Gir National Park Safari

One of the last kingdoms of the regal Asiatic lion, the Gir National Park is the only place in Asia where you’ll find the beasts ruling their jungle. The park is located in the dry teak forests of Gujarat and sprawls over 1,412 sq. kms. The perennial rivers are flanked by lush forested patches, making for a contrasting habitat for hundreds of varied species to thrive within one ecosystem. The diverse wildlife and flora of the park is what makes it one of the most popular national parks in India!

What you’ll see

Gir National Park is known around the world for being the last natural habitat for the Asiatic lion. There are approximately 674 lions, lionesses and cubs that prowl the forest floor, meaning you have a high possibility of spotting the wild royalty on your safari. Some predators that roam the park include the Indian leopard, golden jackal and Bengal fox among others. Lurking by the waters, you will also find marsh crocodiles, tortoise, cobras and pythons.

The park is also home to numerous herbivores that can be spotted grazing the open lands and relaxing by the water bodies in large herds. Some of them include the highly endangered blackbucks, chitals, antelopes, gazelles, nilgai and more.

Fluttering through the canopies of the forest, you will find a large population of resident avifauna. Birdwatchers visit this park to find the endangered Bonelli’s eagle, crested hawk-eagle, Indian pitta and hundreds of other bird species.

Gir National Park Zones

The park is split into two safari zones, namely Gir Jungle Trail and the Devalia Zone/Gir Interpretation Zone.

The Gir Jungle Trail is essentially the entire expanse of the national park where you will find the prolific flora, fauna and avifauna, including the majestic Asiatic Lion, in the wild. There are set trails for safaris in this area and very limited permits are issued for conducting safaris on a daily basis.

The Devalia Zone is a small, enclosed area within the park which includes a glimpse of every single habitat that exists in Gir. Apart from the various animals that thrive in the diverse habitat of Devalia, there is also a large population of Asiatic lions which have been relocated there for conservation. This zone is perfect for those who want to experience Gir in a nutshell!

Gir National Park Gujarat Safari

Both zones of Gir have different types of safaris, creating a unique experience wherever you go.

Jeep safaris occur on the Gir Jungle Trail and last about 2-2.5 hours, accommodating up to 6 people at once. On this safari, you will ride down designated paths through the vast expanses, spotting royal lion families and other inhabitants of the park.

Bus safaris occur only in the Devalia zone, accommodating about 18 people and last for 30-40 minutes. These buses have large windows, allowing you to spot the wild animals from an enclosed vehicle. This is the perfect option for families with small children as the ride is short and in a closed bus, while also offering numerous sightings of the magnificent creatures of the park.

Where to stay

As tourism in Gir has increased, you have a large number of stay options to choose from. You will find lodges, hotels and resorts surrounding the national park, with modern facilities that provide comfort in the midst of the serene wilderness.

Sketch itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Gir!
Arrive at Gir
Check in and enjoy your lunch
Spend the day at your leisure
Dinner and overnight in lodges

Day 2: Safari day!
Have a scrumptious breakfast
Morning jeep safari
Return to the resort for refreshments and check out

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Gir!
As you arrive at the national park, you will be greeted by the refreshing forest air and be transferred to your resort. After you check in, enjoy a delicious lunch and spend the day as you please, exploring the resort and its surroundings. At the end of the day, enjoy your dinner and retreat to your lodges for the night.

Day 2: Safari day!
You will wake up to the melodious harmony of the various birds of the park. After a buffet breakfast, you will head straight into the wild for your jeep safari. Get ready to spot the king of the jungle along with scores of other animals and birds. Return to the resort for refreshments and bid goodbye to the serene nature as you check out.

Inclusions

One 3-hour jeep safari
Accommodation in lodges
All meals

Sketch itinerary

Day 1: Check in at Gir
Pick up from your railway station/airport
Check in at the resort
Enjoy your lunch and spend the day as you please
Dinner and overnight in lodges

Day 2: Safari day!
Early morning jeep safari
Breakfast at resort
Lunch followed by evening jeep safari
Dinner and overnight in lodges

Day 3: Safari and check out
Another morning safari
Breakfast at resort
Check out

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Check in at Gir
As you arrive at the railway station/airport close to Gir, you will be picked up and transferred to your resort in the lap of nature. After you check in, you will enjoy a lip-smacking lunch and have the rest of the day to your leisure. You can relax in your lodges, surrounded by the cacophony of exotic birds or choose to explore the resort. Have your dinner at the resort and spend the night in your lodges.

Day 2: Safari day!
You will wake up at the crack of dawn and get ready for your first jeep safari at Gir! As you ride through the forest, you will witness the golden sunlight slowly awakening the park. After returning from your thrilling safari, enjoy your breakfast and rest. Post lunch, you will head out for the evening safari and experience the park in a new light. Return to the resort for dinner and spend the night in your lodges.

