How to Plan a trip to Sasan GIR to see Asiatic Lions?
I’m a Wildlife Photographer from India; I visited Sasan GIR recently and photographed the most special ‘Asiatic Lions’. The trip was so exciting with Lion sightings at each safari I went. I saw a total of 15 Individual Asiatic lions. Great! But coming back to the crux of this article – it is the planning for the trip to Sasan GIR. It took me a whooping 30 days to plan my trip but I saved more than 70% of overall costs by working so hard in getting the right information and taking the right route for booking the travel, safari, stay and food.
I had this amazing experience and spent just INR 5,250/- per day for two people which includes Stay, Food and two Jeep Safaris a day. I will reveal the secret now!
I’m going to give you all those tips and important links, all in one place like a nice platter. The intention is to ensure that you enjoy a beautiful place like Sasan GIR and see the Asiatic Lions at their habitat but at the right cost.
How to Reach Sasan GIR Wildlife Sanctuary?
There are options by Air, Rail and Road. You can just google it and find all the options. There are so many small airports nearby as well. But, I’m going to suggest the best options based on my experience. There are two best options – either reach Ahmedabad airport and then take a Road drive of around 8 Hours or if you are travelling from abroad then reach Mumbai airport, then to Diu airport and then drive to Sasan GIR.
I strongly recommend Road option since if you choose a small airport the chances of cancellations or reschedules are high and I don’t want you to spend your vacation on Airport Lounge.
I still prefer via Ahmedabad since you can take a nice detour to see some amazing places like Velavadar black buck sanctuary, Nalsarovar bird sanctuary, Thol bird sanctuary etc. Read about them here – https://www.wild.photography/ see pictures at my Instagram page.
Distance by Road from Major Cities to GIR National Park
- Ahmedabad to Sasan GIR – 400 km
- Rajkot to Sasan GIR – 170 km
- Somnath / Keshod to Sasan GIR – 55 km
- Diu to Sasan GIR – 110 km
The ask for the pick and drop from Ahmedabad airport to Sasan GIR was around INR 18,000/-. Plus, from your stay, you have to go to safari place (Sinh Sadan) and for that you need to pay INR 400/- per safari. I picked a car rental for 3 days from Ahmedabad and paid in total of around INR 5K and used that car itself to go to the safari place from where I stayed. Please use the following links for self drive rentals: https://www.zoomcar.com/ | https://www.mylescars.com/. I used Zoomcars and I strongly recommend it.
Jeep Safari booking at Sasan GIR
The process is pretty simple once you know it. First, you need to book your e-permit and it is an online system. Multiple fake sites are operating and this is the one and only government provided online link to book e-permit for Sasan GIR Jeep Safaris –http://girlion.in/. That’s it now you can walk in on the safari day with your e-permit, an hour before your safari timing. Government fees for each safari which you have pay on the counter is INR 1700/- for a Jeep for one safari, INR 400/- for Guide for one Safari and INR 200/- for one Camera (this is valid for one day)… so total INR 2100/- per safari and Jeep with Guide is yours! you can choose to go alone or 5 people can go, cost remains the same. Only one e-permit for one Vehicle so you have to plan well in advance and update each one of your information with ID proof what you would be carrying during e-permit online booking itself.
INR 2100/- Safari is offered at INR 9,500 at different sites. Or if you ask your resort to arrange Safari as well, more or less you get the same cost around INR 9K. But, now you know the actual Government charges (INR 2100/- per safari).
The safari starts from a place called Sinh Sadan in Sasan GIR. You have use your transportation to reach there as I said before.
Safari Timing at Sasan GIR Wildlife Sanctuary
Sasan GIR operates 3 Safaris a day – Morning 6-9am, 9-12pm, and evening 3-6pm. There are 9 zones at Sasan GIR but you can’t decide the zone; the officer at the counter will randomly update that in your trip sheet. No worries, all Zones have lions.
Best Season and Best Time to see Asiatic Lions at Sasan GIR
Though, it is how lucky you are on that day. The probabilities are higher on Months – Feb till June and the morning Safari 6-9am. All the best! Please don’t held be responsible, if you don’t see the Asiatic Lion… haha!
Budget Stay Option at Sasan GIR National Park
There are a lot of budget stay options with in 5kms from Safari Zone Sinh Sadan. You also have some luxury options as well. If you are a wildlife photographer and would be out most of the time and looking for a nice and clean stay and food at budget cost, I would suggest http://www.girprideresort.com/. I stayed there and would stay there only for all future trips to Sasan GIR.
That’s it! Pack your bag and head toward Sasan GIR. All the best! Feel free to write any clarifications on the comment section below the post.
About the Author:
Alvis Lazarus is a Wildlife Photographer from Nazareth. Top Shot Winner 2017 (National Geographic) and Your Photo Winner 2017 (BBC Wildlife). Alvis’s work is published in Nat Geo, BBC Wildlife and Conde Nast Traveller Magazines. See his work here: Instagram | Facebook | Website