There is an online permit system for Jeep Safari to visit Gir forest. At present all permits are issued online and there is no off line ( local ) issue of permit to visit Gir forest.
There are two locations to visit Gir forest
Gir Jungle Trail : ( only Jeep Safari ) Main forest office to report and board Jeep Safari , this place is known as Sansan Gir , accommodation is available here.
Devalia Safari Park or Gir Interpretation zone : Only Bus service available no Jeep Safari , no accommodation is available here.
Gir forest is closed for visitor from 16th June to 15th Oct every year.
Which location of these two places is best for me?
If you want three hours Jungle safari on open Jeep and natural environment of Jungle then select Gir Jungle trail. Chance of spotting Lion is 50 percent. Book online permit in advance.
If you don't have online permit and want to see Lion at Gir then go for Devalia Safari Park ( No jeep safari, only bus service ) , Chance of spotting Lion is nearly 100 percent. No need to book online, you can manage at local forest office.
Distance between Sasan Gir and Devalia Safari Park is 12 KM
Gir Jungle Trail : Sasan Gir
From Jan 2016 all permits are made available online through official website.
Timings of Jeep Safari :
Morning : 6 AM to 9 AM & 9 AM to 12 PM
Evening 3 PM to 6 PM
Once you have online Permit then 30 minutes before the safari you have to report at forest office window for verification. All members of the team are not required to be present at the time of verification , one member of the team with ID proof of all members can verify and collect the approved Permit from the window.
There is no need to hurry to be ahead of others in Queue for verification of permit, as there are different tracks ( out of 8 tracks ) to be allotted on rotation. Inside the Jungle also Lions can be spotted in any tracks as they keep on moving inside the Jungle.
During winter months it will be totally dark in early morning. Jeep safari starts at 6.15 and finally entry into Jungle at 6.30 AM. Day light available after 7.15 AM only so for morning 45 minutes you will be traveling in dark with only chance of spotting lion is through your Jeep head light.
Moving in an open Jeep in dark is very thrilling experience. Keep sufficient woolen dress covering your head and ear from morning cold conditions in the cold climates.
Roads inside the Jungle are kutcha only so dust will be flying with the movement of Jeeps so keep covering your head or wear a cap for better protection from dust .
Best time to visit Jungle trail
There is more chance to spot animal in Gir forest is early in the morning, however there are equal chance in other timings also.
Summer seasons are good for spotting the animals near water points.
Spotting Lion inside Gir Jungle
Total distance covered by jeep is nearly 40 KM inside the Jungle and spotting of Lions chance is 50 percent. In addition to Asiatic Lion you can see deer , Blue Bull ,Sambhar, Chital, Black Buck, Wild Boar, peacocks etc. You can see several deer roaming freely inside.
It is not only animals but some huts you will find with families of Maldhari people staying with kids. Mostly they graze buffalos and cows for their living inside the forest. These people get compensation from forest department when any of their livestock is killed by Lion inside Gir forest. We could spot lion within 500 meters of a buffalo herd with its owner, the mail Lions was moving towards these group to capture one of them.
Never try to take selfie with lions at Gir forest, it is dangerous and against the Wildlife Protection Act, 1971. Never post such photos in social media.
Accommodation at Sasan Gir
If you have permit at morning then your reporting time is at 5.30 AM , there are plenty of budget accommodation available at Sasan Gir
Sinh Sadan guest house at Sasan gir
This guest house is maintained by forest department located in same location where you have to report for your safari park. Advantage of close to reporting window is the main attraction of this Guest house. But don't expect good service here. There will be no hot water in morning and very poor response to your request for food , tea etc. You have to place order in advance for dinner or lunch.
Check in time 11.00 AM , Check out time is 10.AM
Phone Number of Sinh Sadan guest house : 02877285540
No online booking is available , you have to call them after 10 AM to know availability of rooms.
There are plenty of budget hotels available within 500 meter of distance from forest office campus ( Sinh Sadan Guest House ) from where you can walk to the reporting point in early morning if you have permit for 6 AM . Some hotels are just infront of the gate of the forest office ( Sinh Sadan ) , some are in walk able distance.
Here is the list of Budget hotels close to forest office .
There are luxury resorts available within a distance of 1 KM to 2 KM from forest office where you can stay and come to forest office for reporting. If your reporting time is 5.30 morning in winter season then better to stay near to forest office from where you can just walk down with your family to reporting window without vehicle .
Here is the list of hotels
Devalia safari Park
Chance of spotting Lion is more here. No jeep safari is available here , only bus safari is available.
Inside the forest it is a single track only and bus will take 35 minutes to complete.
Bus Safari Time table
Morning 8 AM to 11 AM , Evening 3 PM to 5 PM
No Accommodation available at Devalia safari Park.
You can stay at Sasan Gir ( 12 KM )
Davalia safari Park is fenced confined area where lions can be spotted easily. It is cheaper than jungle safari at Gir as cost of single ticket is Rs 190 / per person.
However you can plan for bus safari at Devalia if you are unable to spot lion in Gir Safari.
If you have permit for 6 AM for Gir Jungle safari and after finishing Jeep safari you wants to go for Bus safari at Devalia , you need to hurry up after your Jeep safari ( around 9.30 ) to reach Devalia ( 12 KM ) before 11 AM or you can plan for afternoon 3 PM bus safari.
No accommodation at Devalia Safari Park. There is a canteen available inside the forest office campus.
In both places Sasan Gir forest office and at Devalia safari Park there are souvenir shops and small exhibition hall where photographs with statues available to know more about the flora fauna available in Gir range of forest.
How to Plan Gir forest Jungle safari with other places.
First take one online permit for your total team
If your permit is at morning 6 AM ( reporting time is 5.30 AM ) , then it is better to stay near the forest office. Inside the same campus guest house rooms are available . If you are not getting accommodation in forest guest house then take a room just outside the forest office at Sasan Gir market area.
If your permit is 9 AM or 3 PM then stay any where and report 30 minutes before at the forest office inquiry counter. You can travel from Somnth , Junagarh or Diu to reach Gir .
Distance between Places.
Sasan Gir to Junagarh 60 KM ( 1 and half hours )
Sasan Gir to Diu 92 KM ( Take 2 hours )
Sasan Gir to Somnath 42 KM ( 1 hour )
You can plan your trip to Gir along with a visit to tourist spots of Diu or Lord Shiva temple of Somnath.