The only site outside Africa to see lions in the wild, Gir National Park is the place to be for any wildlife enthusiast. Located in the heart of Gujarat, the protected territory sprawls over an area of 1412 sq km. The expansive park provides habitat to a large number of plant and animal species, many of which are endangered. Over the years, it has also emerged as one of the best bird watching sites in the country. With more than 200 bird species recorded in the park, it has been declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the Indian Bird Conservation Network. Birding at Gir National Park is a unique experience, which allows you to come face to face with not only the resident avifauna, but also the birds that migrate to here. The site is a breeding ground for a large number of feathered creatures; hence, an ideal birding destination.
Where to Stay
Though there are a large number of accommodation options available, the Gir Birding Lodge at Gir National Park is among the best. An abode of peace, the property is located amidst lush orchards. Covering around 17 acres of land, the lodge offers modern comforts to ensure that your birding experience goes just as smoothly as you planned. It offers accommodation in 14 rooms and six cottages, each of which comes with an attached bathroom with a shower. When you look out of the window or head to the balcony, you will see thick vegetation of kesar mango and other trees that attract a large number of birds. Therefore, you do not have to step out of the comfort of your air-conditioned room to enjoy sights of colourful birds.
Gir Birding Lodge‘s Orchard Hall is the place to enjoy delicious Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights in buffet style. On the request of guests, the expert chefs adjust the dishes’ spiciness as per their taste. In case your taste buds agree with the food served here, the chefs are ready to give a few tips and even cooking lessons. Those, looking for a corporate holiday here, can book the on-site conference hall to organise meetings.
What to Do
The Gir Birding Lodge at Gir National Park offers Jeep safaris in different sections of the park so that no side of the territory remains hidden from guests. Travelling with the expert guides, you do not have to worry about missing the sight of any rare species. As you travel in the park, watching colourful avifauna, the guides will provide you with interesting facts about the different species that live here or come in the winter.
Village tours offered by Gir Birding Lodge will allow you to learn about the local way of life. The people of Siddhi and Maldhari tribes have survived for a long time in the dense jungle. With a visit here, you can learn how the villagers perform their daily chores and deal with the animals that live around them.
What to See
On this 02-night/03-day birding in Gir Birding Lodge tour, there is no chance of you not coming across regional flora and fauna. The experts make sure that you make the most of your time, seizing every moment to capture sights of rare birds and animals. While birding at Gir National Park, some feathered creatures you may be able to see are shrikes, pied woodpeckers, grey drongoes, black ibises, shaheen falcons, Bonelli’s eagles, Indian eagle owls, tawny eagles, jungle bush quails, nightjars, black-headed cuckoos and painted sandgrouses.
Green pigeons, paradise flycatchers, crested serpent eagles, Indian pitas, Indian rollers and orange-headed thrushes are a few others that can be seen while birding here. During the monsoon season, flocks of sarus cranes throng the park for breeding. Therefore, if you plan your birding in Gir Birding Lodge tour in the month of June, you may come across these long-necked, red-headed birds. From watchtowers and hides, you can get glimpses of various birds without scaring them away.
This three-day venture is a chance to get an insight into the diverse birdlife of the region. Though birding is the highlight of this journey, this is not the only experience that you can enjoy. There are myriad other things at the lodge as well that add to the fun. During their leisure time, guests can also indulge in yoga, meditation or massages.
Activities: Birding and Lion Safari
Location: Gir National Park is 340 KM from Ahmedabad. The lodge is located next to Gate no.2, Bambohod Check Post, Gir National Park.
Best time to go: October to March