Sasan Gir National Park
The Sasan Gir National Park is one of the last natural habitats of the Asiatic lion declared endangered species. Apart from being the only observation site of the king of animals in India, the reserve is a home to a wide variety of cervidés, gazelles, monkeys and birds of all genres. Prepare yourself, in this sanctuary of an area of 1,412 km², your safari promises to be rich in discoveries.
The forest area of Gir was classified as a protected area in the early 1900s. At that time, the management of the site was under the jurisdiction of the Nawab of Junagadh state. This decision made it possible to ensure the survival of the subspecies of Asian lions. Victims of sport hunting, its population reduced to 15 specimens at that time. In 1965, 258 km² of the protected area was declared as a national park.
At the end of the first quarter of 2005, the park's population was 359 lions, 32 more feline than in 2001. Considering the size of the area and the environmental damage it faces, the Indian government attached the park to the Kuno Wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh via Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project. The objective of conservatory breeding is to ensure the sustainability of the genetic heritage that has regressed due to the reproductive behavior of felines.
Another conservation program, the Crocodile Conservation Project launched in 1977, has enabled more than 1,000 crocodiles to regain their natural habitat. They were released into Lake Kamaleshwar and its tributaries.
Located at about 60 kms from Junnagarh, in the heart of Gujrat, in southwestern India, the Sasan Gir Forest National Park takes place on rough terrain punctuated by deep ravines, rocky hills and several bodies of water. Along the rivers and tributaries, deciduous vegetation includes trees of all kinds, including teak, jamun, acacia and dhak. Large plots of prairie come to intersect these plants, offering visitors pleasant walks. Hardwood and softwood trees bring fresh shadows and moisture to the park, which is generally dry for most of the year. Surrounding these species, the maquis trees, whose Babul flowering trees are discreet. In addition, the flora of the Sasan Gir Forest National Park also includes prosopis and casuarina planted at the edge of the littoral as part of the reforestation project.
In India, the lion incarnates the emblem of power, justice, and nobility. Despite its place in the traditions, the lions are however increasingly rare, grouped in an area of just a few hundred km². In the heart of the Sasan Gir Forest National Park, in a wooded oasis, these wild animals are highly protected. The "lions shows" organized around the water points will give you the privilege to observe them more closely, under the watchful eye of the park's managers. Be aware that authorization is required to access the reserve. Before visiting the park, check with the Sinh Sadan Forest Logde office. Active India also handles the authorizations.
The total population of the Sasan Gir Forest National Park includes no less than 2,375 animal species including mammals, birds, reptiles and insects of all kinds. Aside from the Asian lion, the wild beasts list leopards, hyenas, jackals, etc. The site is also home to the Rubiginous Cat, but it remains rare. On the herbivorous side, find the deer axis, the antelope tetracera, the Sambar, the Antelope Nilgaut, the boar, etc.
Among the activities available, the Sasan Gir Forest National Park offers jeep tours through three trails of 25 to 35 km. Departures are usually scheduled between 7am and 10am and 2pm and 6.30pm. The safaris are reserved in advance. Accompanying a forest guide is highly recommended for safety reasons.
Sasan Gir National Park is located in a tropical climate. From May to September, the area passes through a monsoon period unsuitable for visits. The site is closed for tourists during this season. It is advised to visit the park between January and April, despite rainfall and temperature variations.
How to get there
The airport located near the National Park of Sasan Gir Forest is that of Keshod in connection with Rajkot. Another airport is that of Ahmedabad with flight connecting Delhi and Mumbai. As far as the railways are concerned, the closest stations are in Sasan Gir and Veraval, although the most convenient is Rajkot, the latter being connected to Delhi and Mumbai. Besides this, the Sasan Gir Forest National Park is also served by a road network which is served by different bus lines.
How to get around
For your trips to the Sasan Gir Forest National Park, you have the choice between jeeps or minibuses. However certain parts of the forest can be explored on foot. Attention, an authorization is necessary for the visit. And also we advise you to carry a guide along.
What to do in Sasan Gir Forest National Park?
- Meet the famous Asian lions
- Attend Lions Shows
- Observe birds
- Escape in the heart of lush nature
- Participate in jeep tours, etc.