Package Duration : 7 Days

  Velavdar - 2 Nights, Sasan Gir - 2 Nights, Dasada - 2 Nights


Velavdar National Park
Velavadar National Park, also known as Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary is situated in the Bhal region of Saurashtra. Ideally set between two rivers, one of the main reasons for the rich soil found here, the park is located about 50 kms. west of the Gulf of Cambay.

Velavadar's history dates back to the pre independence period when the place was a part of the princely state of Bhavnagar and the park used as a grazing ground for the Maharaja's cattle. After independence, the population of blackbuck started to decrease and came down to a meagre 200 in 1966. It was then that the area of 8.9 sq. kms. was converted into a sanctuary. In 1972, the area was increased to around 34 sq. kms. and was accorded the status of a national park under the Wildlife Protection Act. A unique feature of the park is that it is the only tropical grassland in India to be given the status of a national park.

There are two gates with a road in between which leads to the park. The reception attached to the Kaliyarbhavan Forest Lodge is the place where the visitors pay the entry fee to the park. The park interpretation centre located at a short distance from here provides basic information about the animals and birds found in the area.

Wildlife Attractions in Velavadar National Park
The ecosystem of the park houses four distinct habitats, grassland, shrubland, saline land and high tidal lands. One of the most thrilling sights in the area is the unusual mating rituals of the blackbuck, which involves a spectacular vertical leap of upto 2 mts by the male.

The park is home to over 187 species of birds including residents and migratory birds such as Harrier, Partridge, Pelican, Duck, Crane, Stork, Eagle, Sand Grouse, Lark and Lesser Florican. Besides the blackbuck, other commonly found mammals include the Nilgai, Wolf, Wild Cat, Jackal, Indian Fox, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Hare and Rodent, while the reptile kingdom constitute of Saw Scaled Vipers, Common Cobra, Krait, Rat Snake and Sand Boa.

Safari -
The jungle trail located in the park is a straight path with watchtowers dotted around it. The 'wetland', located just 3 kms. from the entry gate is an ideal spot to check out the wildlife. There are no safaris provided by the forest department, so your own vehicle is the only source of enjoying a ride around the park but be cautioned as animals cross the roads at all times, so be sure to drive slowly and safely.



Arrive Ahmedabad.
Immediately proceed towards Velavdar National Park (130 kms.- 3 Hrs.)
Arrive Velavdar. Check-in the hotel. Rest day free for relaxation. Night halt at Velavdar.

In the morning, leave for jeep safari to explore the wildlife at Velavdar National Park. Evening will be at leisure. Night halt at Velavdar.

After breakfast, leave for Gir National Park (250 kms.- 5 Hrs.), arrive Gir. Check-in the hotel. Evening free for relaxation. Night halt at Gir.

In the morning and in the afternoon, take a jeep safari to explore Gir National Park. Night halt at Gir.

After breakfast, departure to Dasada (325 kms.- 6 Hrs.) Check-in the resort.
Evening will be free at leisure. Night halt at Dasada.
After breakfast, leave for Wildlife Safari at Little Rann of Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary.
After lunch, leave for Nalsarovar Bird Santuary for unique birding experience. Return back to resort in the evening (total 120 kms.). Night halt at Dasada.
After breakfast, you can visit pastoral settlements and villages along the Rann of Kutch. During this tour, you can shop for embroidery directly from the Bharwad women of Ambala and the Rabari women of Dasada. This area is known for handicrafts, Block printing, woodcarving, metal crafts and pottery as well.
After luch, proceed towards Viramgam (30 kms.)
Departure to Mumbai.

Gir National Park
Gir is the only home in India for the Asiatic Lion of which there are nearly 300 in the park. The Gir National Park lies in the Gujarat peninsula in South-Western India. The terrain is rugged with low hills and the vegetation is mixed deciduous, with stands of Teak, Acacia, Jamun, Tendu and Dhak trees, interspersed with large patches of grasslands. The trees on the hills are sparse and stunted.

Within the sanctuary, there are numerous human settlements of cattle herders called Maldharis with an estimated 20,000 head of livestock (which, incidentally, forms a significant part of the Lionís diet). There are also places of Hindu worship and pilgrimage and sulphur springs at Tulsi Shyam and Kankai Mata. The edges of the park have good population of Indian Gazelle, protected by religious sentiments of the local people.

Wildlife Attractions in Gir National Park
A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are mainly found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content. Finally, Prosopis and Casuarina have been planted in the coastal borders as part of the afforestation plan.

The Asiatic Lion is rated the most endangered large carnivore globally. And India has the distinction of being the last earthly refuge of the Asiatic lion. The Gir National Park and Lion Sanctuary is the one and only remaining habitat of this proud and majestic species.

Asiatic Lion
An average Asiatic Lion, also known as the Indian Lion, is generally 2.5 m to 2.9 m tall, and weighs between 200 to 250 kg. It has a majestic mane and a big tail tuft. Indian Lions move about in prides, comprising 2-3 male adults and more lionesses and cubs. They communicate with each other with a variety of grunts, meows, growls, moans and roars, and while female cubs stay with the pride, the males leave after they are three years old.

