This wildlife tour is focussed on the flora, fauna & avifauna found in the western state of Gujarat. It is home to numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that preserve the wildlife of the state. The tour starts from an arrival in Ahmedabad & a drive to Velavadar National Park, situated in the Bhavnagar District. Also known as Black Buck Sanctuary, it was primarily grassland of the maharaja of princely state of Bhavnagar. The park is a hidden gem as it covers the highest concentration of this Indian antelope anywhere in the country. Continuing our journey, we will arrive in Gir Forest National Park which is one of India’s oldest sanctuaries. Also well-known as Sasan-gir Wildlife Sanctuary, this park can take legitimate pride in saving an endangered species as it is the remaining habitat of the majestic Asiatic Lion. Its lion conservatory project at the national park is a gem of a success story. Then we continue further and visit the famous Chari Dhand Lake near Bhuj which is one of the biggest lakes of the region & is an amazing destination for bird watchers. From here, we proceed to Indian Wild Ass sanctuary located in the Little Rann of Kutch. It is the remaining habitat (the only heaven on earth) of the endangered & endemic Asiatic Wild Ass. So come to India and visit Gujarat to have the lifetime experience by exploring the magnificent national parks & beautiful wildlife sanctuaries, known for Asiatic Lions, Black Buck and Wild Ass.
From October till April
Special Guidelines to Book Game drives / Safaris
As per the latest guidelines issued by India wildlife authorities some changes have been made to book any game drive in the park. To reduce the pressure from the park, forest department have reduced the number of jeeps for these game drives, therefore, these drives needs to be booked & paid well in advance. These game drives once booked & paid are non refundable. In order to book these game drives names of all the clients are required along with their latest Passport details. No name change is permitted at later stage once its booked. The park official checks each client’s passport at the park gate while getting in for safari. If you apply for a new passport after booking your game drives, please carry your old passport as well.
Due to these changes in our booking system we strongly suggest you to book this trip at least 3 – 4 months in advance. We book tickets for all passengers as soon as permits become available, usually 3 months prior to the date of actual game drive.
Day 01: Arrival Ahmedabad
Arrive in Ahmedabad and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. O/N Stay Ahmedabad
Day 02: Ahmedabad – Velavadar (160 kms/4 hrs)
Today we will drive by surface to Velavader National Park. The Velavadar National Park is a hidden gem, one of the last stands of grassland remaining in the massive alluvial plain. This park is a beautiful tract of largely treeless Savannah grasslands and bushes (along with the huge herds of antelope) that makes a stunning and enchanting sight. It is wonderful to watch the grasslands changing colour at different times of the day, and also in different seasons of the year, from bright gleaming greens to golden browns, and the grasses swaying in gentle breezes. The beauty of the grassland is enhanced by its abundance of wildlife from butterflies and dragonflies to India’s largest antelope, the nilgai. Velavadar’s Savannah grasslands and scrub provide optimum habitat for the blackbuck.
Day 03 & 04: Morning and Evening Jeep Safaris
Velavadar National Park also known as Black Buck National Park covers the highest concentration of this Indian antelope anywhere in the country. Some of India’s largest herds of this antelope can be seen in this park, which support impressive spiralling horns – as long as 65 cm in mature males. Velavadar is also one of the most likely places to view a striped hyena, a species that is rarely seen elsewhere because of its nocturnal habits. Other mammals like the Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Indian Wolf, Indian Fox and Hare can be seen in the scrub habitat. Those with a special interest in birding can see many globally-threatened birds like the Stoliczka’s Bush chat and a large root of harrier-hawks.
Day 05: Velavadar – Sasan-gir (220 kms/5 hrs)
Drive by surface to Sasan-gir national park. Upon arrival, transfer & check into the hotel. Sasan-gir is well known as the remaining habitat of the Asiatic Lion. Asiatic Lions are less sociable than their African counterparts and differ in appearance by having shorter manes. Home to the majestic Asiatic lion, Sasan-gir National Park and its lion conservatory project at the national park is a gem of a success story. Rich in history going back millennia, the region has maintained a fine balance of traditional village life, forest life and modernity. The local Maldhari community has lived here for generations and coexists magnificently with the wilderness. They sustain themselves by grazing their livestock and harvesting what they need from the forest.
