This national park is the last remaining home of the Asiatic lion, which was once common from south east Europe to western India. It is also the only place you can now see wild lions outside Africa. At the start of the 1900s there were only around 20 of these lions remaining, but because of effective protection of both them and their natural habitat, their numbers have climbed to around 525 individuals, with an increase of 27% from 2010 to 2015 alone.
The total area under protection here covers 1,412 km2, the park itself covers 258km2 while the rest takes the form of reserves created as a buffer zone around the park. Sasan-Gir lies in the southern part of India’s most westerly state, Gujarat, not far from the Indian Ocean. The parks vegetation is dominated by dry, open woodland with many teak and acacia trees, with open areas of grassland in between. Seven small rivers flow through the park and four dams have been established to create life-giving reservoirs for the wildlife, together with a number of water holes.
In addition to the lions, Sasan-Gir is also famous for its relatively easily seen leopards, while jackals, jungle cat and mongoose are some of the park’s other predators. Amongst the herbivores you can see the beautiful spotted axis deer, the large sambar deer, the impressive nilgai antelope, and the elegant Indian gazelle. Wild boars are also common in this area.
The avifauna here is very rich and varied. Here you can see a number of species of vultures, eagles and owls, while the beautiful peafowl is very common, as are a number of colourful species of parakeets. In and around the park’s many water reservoirs and water holes you can see reptiles such as mugger crocodiles, monitor lizards and a number of species of turtles.
High Season: November to May