The Asiatic Lions are lazy and indolent creatures that prey on the Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild Pig, and occasionally on goats and camels. Lion males often live in pairs that last a lifetime. However, in the pride it is the females who go out hunting in packs and bring back prey, which is first devoured by the male, and only then by the rest of the pack. In the daytime, they live close to water holes and rest in the shade. Hunting is relegated to dusk, or at night.

The Asiatic lion once ranged from Asia Minor and Arabia through Persia to India. In fact, at the turn of the century, Gir was a splendid mixed, deciduous forest of teak, acacia, zizyphas and banyan, sprawled over some 3,386 sq. km. Lions would have thrived there, were it not for their enemies-hunters and a devastating famine that all but wrapped up the prey species. At one time the estimated number of lions went down to as low as thirty. However, due to the efforts of the authorities and the Gir National Park, the Asiatic lion has been narrowly saved from extinction. Though it is still a highly endangered species, statistics show that if efforts are kept up, their numbers might begin to improve.

The Leopards
Leopard is considered to be one of the most beautiful and graceful animals in the jungle, also the most dangerous one. Popularly known as the Prince of Cats, this animal is the most adaptable among the predators, one of the reasons why it occupies a much larger spread of Gujarat forest cover. In the Gir National Park it is found in all the varied habitats and vegetation types. The approximate population of 210 Leopards resides within the sanctuary area.

Not leaving the water predators behind, Mash crocodiles are often seen along the Kamleshwar Dam Site. Another major attraction among the reptile population of Gir National Park are the numerous non-venomous Snakes such as the Indian Rock Python along with the four venomous varieties of Indian Cobra, Common Krait, Saw Scaled Viper, Russell's Viper. Among the lesser-known wildlife of Gir National Park includes the most common animal that can be sighted in the sanctuary, the Chital or Spotted Deer. Other main wild attractions are Nilgai, Chinkara, Sambhar, Black Bucks, the four horned Antelope, Wild Boar, Indian Flying Foe, Grey Musk Shrew, Indian Hare, Pale Hedgehog, Small Indian Mangoose, Small Indian Civet, Indian Pangolin, Indian Porcupine, Ratel, Indian Fox, and Jackal. The three smaller wildcats - the Jungle Cat, Desert Cat and the Rusty Spotted Cat also inhabit the forest, a fact which shows that the forest is not just meant for the protection of Lions, but the entire cat family.

Jeep Safaris are an ideal way to travel inside the park, as the uneven terrain of the park can be conveniently covered on a sturdy vehicle. The park authorities permit you to take your own vehicle inside the park but only with the addition of a park guide. Jeeps can also be hired from the office at Sasan or from the tour operators. Seats should be booked in advance for a ride on the mini bus operated by the park administration. The safari timings are 06:30 to 09:30 Hrs. and 15.00 Hrs. to 17.00 Hrs.

The Little Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. As the land separated from the sea by geological forces, it became a vast, featureless plain encrusted with salt that is inundated with water during the rains.  The safari across the Little Rann visits the 'bets', islands on the ancient seabed that are now higher grounds covered with grass and scrub. These 'bets' support a variety of wildlife including the 'Gudkhur' (Asiatic wild ass) that is not found elsewhere. The wild ass is a handsome chestnut brown member of the equus genus (horse family). Capable of reaching high speeds when galloping across the Rann, the wild ass is usually seen in small herds.

The elegant blackbuck (Indian antelope), nilgai or blue bull (India's largest antelope) and the graceful chinkara (Indian gazelle) are other mammals seen at the bets.

The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian wolf, desert fox, Indian fox, jackals, desert and jungle cats, and a few hyenas. Smaller mammals like hares, gerbilles and hedgehogs, and reptiles like spiny tailed lizard, monitor, red and common sand boa, saw-scaled viper, cobra, dhaman (Indian rat snake), etc, could also be seen during the safaris in the Rann. The rann can be covered by the cross-desert safari in open vehicles.

Birding paradise
With its small lakes and extensive fields, little Rann of Kutch offers good birding. Grey and pond herons, egrets, pied and white- breasted kingfishers, spotbill, nakta (comb duck), saras cranes and other birds can be seen at the waterfront. The bushes are also rich in birds and shikra hawks have been seen perched on the trees at the resort. The resort is also a roosting spot for rosy pastor (rose-coloured starling).

The trees also provide suitable nesting areas for ibises, egrets and pond herons to breed. The Little Rann of Kutch is a birding paradise and has been declared a Ramsar Site. During the safaris in the Rann expect to see large flocks of larks, and other dryland birds like sandgrouse, coursers, plovers, chats, warblers, babblers, shrikes. Among the many winter visitors are the houbara bustard and spotted sandgrouse. The best birding is at the lakes and marshes in and around the Rann where birds gather in numbers beyond comprehension during the winter months from October to March. These are the months when demmossile and common cranes are seen in incredibly large numbers. The wetlands also attract flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbill, a variety of ducks and other waterfowl.

The Rann is also the hunting ground of raptors like the short-toed eagle, aquila eagles, six species of falcon, buzzards and three species of harrier. It is one of the few places where harriers can be seen roosting on open-ground at night.

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