Day 06 & 07: Morning and Evening Jeep Safaris
To truly experience Sasan-gir and the lions, one must explore their natural habitat, with everything from tiny wild birds to crocodiles floating in the marsh waters. While Sasan-gir is most famous for its lions, the park is one of the most diverse places in Gujarat, both in flora and fauna. The wildlife reserve comprises deciduous forests, evergreen & semi evergreen vegetation, thorn scrub & grasslands. Sasan-gir also has a large leopard population. The sanctuary also has a booming population of Sambar and Spotted Deer, Chinkara gazelle, Nilgai and chowsingha, the world’s only four-horned antelope. In Sasan-gir, we can see attractive birds like the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Painted Sand grouse, Tree pie, Hoopoe, etc. Crocodiles are seen at reservoir and at rivers flowing through the sanctuary.
Day 08: Sasan-Gir – Bhuj (425 kms/8-9 hrs)
In the morning after having breakfast at the hotel, drive by surface to Bhuj. Upon arrival, transfer & check into hotel, and later visit to FRB office to complete the permit formalities. Evening is free at leisure. Overnight stay Bhuj.
Day 09: Excursion to Chari Dhand Lake for Birding
Dhand stands for big shallow pond of rainwater. Chari Dhand is the finest biggest Dhand of Kutch among three dozen Dhand. Chari Dhand, a lake near Fulay village, which in years of good rainfall is a birdwatcher’s dream destination. It is lying between the Banni grassland & Dinodhar Hill with more than 50 species of water birds, including the scarce Indian Skimmer & Dalmatian pelican. This lake is visited by large flocks of Demoiselle and Common Crane, said to be a large share of the world population, and equally impressive flocks of myriad duck species. The mix of grasslands, scrub and wetland also makes place an ideal destination for bird lovers.
Day 10: Bhuj – Dasada (300/6-7 hrs)
Morning, we leave for an excursion to Banni Village. Excursion visits of Banni villages to see the various peoples like Jat, Harijan, Meghawal, Mutva, Ahir and Rabaris, etc in various villages like Hodka, Ludiya, and Dhordo. Banni the last village on the border is a Desert land and is a heaven for bird watchers as Tawny Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Imperial Eagle and Steppe Eagle are found wintering in this area. Endangered species like the White-backed and Long-billed Vulture can be seen here. White-napped Tit is a vulnerable species of the Banni region. Then drive by surface to Dasada & check into the hotel.
Day 11 & 12: Morning and Evening Jeep Safaris
Well-known for its group of the stale brown Asiatic (Wild Ass), the Little Rann of Kutch (Wild Ass sanctuary) is the remaining habitat of the endangered Indian Wild Ass, a magnificent member of the horse family. The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian Wolf, Desert Fox, Golden Jackals, Jungle Cats and a few Striped Hyenas. The blackbuck (Indian antelope), Nilgai or blue bull (India’s largest antelope) and the graceful Chinkara (Indian gazelle) can be seen during the drives. During the visits flamingoes, pelicans, ducks, cranes, storks and other smaller mammals like hares, hedgehogs, gerbil and field mice can be seen in the sanctuary.
Day 13: Dasada – Ahmedabad via Modhera & Patan
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Modhera famous for Sun Temple. The 11th century temple dedicate to Sun God is a non-living temple where no pooja / aartis is performed. You will find intricate carving all round the temple building. It is the place where Government of Gujarat organizes the Uttarardh Mahotsav – Dance Festival every year during the first week end after Uttarayan. Then proceed to Patan & visit Rani ki Vav. The world famous 11th century Solanki era step well built by the Queen in memory of her husband is considered to be India’s largest step well. Later we will visit the Patola House. A private museum created and operated by one of the last living families of the world famous silk Patola sarees. Reach Ahmedabad.
Day 14: Departure
In the morning, transfer to the airport of Ahmedabad to catch the flight for your onward journey.
Internal Flights/Trains can be booked on request