Wildlife JourneysLions & Wolves
Highlights of the Tour
Gaur (Indian Bison)
Extra-ordinary bird life
Sabarmati Ashram (home of Mahatma Gandhi) & Calico Museum of textile & bronze
: Arrive at Mumbai International airport, personalized welcome upon arrival at the airport | Transfer to the Hotel
: Interest based Mumbai Sightseeing – Full Day
: Morning at Leisure | Flight to Diu in the afternoon | Explore Naida Caves (optional activity) | Drive to Gir
: Morning game drive | Afternoon game drive
: Morning game drive | Afternoon game drive
: Early Transfer to Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary | Lunch | Rest in the afternoon | Evening explore the villages surrounding the lodge or bird walk around the lodge
: Morning game drive in Velavadar | Afternoon game drive
: Morning transfer to Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) | Lunch | Rest in the afternoon | Evening explore the villages surrounding the lodge or bird walk around the lodge
: Morning game drive in Wild Ass Sanctuary | Afternoon game drive
: Morning game drive | Lunch | Evening explore different villages in the area
: Morning transfer to Ahmedabad | Enroute visit Nalsarover Bird Sanctuary | Visit Sabarmati Ashram in the afternoon | Time permitting visit Calico museum of textile & bronze (prior appointments are required here. In case guests are interested we could prioritize what we see first)
: Early Morning transfer to Jawai | Evening at leisure
: Morning game drive in search for leopards | Evening game drive
: Morning transfer to Udaipur | Enroute visit the Jawai Dam for birding | Udaipur Sightseeing or just unwind
: Morning at leisure | Afternoon flight to Mumbai | Fly back home
- 14 Night | 15 Days India Experience
- Best Months – January, February & March
- Expected Temperature – 15°C to 35 °C
- Mosquitos Active in March end onwards
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Gir is the last remaining bastion of the Asiatic Lion. As per the latest census the lion population in and around the park is over 500 individual adults. This forest is partly dry deciduous and partly dry savannah forest. The forest is supported by seven perennial rivers, four of which have dams and the reservoirs from these dams also help support the diverse flora and fauna in this region.
Wildlife species that one should seek in these jungles are: Asiatic lion, leopard (a very high density), stripped hyena, golden jackals, honey badger, jungle cats, desert cats and the rare rusty spotted cat, crocodiles, cobras – spectacled and black, Russell’s viper and the Indian mongoose. Key prey species include nilgai (one of the largest antelopes in India), Chinkara or the Indian gazelle, four-horned antelope, chital deer and sambar deer along with macaques, langurs and wild boars. Some of the bird species found here include crested serpent eagle, endangered Bonelli’s eagle, crested hawk-eagle, brown fish owl, Indian eagle-owl, rock bush-quail, pygmy woodpecker, black-headed oriole, crested tree swift and Indian pitta.
Other attractions from a photography perspective are the Maldhari herdsmen and the African village. They make excellent subjects for people photography.
Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Velavadar National Park is a hidden gem, one of the last stands of grassland remaining in the massive alluvial plain running along the Gulf of Khambatt called Bhal. The Bhal is a tapestry of cotton, wheat and other agricultural fields, saline flats, grasslands, pastures, freshwater wetlands and coastal marshes. Nearly forty species of grasses have been identified from Bhal.
Velavadar’s Savannah grasslands and scrub provide optimum habitat for the blackbuck, the handsome Indian antelope. Some of India’s largest herds of this antelope can be seen in this park. The key predator of Velavadar is the Indian wolf, an endangered species. Indian wolves generally hunt in pairs or small packs, with one of them distracting the antelopes while the other takes one from a group by surprise. In open country they may give a sustained chase to their prey. Velavadar is also one of the most likely places to view a striped hyena, a species that is rarely seen elsewhere because of its nocturnal habits.
