Gujarat wildlife holiday, India
Description of Gujarat wildlife holiday, India
Gujarat is home to India's driest national parks, but they are full of wildlife and surprisingly diverse. This trip focuses on Asiatic lions, striped hyena, Indian wolves and other predators that are found in the arid lands of this wonderful Indian state.
The very idea of there being large and well protected populations of wildlife and big ecosystems in India still seems strange. But that is the case in most of Gujarat, a largely desert state in the north west of the country, bordering Pakistan to the west.
To help preserve this incredible diversity, Gujarat has various protected areas including wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, reserves and large community concessions which have been established to integrate humans with wildlife in the most harmonious way possible.
Many of the protected areas in Gujarat support large mammals including Asiatic wild ass, striped hyena, blackbuck, leopard, nilgai, Indian wolf and of course the iconic and last remaining Asiatic lions; which is testament to the state's conservation ethic.
About the tour:
This two week itinerary is split into four mini-sections so as to properly explore the most impressive national parks and wilderness areas. We start with the fantastic and vast Rann of Kutch in the middle of the Thar Desert and spend three nights in both the Little and Greater Rann of Kutch. Here we will search for the endemic Asiatic wild ass as well as the rare and elusive Indian wolf before we head to the last stronghold of the critically endangered Asiatic lion in Sasan Gir National Park. Reduced to a couple of dozen at the turn of the 19th Century they have now been protected enough to have a population numbering over 400. From here we visit the reserve of Velavadar National Park which was originally set up to protect and conserve blackbuck antelopes. As well as the blackbuck we will also be on the look out for seldom seen striped hyenas. A short flight backs to Delhi makes short shrift of the distances we will have travelled overland.
More information about this Gujarat wildlife holiday:
In designing this trip we believe you will be getting the best wildlife experience of Gujarat and one that will leave you with a completely wild impression of India. January through to April is the dry, and surprisingly cold, season and best for wildlife in Gujarat. This is when we have the highest chances of seeing our targeted species. All of our Indian safaris are guided by a zoologist or local naturalist guides. Local drivers and also scientists or researchers may also accompany the trip. This not only gives us numerous sets of trained eyes to find the animals but also provides a chance to understand the behaviours and habits of the wildlife we're watching.
Minimum Age: 18 years
PlanetIn India TOFT audit the resorts and accommodation to make sure that they run sustainably and that they meet environmentally friendly aims. By being a member of TOFT we use only TOFT approved accommodation, so you can be assured that the food you eat is locally and responsibly sourced as is the furniture, fuel and other resources used by the accommodation. TOFT also helps many projects to aid in the development and management of the national parks such as the park guide training and support programme, setting up of a ‘Sponsor a Guard Post’ or ‘Chowkie’ programme, establishing the park wildlife monitoring programme through Park Guides, an improved livestock compensation scheme (that compliments or enhances local Forestry ones) and setting up compostable loos in park areas and mechanism for disposal. All this is done with the overall aim in improving the environmental practises of the national parks and making their use more sustainable.
In India the main impact that our tours have on the wildlife is through the numerous scientific studies which are conducted throughout India by some of India’s and the world’s best zoologists. This research is all done with the purpose of understanding the tigers’ role in the ecosystem and the effect that tourism and local populations have on the tiger and vice versa. Once these impacts have been assessed TOFT can improve and make sure that tiger safaris in India are sustainable.
PeopleIn order to help and support the local communities of Gujarat we are a member of Tour Operators for Tigers (TOFT) and as a result of being TOFT members we give back to the communities around many of India's national parks in many different ways.
This group is the leading force when it comes to stabilising eco-tourism in India and making tiger (and other non-tiger reserve parks) safaris sustainable for the future. Money is donated my us every year and then the money is allocated to various projects such as setting up community vegetable gardens to supply fresh fruit and vegetables to lodges, setting up of local handicrafts and cooperatives to sell handicrafts to lodges & visitors, setting up of nature trails for visitors with training of local guides, building of suitable ‘Machans’ for visitors to watch wildlife or birdlife, refurbishment and upgrade of village homes for homestay visitors, reforestation projects with indigenous tree species and local environmental education programmes.