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India - Rare Mammals & Birds of Gujarat

Tour Code: IND04

A 13-day wildlife holiday to Gujarat in search of the rare birds and mammals of this little-explored region.

13 days from £3295(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2795 SRS: £595


India is the only country in the world which can claim both Lion and Tiger among its native fauna. Yet, while many of our Naturetrek holidays offer you the chance to see Tigers, this wildlife tour of Gujarat is unique in its focus on Asiatic Lions, plus three other special mammals! We will search for the Lions in the Gir Forest, their remaining stronghold. We’ll also visit Velavadar Reserve, where large concentrations of the beautiful Blackbuck occur; the Neliya Grasslands, roamed by packs of Indian Wolves, and Dhrangadhra Sanctuary, home of the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass. In addition to these primary objectives, we’ll also encounter an impressive

  • The only Naturetrek tour offering the chance to see Asiatic Lion
  • Plus Asiatic Wild Ass, Blackbuck, Indian Wolf & other mammals
  • Wide variety of birdlife
  • Interesting Gujarat desert landscapes
  • Glimpses of village life in rural India
  • Extend the tour by visiting other wildlife or cultural areas
  • Expertly guided by one of our Indian naturalists

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Comfortable tourist hotels. All rooms have private facilities.

Asiatic Lion (Raghu Kulkarni)

Asiatic Lion (Raghu Kulkarni)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2/3 Velavadar Wildlife Reserve

Day 4/6 Gir National Park

Day 7/9 Kachch

Day 10/11 Dhrangadhra Sanctuary. Little Rann of Kutch (from Dasada)

Day 10/11 Dhrangadhra Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch (from Dasada)

Day 12 Ahmedabad

Day 13 Fly London

The Indian subcontinent boasts nearly 500 species of mammal, protected within over 250 wildlife reserves, and is the only place in the world that can still claim both Tiger and Lion among its native fauna. Inevitably, however, it is the Tiger, and such other popular large mammals as Asian Elephant and Greater One-horned Rhino, that are the focus of so many of our India tours. This special itinerary is different though, a trio of rare Indian mammals: Blackbuck, Asiatic Wild Ass and Asiatic Lion being our chief targets. A supporting cast of other rarely seen possibilities including Striped Hyena, Desert Wildcat, Indian Wolf and Desert Red Fox, is no less mouthwatering!

The range of the Asiatic Lion once extended as far as Greece, but habitat destruction and hunting gradually diminished its population. Today only a few hundred remain in the relict Gir Forest on the Saurashtra Peninsula in Gujarat, Indias westernmost state. It is here that we will spend two full days, travelling from our base at a comfortable tourist lodge into the grassland and forest domain of this magnificent predator, encountering a stunning variety of wildlife as we search for our quarry. We will also visit two other wildlife reserves in Gujarat during this holiday, each protecting important populations of endangered species. In Velavadar Wildlife Reserve we will enjoy the highest concentration of Blackbuck on Earth while, in Dhrangadhra Sanctuary in the Little Rann of Kutch, we'll explore the home of the Asiatic Wild Ass. We will also spend time around Kachchh, searching the desert scrub for such rarities as Striped Hyena, Indian Wolf and Desert Wildcat.

We begin with a 2-night stay in Velavadar, where the graceful Blackbuck, one of the most attractive of all Indian mammals, still occurs in large herds that graze the scrubby grasslands set aside for their protection. Indian Wolf, Jungle Cat and Nilgai also occur here and, whilst the driest season during March and April is perhaps best for mammals, the winter months from November to February draw large concentrations of wintering harriers, eagles, geese and cranes to the reserve.

Our next destination is the Gir Forest National Park. With a rugged terrain of low hills and tracts of deciduous forest interspersed with areas of grassland, this national park supports a great diversity of mammals including Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chinkara (Indian Gazelle), Four-horned Antelope and Wild Boar. With such an abundance of prey it is little surprise that Leopards maintain good numbers in the forests and Striped Hyenas seek to scavenge any leftovers from the big cats meals. The Gir Forest is, however, most famed for its Lions and our focus will be to find as many as possible during twice-daily excursions into their habitat. While, elsewhere in India, the Tiger is the top terrestrial predator, here in the Gir Forest, the majesty of the Lion is unchallenged. We will spend three nights here at a comfortable forest lodge.

Next we travel to Kachchh for a 3-night stay. Here we will explore the surrounding desert and scrub where such avian specialities as Great Indian Bustard, Grey Hypercolius, MacQueen's Bustard, the endemic White-naped Tit and the exquisite Indian Courser may be seen. In this region our chances of seeing exciting mammals are greatly increased by the fact that, being outside any protected area, evening safaris are possible. Thus we have a much greater chance here of seeing the strange loping Striped Hyena, the charming Desert Wildcat, the desert subspecies of Red Fox and perhaps a family of Indian Wolves.

Finally, we travel to the Dhrangadhra Sanctuary. Established in 1973, this reserve embraces a huge area of flat, saline wilderness and protects an important population of the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass. Finding these shy, sandy-coloured creatures is no easy task in this arid landscape. However, with luck, we should discover a small herd feeding on their favourite 'bets' (islands of coarse grasses), which provide their principal nourishment in this harsh terrain. After two idyllic days in the peaceful haven of the Little Rann of Kutch, we will head to Ahmedabad for our flight to London, via Doha.

Asiatic LionAsiatic Lion cubAsiatic Lion cubAsiatic LionsAsiatic LionsAsiatic Lions
J.J.
Gloucestershire
Tika is an exceptional leader. He is totally committed to ensuring all the party members are happy with their experience. He goes to great lengths to get views of animals and organises transfers, wake up calls and lots of details unobtrusively.
S.W.
Nottinghamshire
I was delighted to get such excellent view of a total of 7 different Asiatic Lions, and also to see a total of 4 Indian Wolves. Very nice to see the Wild Ass and Blackbuck so well, too, also the various jackal and fox species, plus Leopards, Jungle Cats etc. Manisha was most helpful and attentive and looked after us very well. She is very well informed regarding the wildlife and worked hard to find it for us.
P.S.
West Midlands
It was another excellent Naturetrek holiday. Thank you.
A.W.
Wales
An excellent view of a male and female lion and a cub at a kill on the last morning. The Wild Asses part of the trip was excellent. The quality of birds also impressive.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sun 11th February 2018 - Fri 23rd February 2018

FULL

£3295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sun 11th November 2018 - Fri 23rd November 2018

YES

£3295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sun 10th February 2019 - Fri 22nd February 2019

YES

£3295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sun 10th November 2019 - Fri 22nd November 2019

YES

£3295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: India

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Rajan Jolly
Operations Manager

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01962 733051

Tour Focus

Mammals

Tour Leaders

Tour Reviews

Tika is an exceptional leader. He is totally committed to ensuring all the party members are happy with their experience. He goes to great lengths to get views of animals and organises transfers, wake up calls and lots of details unobtrusively.
J.J., Gloucestershire