Coastal Kingdoms Of Gujarat
Endangered Mammals of Gujarat
Little Rann of Kutch-Gir National Park-Velavdar National Park
06 nights & 07 days
Best season: October-May
Gujarat is one of the most prolific areas for birds in India and has the last habitats of the Asiatic lion and the Indian wild ass. This itinerary features an array of habitats - the desert salt flats and scrub of the
Little Rann of Kutch, the southern coast of the Gulf of Kutch, the decidious forests of Gir and the grasslands of Velavadar, with a sojourn in the princely town of Gondal where a variety of birds come into the palace grounds and good birding is possible at the private grasslands and
lakes of the Maharaja's estates. Gujarat's highways are among the best in the
country and while travelling the bird list keeps growing as the roads pass
fields, wetlands and grasslands rich in birds. We offer accommodations at Rann
Riders at Dasada (near the Little Rann of Kutch) which has many birds
coming into the complex, Hotel President at Jamnagar near the bird-rich
Lakhota Lake, the Riverside Palace or Orchard Palace at Gondal, a birding lodge
at Gir National Park and Vijay Vilas, a palatial country house at Palitana as the base to visit Velavadar National Park ensuring you are birding all the time.
For those who want to mix cultural experiences with birding and mammal-viewing,
this itinerary offers opportunities to visit colourful villages and pastoral
settlements, visit historic cities known for
monuments and princely towns, shop for handicrafts and tour the
Jain temple complex atop Shatrunjaya Hill over Palitana.
Day 01: Ahmedabad-Dasada
Arrive Ahmedabad by morning flight or overnight express train, and have
breakfast at the river-facing Cama Park Plaza, where your birdlist will
begin with many garden birds in the hotel premises and waterside birds
along the Sabarmati River. Travel to Dasada, two hours away, to arrive in
time for lunch at Rann Riders. The road to Dasada is interesting as you pass
cattle graveyards where white-rumped, Egyptian and griffon vultures could be
seen and wetlands that are good for resident birds. This Eco-friendly safari
resort is imaginatively designed using local materials and has
extensive grounds with a water-body, ponds, gardens, plantations and agricultural
fields. Red-necked falcon, shikra, blue throat, rosy starling, black
ibis, white pelican, grey and pond heron, pied, common and white-throated
kingfisher, and other birds come into the property. After lunch, depart
for a drive in the Little Rann of Kutch, a sanctuary for the Indian wild
ass. An ancient seabed turned by geological forces into saline desert plains,
the Rann has grassy patches that offer good bird-watching. Crested and
Sykes larks, Oriental skylark, bimaculated lark, greater short-toed lark,
singing and Indian bushlarks, ashy-crowned and black-crowned sparrow-larks, are
likely sightings and greater hoopoe lark is possible. Desert and
variable wheatears, southern grey, long-tailed, rufous-tailed and bay-back
shrike, common woodshrike are also likely sightings and the desert warbler is
among the many winter visiting warblers. We will also look for
chestnut-bellied and spotted sandgrouse, Indian courser (cream-coloured visits
occasionally), quails, yellow-legged and barred buttonquails, grey francolin, wryneck, brown-rock chat, pied bushchat, rufous-tailed scrub robin, blue-headed
rock thrush, black redstart and buntings in the scrubby areas. At sunset, it
is possible to watch marsh, Montagu and pallid harriers, aquila eagles,
falcons and buzzards heading for their roosting sites. Among the mammals of the
Rann other than the wild ass, there are chances of seeing nilgai, chinkara
gazelle, white-footed desert and Indian foxes, the wolf, jungle cat
(occasionally also desert cat), pale and long-eared hedgehogs and hare.
Day 02: Little Rann of Kutch
(breakfast, lunch & dinner)
Morning drive to the bets, elevated patches in the Rann covered with
scrub and grass. In winter, this is a likely area for Macqueen's bustard.
Long-legged, common and white-eyed buzzard, booted eagle, Bonneli's
eagle. short-toed snake eagle, are often seen during the drive.
