The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only place where you can visit the Asiatic Lion at Sasan in Gujarat, India. Anyone who loves nature and has the desire to see a lion in the wild, “The King of Jungle”, has to plan a visit to Sasan-Gir. I have the great pleasure of regularly visiting this place as it’s just 15 km from my home town.
When I experienced seeing the Asiatic Lion for the first time it was more unusual than I imagined. They look quite similar to the African Lion, however they are slightly smaller and males only have mane growth at the top of head. In addition, Sasan-Gir is a protected area because of the lions, who are considered an endangered animal. The environment of Gir is pleasant, the forest has diverse flora and fauna. Gir also contains many other species including mammals and carnivores.
On the day of my visit we spent almost 2 hours in the Gir forest searching for the lions. The forest was almost dry as the season was summer. I also noticed that many tourist vehicles were also searching for the king of the forest. Maldharis (a group of people who live in the forest) have the capability to talk with the animals in the forest and I understood for the first time how people can also talk to animals with specified languages, which was amazing. In addition to this, during the journey you can also find teak trees, which are used to make furniture.
The next day, I will never forget. As having a gut feeling, I heard sounds from lots of people, they were so excited yelling “Have u seen! Have u seen!” – as my eyes also had experienced my first lion sighting. The mother with her three cubs were spotted, massive eyes looking at us with cuteness. Ssssshhhhh…. many Chitals (a breed of deer) were moving so quickly. I am still amazed from all this excitement, I would just say “Wow!!! What a splendid experience that was!!!”
12 km west of Sasan-Gir location, in the middle of a sanctuary, is the Gir Interpretation Zone which is place to visit for sighting lions. Tourists have more chances to see free living lions in the forest when visiting this zone. They can visit the forest by taking an electric bus, departing from the designated area at regular intervals. Tourists can stay at hotel accommodation for a long stay as there are many jungle lodges and safari hotels.
So that is how I saw lions at Sasan-Gir. Many trips I have made in the middle of the forest were all lovely. There was lots of positive energy transferred to my body after that. For the nature lover, lions can fulfil a certain joy in their pocket. So whenever you have the time just simply go for it!!!