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Your Indian wildlife tour begins on arrival at Mumbai Airport where you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Mumbai, the financial capital of India formerly known as Bombay, is a city pulsing with life. Cosmopolitan in nature, the city is steeped in culture and history. The city of dreams is a magnet to people from every walk of life, artists, actors, writers, businessmen, travellers, and anyone with a zest for life. The city has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, The Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Elephanta Caves. A busy port city, it has many famous beach spots like Nariman Point, Juhu Beach Chowpatti, also Asia’s largest water Theme Park, Water Kingdom is located here.
Explore the city or just relax in the hotel. We advise you to get adequate rest today, as tomorrow marks the beginning of an exciting journey into the wilderness of western India!
Today we leave for the airport to board our flight to Ahmedabad. You will be met by our representative upon arrival at the airport, and taken to your hotel. You are free to spend the remainder of the day relaxing or exploring this wonderful city.
Ahmedabad is one of India's largest cities and is regarded as the commercial and cultural capital of Gujarat state. Established in 15th century, it has a history spanning the Mughal era, British rule as well as the Independence Movement. It has remnants of each of these periods in the form of monuments and places of worship like Sidi Sayyed Mosque, Hathee Singh Jain temple, Jama Masjid and Gandhi Ashram. The city is famous for its green cover and has numerous gardens and parks dotting the cityscape. A vegetarian’s delight, the city offers vegetarian cuisine in most restaurants and hotels.
After breakfast, we head for Blackbuck National Park (also known as Velavadar National Park). This is a drive of about 4 hours and we aim to reach in time for lunch. This will be followed by an evening safari into Blackbuck National Park to look for blackbucks. We return to the hotel at dusk, and end our day with a delicious dinner.
Blackbuck National Park also known as Velavadar National Park is located in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is famous for its population of Blackbucks, a majestic antelope species that is endemic to India. The park has savannah type of vegetation alongside thorn shrubs. It is inhabited by several mammal species like Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, Jungle Cats and smaller species like Wild Pigs, Hares and Rodents. The park has a sizeable bird population and is home to Sandgrouse, Lark, Harrier, and several other migratory species like Lesser Florican, Eagle, Wader and many other birds which arrive in winter.
Our day begins with a drive to Blackbuck/Velavadar National Park. We plan to spend the entire day at the park. We go on a game drive on the narrow approach road that cuts across the park to explore the wilderness of Blackbuck National Park. In the evening, we will return to Black buck lodge.
Velavadar is also an excellent birdwatching area. Here you might spot a variety of endangered birds like the Houbara Bustard, Lesser Florican, Common Crane and Sarus White Stork.
After breakfast, we leave Velavadar and drive for 5 hours to Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary (also known as Dhrangadhra Sanctuary). We will check in to our lodge and have lunch. This will be followed by a trip to the Little Rann of Kutch area, where we will look out for the small herds of the rare Indian Wild Ass.
The Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary covers an area of 4,954 square kilometers, making it the largest sanctuary in India. It is the last refuge of its flagship species, the endangered Indian Wild Ass. The Rann of Kutch where the sanctuary is located is a saline desert, which receives rainfall once a year and is flooded forming islands called ‘bets’. These bets are covered by grass and provide food for the animals in the region. The sanctuary is home to several other animal species as well, there are about 33 species of mammals some of which are Nilgai, Striped Hyena, Desert Fox, Chinkara, Desert Cat, Jackal, Caracal, Wolf and Blackbuck. It is also home to 93 invertebrate species, more than 30 species of reptiles and amphibians.
Our safari ends at dusk, and we return to the hotel for dinner. On the following day, we will continue our exploration of the sanctuary with morning and afternoon game drives.
We leave in the morning after breakfast and drive for about 8 hours to Nakhatrana. Nakhatrana is a small town in the middle of Gujarat's Kutch region. It is well-known for its ornamental bangles and a local Indian delicacy, the spicy dabeli.
On the way to Nakhatrana, we will stop for lunch. After checking in to our hotel, you are free to rest for the remainder of the evening.
Today we will head for the Neliya grasslands, about 35 kilometers away, in search of the distinctive Indian Wolf. The Indian Wolf is a subspecies of the Grey wolf. This wolf is much smaller than its northern counterparts and has shorter fur. They can either be found in pairs or small family groups of six to eight wolves. Today Indian wolves inhabit most of North and West India, while their population ranges between 2500-3000.
We return to the lodge for lunch, after which we will continue our exploration of the area until dusk.
We leave Nakhatrana today after breakfast, and travel for about 8 hours to Gondal. We will have lunch on the way. Gondal is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat and was previously a princely state. Gondal was founded by rulers of the Jadeja dynasty and the state was popular for various reforms like tax reforms, compulsory education and the abolishment of purdah tradition for women. It has several palaces like the Riverside Palace, Naulakha Palace and Huzoor Palace.
The day will be spent exploring this princely town. Visit the Naulakha Palace, Ayurvedic Pharmacy and Swaminarayan Temple. You will stay at the historic Riverside Palace; a Gondal Palace converted into a heritage hotel. The palace has relics from the princely era, and is a great place to experience life king’s size!
Today after breakfast, we head for Gir National Park (approx 3 hours drive) via the historic city of Junagadh. We aim to arrive at Gir in time for lunch. This will be followed by a game drive to explore Gir National Park's wilderness until dusk.
The 1,412 square kilometer Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is the only habitat of the distinctive Asiatic Lion. It is also home to a thriving population of Panthers. The other animals spotted here include the Sambar, Chital (Spotted Deer), Nilgai (Blue Bull Antelope) and Wild Boar. The Chousingha, the world's only Four-horned Antelope and the Chinkara, an Indian Gazelle, can be spotted in Gir as well.
Our exploration of Gir continues over the next few days. They begin with early morning safaris and we return to the lodge for breakfast. You can relax until after lunch, when we will set out once again into the park’s wilderness. The dry deciduous forest is home to several small animals, though there are a lot of water sources inside the park which attract a lot of birds. There are seven major perennial rivers in the region Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval. And four reservoirs, including the Kamleshwar Dam, which is called the ‘lifeline of Gir’.
You will notice that Gir is one of the few places where humans co-exist with the wild. The Maldhari cattle herders have several villages inside the park and approximately 20,000 livestock graze the grasslands.
After breakfast, we will drive to Rajkot airport to board a flight for Mumbai. You will be welcomed by our representative upon arrival at Mumbai airport, who will help you get to your hotel. You are free to spend the day relaxing or exploring the commercial capital of India.
This is the last day of your Gujarat wildlife holiday. You can spend the day relaxing till it is time to head for the airport to board your flight back home.
Fitness is vital for this level of activity, as the environment traversed may be remote and challenging. These rugged experiences include long walks, trekking, cycling or rafting in isolated areas through variable weather conditions for up to eight to ten hours a day. These trips are usually 13 to 19 days in duration. Maximum altitude reached will be 4000m and you need to be very fit in order to withstand the weather conditions. Good physical condition is essential and previous hill-walking experience or preparation is advisable.
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