Gir National Park – Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Created as a reserve for the last known population of the Lion in the wild habitat outside the African Savanna regions, Gir National Park is the region that is located in the southwest of peninsular in the State of Gujarat. The vast region is widespread over an area extending to nearly 116 square-miles; the sanctuary has been a habitat for the Asiatic lions since 1913, soon after the population of the lion fell to nearly 20 animals left in the wild. Due to all the conservation programs introduced by the government, the population of the lions has managed to increase to nearly 300 animals in the wild.
Wildlife in the Gir National Park
The Asiatic lion in comparison with its African cousin, is slightly smaller in size and so is its mane. In India the population of the lion is distributed across different states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Madhya Pradesh. But when speaking of Gir, it is not just about Lions, but also Leopard which is the second most commonly known predators that are found here in this region. In fact, Gir forest is also known to be a home to some of the most largest widely spread population of Leopard as compared to any other national parks in India, especially during the summer season when some of these big spotted cats can be easily seen close to the lodges.
Teak, Acacia and Banyan trees are some of the most commonly found vegetation in this region. As the region is also known to be one of the deciduous forest so, some of the other species of the trees commonly found here include Jambu, Umro, Karanj, Kalam, Vad, Sirus, Amli and Sirus. These broad leaved and evergreen trees not only give a cool shade to the area but also moisten the place.
Apart from Leopard and Lion other animals found in the Gir forest are Chittal Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Chowsingha, Nilgai Antelope, Chinkara Gazelle, Wild Boar, Four-Horned Antelope, Jackal, Langur Monkey, and Hyena along with a variety of species of birds which include species like Bonneli’s Eagle, Paradise Flycatcher, Woodpecker’s, Crested Serpent Eagle, Flamingo etc.
Jeep safari may be one of the best ways to notice these big wild cats in their natural habitat, both at dawn and at dusk, when these big cats are on prowl. So, the best way to watch these wild animals in their natural habitat would be to move around the forest in a safari jeep.
Ideal time to visit the Gir Sanctuary
Wildlife lovers can always visit the Gir forest throughout all year round, but the best season to visit and enjoy the natural habitat would be around the months of November to June.