Asiatic lion

Jul 6th, 2006, 10:19 PM
  #1  
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Asiatic lion

Hari,

You're in or near Madras, right? I've been wondering if you've been to Gir NP in Gujarat State and if so, how the safari-style operations, if any, compare with what we are used to in Africa. I'm interested in the Asiatic lion, and as far as I'm aware, that's the only place they remain in the wild. Our local zoo had a pair of hybrid African-Asian lions for a while, but they died of old age.

John
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Jul 6th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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santharamhari
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John,

Hi! Yes, in the state of Tamil Nadu......and an hour's flight from Madras. Never been to Gir myself.....but, nothing compared to what you are used to in Africa.

Unfortunately, the Asiatic lion is under threat due to decreasing space...the park is shrinking all the time due to an expanding population.

However, CCAfrica is trying to set up 5 or 6 camps/lodges in other parks starting year end 2006. None in Gir, however. I will definitely chk on them as and when they open and make comparisons with what is on offer in Africa.

Hari
 
Jul 6th, 2006, 10:49 PM
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santharamhari
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John,

I just chked the CCAfrica website......they say, their first camp (Bandhavgarh) will be open for business November 1, 2006. Am going to contact the Taj hotels chain this week to see if i can make a booking for opening night.

Kavey,

You going to be in India for your cousin's wedding early November?

Hari
 
Jul 6th, 2006, 11:00 PM
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Hari,

My specialist African safari agent expanded a couple of years ago to include India, Galapagos, Canada, and Antarctica, so occasionally I wonder about destinations like Gir. But Africa continues to monopolise me.

If you like, drop me your email address in my guestbook so we can keep in touch.



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Jul 6th, 2006, 11:05 PM
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santharamhari
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John,

Hi! [email protected]

Email me whenever. No issues

Hari
 
Jul 7th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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I did get an email from CCAfrica, sorry I'd meant to post it here on Fodors, but forgot.

We're in Bandhavgarh a few days before they open the camp but to be honest, I think their price is to high. They want $600 per person per night for a camp that isn't even established yet - and will no doubt still be ironing out problems, staff won't be as polished etc. Even if the dates had matched we'd have stuck to Tiger Trails...
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Jul 7th, 2006, 05:08 AM
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Hi Afrigalah

I visited Sasan Gir in 2000 and stayed at the Taj property,the Gir Lodge, for 2 nights. It is luxurious and based just outside one of the gates to the forest. At the time there was no tourist accomadation inside the forest and I believe that is still the case (but may be wrong). There is an ancient tribe of people who still go about their daily duties and live inside the forest in mud huts. They have no fear of the lions and have been sharing this land with the lions for hundreds of years. The government has allowed them to continue their way of life. You sometimes see tribe members during gamedrives. Even the ladies and children walk through the forest with nothing more than a stick at hand - very brave.

I have family in Gujurat and I organised the trip locally whilst staying with family in Ahmedabad. I remember taking an overnight bus service from Ahmedabad to Junagadh, and then a short taxi ride to the Gir Lodge. As I booked the trip locally, I got away with paying Indian resident rates for the lodge, park and camera fees . Yes....you have to pay camera fees for each still camera and camcorder. Non residents pay higher fees.

The scenery in the forest is wonderful but lions are VERY hard to find as there are only about 250 (it literally is like finding a needle in a haystack!!). I was VERY LUCKY to encounter two wonderful male lions on my first gamedrive (we spent 25 minutes with them before they dissapeared into the thick bush - and our vehicle was the only one at the sighting). At the the lodge there were some BBC journalists who had already stayed for 7 nights and were still waiting to find their first lion!!!

I hope this helps

Regards

Gaurang

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Jul 7th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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santharamhari
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Kavey,

Gaurang, just gave me an idea from his post above. Lemme chk with Taj hotels and revert to you by email

Hari

 
Jul 7th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Thanks Hari!
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Jul 7th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Thanks Gaurang, that's very helpful. I can imagine the frustration of the BBC blokes.
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