foreigners.
    • Devaliya Safari Park - Monday to Friday at Rs. 150 for Indians and Rs. 2,400 for foreigners. Saturday, Sunday and Festival Days at Rs. 190 for Indians and Rs. 3,000 for foreigners.
    Bookings for the Gir Jungle Trail is only allowed online and you can book as early as 3 months in advance or as late as 48 hours before your journey. For the Devaliya Safari Park, you can book online or in person.

    Here are some of the animals you can spot in the park:
    • Mammals - Asiatic lions, Indian leopards, sambars, spotted deers, blue bulls, chousinghas, chinkaras, wild boars, jackals, striped hyenas, jungle cats, rusty spotted cats, langurs, porcupines and black naped Indian hares.
    • Reptiles - Marsh crocodiles, hir tortoises, monitor lizards and pythons.
    • Birds - Crested serpent eagles, brown fish owls, Indian pittas, Indian peafowls and laggard falcons.
    There's not much you can do in the park aside from the jeep safari. There are no elephant safaris here as compared to other national parks. There are also no activities for children in the park. You can opt to visit the Kankai Mata Temple located within the national park. However, you'd need your own vehicle with a higher ground clearance for this. Or you can also check in at a resort or a hotel with swimming pool or activity centre for children.

    I hope this helps.:)
     
  3. kapilankar

    kapilankar New Member

    I haven't been there personally. My friends have reported excellent sightings in the month of May.
     

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