Velavadar is also well-known for its concentration of raptors. Short-toed eagles are often seen, while Aquila eagles like imperial, greater spotted and steppe could also be seen at Velavadar in winter. Other raptors often seen are kestrel, laggar falcon, black-shoulder kite and shikra. The most spectacular sight is the winter roost of harriers, mostly Montagu’s and pallid but also marsh and the occasional hen – thousands of them have been seen settling down to roost among the grasslands on a winter evening. This is widely rated as the world’s largest harrier roost. Eurasian eagle owl hunts here and could be seen even in daylight.
Little Rann of Kutch
The area is famous as the world’s last refuge of the Indian wild ass (Khur) for the conservation of which it has been declared as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. Though a bleak landscape it is rich in biodiversity and is an ecologically important area for wildlife and many local and migratory water birds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sandgrouse, francolins and the Indian bustards. Besides the wild ass the park is also home to the Indian grey wolf, desert fox, desert cat and the stripped hyena.
The major economy of the area is on salt panning and shrimp farming besides tourism. The villages in the immediate vicinity of the park are inhabited by a number of interesting communities such as Kharapat Rabari, Mirs. Bharvads, Dangasia, Jats & Kolis. The Kolis work at the salt pans in the Rann of Kutch. The Kharapat Rabari were among the original inhabitants of the region and have always been pastoralists keeping camels, cattle and other livestock. The two communities Bharvads and Dangasias share a symbiotic relationship. Bharvads keep sheep, and Dangasias weave the wool into garments for the Bharvads. Moreover, Dangasia dress is the same as that of Bharvads. All communities make excellent subjects for people photography. The key handicraft of the region is embroidery, weaving and beadwork.
Another attraction about safaris in this region is the possibility of organizing safaris on horseback, however this has to be booked in advance and there is a separate pricing structure for the same. Non-riders can explore the country in open jeeps.
Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat. Ahmedabad has emerged as an important economic and industrial hub in India. It is the second largest producer of cotton in India. In 2010, it was ranked third in Forbes’s list of fastest growing cities of the decade.
On his return from South Africa, Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established in the Kochrab area of Ahmedabad on 25 May 1915. The Ashram was then shifted on 17 June 1917 to a piece of open land on the banks of the river Sabarmati. Reasons for this shift included: he wanted to do some experiments in living for example farming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi and related constructive activities, for which he was in search of this kind of barren land; mythologically, it was the ashram site of Dadhichi Rishi who had donated his bones for a righteous war; it is between a jail and a crematorium as he believed that a satyagrahi has to invariably go to either place. The Sabarmati Ashram was home to Mohandas Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle.
The Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad is the premier textile museum of the country, and one of the most celebrated institutions of its kind in the world for its distinguished and comprehensive collection of textiles and artefacts. The Calico collection along with those of Sarabhai Foundation’s collection of outstanding Bronzes, Pichhwais, Jain art objects and Indian miniature paintings are housed at the Retreat complex of Sarabhai Foundation in the Shahibag area of the city.
Jawai is the new frontier, opening up a truly experiential way to travel. Quintessentially an abode for people in search for tranquil moments amidst the wild. A place which has retained its pristine beauty, where one can experience the true, unadulterated glory that nature has to offer. Nestled in the Aravalli ranges, one cannot help but get lost in its landscapes.
A varied menu of experiences awaits you in this lap of the former kingdoms of Mewar and Marwar. The region is home to the charismatic Rabari herdsmen, a people at peace with the indigenous wildlife, including the resident spotted cat – the leopard.
Wildlife in the region includes: Leopard, Bluebull, Crocodile, Hyena, Pelican, Greylag Goose, Robin Accentor, Demoiselle Crane and Migrating Bar headed Goose to name a few.
The tribal life which one can not only witness but experience themselves, makes this stay a once in a lifetime experience. The Rabari tribe, meaning ‘outsider’, gets its name from their occupation – of rearing and raising cattle, camels and goats. They are also known for their “Rabari Bharat ” (Embroidery ). One can easily distinguish the Rabari women from the locals with their long black head scarves, their distinctive brass ear rings and their magical symbol tattoos. Their jewellery is quite modest in comparison to other tribal women of the country. The Rabari men commonly appear in a white dress, golden ear rings with a big stick in their hand. Their head is covered with a ‘Pagadi’(Turban)
All-in-all a truly unique experience!