Day 3: Safari and check out
Today will be your last morning at the park. You will revisit your favourite spots from the previous day on this morning’s safari. Return to the resort for breakfast and say your final goodbyes to the wild as you check out.

Inclusions

Transport to/from the airport/railway station
Three 3-hour jeep safaris
Accommodation in lodges
All meals

Best time to go/Weather

Gir National Park brings in throngs of visitors every season as it offers something wonderful all year round!

During the summer months between March to mid-June, temperatures soar up to a scorching 40 degrees Celsius! As the sun beats down, herds of animals head out to the water bodies dotted across the park, making it easy to spot your favourite animals. This is the best time for wildlife photography, especially if you want to get a click of lions prowling through their kingdom!

Winters between mid-October and February are extremely cold with temperatures dropping to 4 degrees Celsius. You will drive through the jungle and feel the cold wind against your skin. It’s a pleasant season to visit, not just for you, but also for the flocks of migrant birds! Along with the abundant avifauna, you will spot mammals with their little ones, basking in the sunlight within the wilderness they call home. 

The park remains closed for the long monsoon season from mid-June to mid-October. The area receives ample rainfall, making safaris inconvenient. It’s also the mating season for the animals.

Gir National Park is renowned for being the last existing natural habitat for Asiatic lions. This brings in thousands of visitors from all over the world, leading to the park having easy connectivity.

By road
You can reach the park via road by frequent buses from most cities in Gujarat. Private cabs and taxis are also an option, especially if you’re travelling from farther off cities like Mumbai.

By rail
The nearest railway stations are in Junagadh (80 kms) and Veraval (72 kms). They’re frequented by trains from all over the country and cab services for reaching the park can also be hired from these stations.

By air
If you’re travelling domestically, the closest airports are Keshod, Diu and Rajkot. If you’re an international traveller, your best option would be to arrive at Mumbai and then continue on a connecting flight to Diu. You can then opt for cabs or buses to take you to the park from the airports.

When on safari at the Gir National Park, make sure you wear neutral colours like tan, khaki or brown. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs to keep insects and dust particles away while shielding you from the sun. Apply an insect repellent and SPF 50+ sunscreen. Wear shoes that comfortably cover your feet.

In the hot summers, choose light cotton or linen clothing. Along with your sunscreen, carry sunglasses and a hat for sun protection.  It’s advisable to carry a bandana that you can soak in water and drape over your neck when it gets too hot.

Winters here are extremely cold, so, layer your clothes with thermal wear and jackets. Wear caps that cover your ears and carry a shawl or scarf, especially if you opt for the morning safaris. 

Your safari at the Gir National Park will be long, hence, don’t forget to carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. Carry a hat, an SPF 50+ sunscreen, insect repellent and sunglasses protect yourself from the sun and pesky insects. Jackets and woollen caps are essential during the winter. Your final essential is a fully charged camera with ample memory and a pair of binoculars to fully explore the park!

No physical training is required for your Gir National Park safari. You’ll be seated in your jeep with little to no walking around. This also means that this safari is perfect for all age groups!

Gir National Park Safari - Frequently Asked Questions

Summers (March-June) at Gir are extremely hot but are the best time for wildlife spotting and photography. You’ll find herds of animals heading out to the various water bodies of the park and get a chance to capture beautiful shots of them in the open. Winters (October-February) are particularly cold, yet more pleasant than summers. You will spot many cubs and little mammals along with their families, basking in the warm sun.

You can reach Gir via road from most cities in Gujarat by bus or cab. The nearest railway stations are at Junagadh and Veraval, which are about 2 hours away from the park via road. For domestic flyers, Keshod, Diu and Rajkot are the closest airports. For international travellers, a flight to Mumbai is the best option since you can catch a connecting flight to Diu and then continue your journey via road.

Jeeps accommodate 6 people at once, whereas buses take about 18 people.

Under the supervision of a guardian, children are allowed. 

he park has 2 safari zones – the Gir Jungle Trail and the Devalia Zone. The Devalia Zone is an enclosed area which has a glimpse of every habitat present within the national park. It’s perfect for conducting short bus safaris and experiencing Gir in a nutshell.

Wear thermal innerwear and jackets to protect yourself from the cold winds. Also carry a woollen cap and a scarf, especially if you choose to go for the morning safari. Remember to apply an SPF 50+ sunscreen and insect repellent.

Wear light cotton and linen clothing to keep you cool. For protecting yourself from the sun, wear an SPF 50+ sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Keep a bandana on hand to soak in water and drape over your neck when it gets too hot.

Yes. However, visitors are requested to switch them to silent and refrain from playing loud music and speaking on the phone.

There are a multitude of hotels, resorts and lodges around Gir that provide modern facilities while being surrounded by the lush nature.