Gir National Park, situated in the western state of Gujarat, India, covers an area of 1412 square kilometers and is known for being the last refuge of the Asiatic lions. Apart from the lions, it is also home to several other endangered species of mammals such as Indian leopards, sloth bears, and Indian cobras, as well as a wide variety of birds like the painted stork, white-eyed buzzard, and crested serpent eagle. The park offers various activities for visitors to experience the flora and fauna, including guided jeep safaris, nature safari to Girnar, and Gir birding tours. The Gir Jungle Safari is the main attraction of the park, which takes visitors on a thrilling ride through the dense forests to spot the majestic lions in their natural habitat. Gir National Park serves as a unique destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world.
Arriving at the lands of royal big cats
Before embarking on the safari at Gir or Devalia, learn about the fascinating facts of the majestic Asiatic Lions, the star attraction of Gir National Park. To begin with, the Asiatic Lions are a bit different from the African Lions. However, there are some similarities between these two species, as they belong to the Felidae family. Sasan Gir is the only habitat of the Asiatic lions in India and according to the latest official count, there are 674 lions at present with about 250 female lions. Also known as Indian Lions or Persian Lions, Asiatic Lions are a member of the Panthera Leo Persica subspecies, which are only restricted to India. Previously their habitats were also located in the Middle East and West Asia before they faced extinction. But at present, their surviving region is only restricted to the wild boundaries of Gir National Park. The Asiatic Lion is one of the Indian native five pantherine cats, the others being the Bengal Tiger, the Clouded Leopard, the Indian Leopard and the Snow Leopard.
Best time to spot the Asiatic Lions
Winter season is the ideal time to spot the Asiatic Lions, for which Gir Jungle Safari is a must. November to March facilitates the highest chances of sighting these exceptionally dignified species. The pleasant and cool weather during this period also adds to the comfort of jungle safari at Gir or Devalia.
About the Asiatic Lions
The Asiatic Lions are formidable hunters relying on their strength, agility and acute sense to secure their next meal. The habitat provides an array of options suitable for preying, such as deer, wild boar, antelope and so on. The Asiatic Lions are smaller in size as compared to their cousins, the African Lions. The Asiatic Lions have longitudinal skin folds on their belly, which are quite a unique character.
Asiatic Lions roam in small pride and unlike the African Lions, Asiatic lions are less social in nature and the lioness takes care of the cubs. These lions mostly carry out their hunting process during the nighttime. The lions are less likely to be active as compared to their female counterparts. Another unique and interesting feature of the Asiatic Lions is their walking style. Their heels do not touch the ground while walking.
These Asiatic Lions are a true pride of Gir National Park, as well as India and untiring conservation efforts are undertaken to safeguard their population and existence.