Evening visit to Nawa Talao, a lake where demmossile and common cranes
gather in large flocks during the winter months. Greater and lesser
flamingo are seen in large numbers as are great white pelican with spotbilled
and dalmatian recorded. Painted, openbill, wooly-necked, white, black and
black-necked stork could be seen as also black, glossy and black-headed
ibis. Northern pintail, common teal, spot-billed duck, mallard,
gadwall, wigeon, garganey, shoveler, cotton pygmy goose, pochards, tufted duck,
lesser whistling duck, brahminy and comb duck are among the many
visitors to the lake. Waders include pratincoles, lapwings, sandpipers, ruff and
other birds in good numbers.
Stay at Rann Riders.
Day 03: Dasada-Gir National Park
(breakfast, lunch & dinner)
After breakfast, travel to Gir and take a mini-bus tour of the
Interpretation Zone, an enclosed cross-section of Gir habitats. Dinner
and overnight in a private orchard of Gir with a forest view.
Day 04: Gir National Park
(breakfast, lunch & dinner)
A tapestry of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub and grassland, fed by
rivers and reservoirs, Gir is the last abode of the Asiatic lion and
has a thriving population of panther (leopard), sambar, chital (spotted
deer), nilgai (blue bull antelope) and wild boar. Gir is also one of the major
habitats of chousingha (the world's only four-horned antelope) and
chinkara (Indian gazelle) that are hard to spot in the teak forests along the
game drive trails. Among the many birds of Gir, changeable hawk eagle,
crested serpent eagle, Bonneli's eagle, shaheen peregrene falcon, laggar
falcon, shikra, painted sandgrouse, quails, black-hooded and golden oriels,
marshall's and common iora, Asian paradise flycatcher, tickell's blue,
red-throated, verditer and Asian brown flycatchers, yellow-crowned, brown-capped pygmy, black-rumped flameback woodpeckers, green and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, coppersmith barbet, common, lesser pied and white-throated kingfisher,
blossom-headed parakeet, hoopoe, black, ashy and white-bellied drongos,
rufous treepie, large cuckoo shrike, small minivet, red-vented and
white-eared bulbul, tawny-bellied, yellow-eyed, jungle and large grey
babblers, grey-breasted, ashy, rufous-fronted, plain, jungle and
graceful prinias, zitting cisticola, clamorous reed-warbler, booted warbler,
greenish warbler, lesser and Hume's warbler, orphean warbler and blyth's reed
warbler, are among the many birds that could be seen here. Those interested
in herpetology can visit the crocodile breeding farm at Sasan.
Day 05: Gir National Park-Bhavnagar
(breakfast, lunch & dinner)
Travel from Gir to Bhavnagar and check-in at the Narayani Heritage, a family-run heritage hotel. Bird in the surrounding countryside or visit Bhavnagar for birding at Victoria Park (good scrubland birdlife), Gaurishankar Lake and near the ports where Western reef egret nest in good numbers. Those interested in combining culture with natural history can visit the magnificent Jain temple complex atop Shatrunjaya Hill.
Day 06: Velavadar National Park excursion
(breakfast, packed lunch)
Early morning depart for Velavadar National Park with a picnic lunch.
Known for its large blackbuck antelope population, Velavadar is also one of the
few places where the wolf is proliferating in India though they are rarely seen in the daylight. Jackal, jungle cat and hare are more easily seen and Indian fox on the eriphery. Sirkeer malkoha, painted francolin, chestnut-bellied and spotted ndgrouse, rufous-tailed, crested and sykes' larks, red-rumped swallows, desert nd variable wheatears and other birds are seen and many raptors visit specially short-toed snake eagle, imperial, steppe, tawny, greater and lesser spotted eagles, laggar falcon, hobby, common kestrel, red-necked falcon, peregrine falcon, white-eyed and long-legged buzzard, black-shouldered kite, shikra, Eurasian sparrow-hawk andoccasionally northern goshawk. Rarities include the Stoilczka's bushchat. In the evening, witness a massive roost of montagu, pallid and marsh harrier. Depart for hmedabad and stay in a hotel.
Day 07: Ahmedabad-onward journey
Catch the flight to onward destination.Please let us know the number of people travelling on this tour and we will send you the total cost. We also specialize in customizing the tour. Should you need any changes we would be happy to modify the itinerary.The tour may include arrangements such as accommodation, travel, meals, permit, guides, activities etc. or services as required by the client.
How to book
The booking of this itinerary is with Asian Adventures, B-9, Sector-27 Noida 201301 (UP) India Ph: +91 120 4222797; +91 8882677766 firstname.lastname@example.org