This forested, hilly, 1412-sq-km sanctuary about halfway between Veraval and Junagadh is the last refuge of the Asiatic Lion (Panthera leopersica). The sanctuary was set up in 1965, and a 259-sq-km core area was declared as a national park in 1975. Since the late 1960s, lion numbers have increased from less than 200 to more than 523.
Wildlife in Gir National Park
The Gir national park is home not only to Lions but a wide array of mammal and birds. There are around 37 mammals and around 300 species of birds. Here are some mammals and birds :
- Spotted deer
- Leopards (Rare Sighting)
- Striped hyena (Rare sighting)
- White-rumped Vulture (Rare Sighting)
- Hawk Eagle
- Indian Scops Owl
When to Visit Gir National Park and Safari Timings
National Park is closed from 16th June to 15th October. This is the period where the big cats mate and are particularly aggressive. The best time will be after Diwali (Mid December) to avoid rush. If you are visiting in summer (March to June) the evening safari will have more probability of finding lions.
- Early Morning Safari : 6:45 AM to 9:45 AM (Winter) / 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM (Summer)
- Morning Safari : 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM
- Evening Safari : 3 PM to 6 PM (Winter) / 4 PM to & 7 PM (Summer)
We recommend Early Morning Safari for Winters and Evening safari for Summers.
Gir National Park has hotels and lodges inside and nearby the park. Sinh Sadan Guest House is government operated accommodation facilities its the starting point for jungle safari.
The best place to stay is The Fern and Sarovar Portico. The budget friendly option is The Green park and Hotel Girnar. There are a lot more options in Junagarh (60 kms approx), the near by city.
Our recommendations are The Fern and The Green Park (Budget option).
It’s also known for lip smacking kathiyawadi food, dishes has a blend of flavors – sweet, sour, spicy. The cuisines not to miss out are Ringan no olo (Bengal ka bharta), Vagharelo Rotlo (Crumbled Millet flat bread sautéed with spices), Kaju Karela, Kaju Gadhiya, Sev Tomato.
Near By Places to Visit
- Devalia Safari Park, a fenced-off part of the sanctuary where lion sightings are guaranteed but more stage-managed.
- Uparkot Fort, 70 kms from sasan in Junagadh.
- Sakkarbaug Zoo, 60 kms from sasan in Junagadh.