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GIR-Velavadar, Gujarat East Coast Wild Exploration Tour - Tour 1
Gir National park This winter join us to the land of divine light, as we make our way to last stronghold of Asiatic Lions in the world - the Sasan Gir National Park. Home to the world's only 500 Asiatic lions, Gir in winter is delicious mix of scrub, dry deciduous, evergreen and acacia forests. Add to it patches of grassland, wetland and rocky outcrops and Gir makes for a spellbinding habitat for a variety of fauna.
Wake up in the mornings to hear the blood curdling roars of the Asiatic lion males and be ready during the afternoon drives to see some tender moments amongst the large prides of the forest. If you're lucky, you'll stumble upon a few of the stealthy 300 odd leopards of the forest too. And then again, the cats are not the only animals to grace this beautiful natural studio. Other mammals such as the jackal, the rather large sambhar and chitals, and the nilgai make for great pictures against the stark backdrop of a forest going bare in winter.
In other patches, still green after the monsoon expect to see a full house of birds. This is well and truly migrant season and the park is a great place to find raptors such as the Crested Hawk Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Buzzards, and also the elusive Sparrowhawks. On the rocks and the grassland, don't be surprised to encounter the rather shy but hugely powerful Short Toed Snake Eagle. And hey, who says it's all about raptors? Gir happens to be amongst the best places in the country to photograph nightjars at close range. The Indian Nightjar and the Savanna Nightjar should be right up there in your photography checklist. Be ready to photograph rather cooperative Thicknees and if we're lucky we'll locate the roosts of the Indian Eagle Owl and the Mottled Wood Owl.
Black buck national park, Velavadar Gujrat.
If you want to see the highest concentration of Indian antelope anywhere in the country, then this is the place. The land of golden grass with clear blue skies gives you the unique opportunity to shoot black-bucks in their age old habitat. During our visit to this untamed wilderness, expect unique wild-life moments to unfold right in front of your eyes and for your camera to capture. In winter, the male bucks engage in battle for mating rights at the lek sites. This gives not only gives us excellent creative photography opportunities but also an opportunity to see the predators of the grassland - the hyena and the wolf - make hay while the sun shines!
In a mere 34 sq km radius, the amount of fauna is spectacular. The population here mainly consists of Blackbucks, Houbara bustard, Hyenas and Lesser Floricans, with Wolves, Foxes, Jackals and Jungle Cats as the main carnivores species. While you keep your cameras trained on these guys, don't forget the lesser species - wild pigs, hares, rodents and reptiles that grace the savanna.
In addition, be ready to be dazzled by the great diversity of birdlife - apart from being the largest roost of harriers in the world, you'll have the opportunity to photograph eagle owls, sandgrouse, wheatears, Steppe and Tawny eagles and several other grassland species.
Want to know what the plan is? Check our Itinerary.
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Dec 21st (Saturday) to Dec 27th (Friday)
Day 1 - Sat - Dec 21st Participants arrive at Ahemedabad by 8:30 AM and We will travel by road from Ahemedabad to Sasan Gir( GIR National park, Gujrat) via Rajkot. Its a --hours journey on road. On our arrival and after checking in to our comfortable resort, we gather for an open discussion with an ice breaker (introduction session) and an orientation session followed by a small introduction about GIR and its habitat. This will help us to pre-visualize our shots and will help us to set expectation for the tour.
Day 2 - Sun - Dec 22nd (2 Safari's ) Since we are traveling during winter season the morning and evening (late) drives will be colder. Although the safari will last for more than 3 hours, pleasent winter light will make our photography sessions memorable. Our experienced native guides/naturalist will help us understand and make us familiar with the habitat of GIR, its resident prides and their habitat. After shooting to our hearts content, we head back to the resort for a good breakfast.
After our breakfast, we rest for sometime. We will do a quick review of our morning safari images and few photography related tips just before our lunch . We will also discuss on our next game plans. Post lunch, we will head out for our evening safari to make some great images.
Day 3 - Mon - Dec 23rd. (2 Safari's) We repeat the Day 2 schedule. Between the safari's we can do small birding in and around the resort itself as its a great place for birds.
Day 4 - Tue - Dec 24th. (2 Safari's) We repeat the Day 2 schedule. Between the safari's we can do small birding in and around the resort itself as its a great place for birds.
Day 5 - Wed - Dec 25th We will have an early breakfast and we depart with lots of memories from Gir and head on to the grasslands of Velavadar in search of striped hyena's, wolfs, dessert cat, countless number of black bucks (indian antelope) and to witness the largest roosting place for Harriers.
Day 6 - Starts from Velavadar, Gujarat Day 6 - Thu - Dec 26th We will raise early morning and take the first entry inside the part at 7 am in search of hyenas, shoot Black-buck with sunrise. WE will be back for breakfast and some rest. We will have review session just before lunch and after lunch we will do our evening Safari.
Day 7 - Fri - Dec 27th After finishing our morning safari, we will head to Ahemedabad.
Tour Ends in Ahemedabad
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