Gujarat Birding & Wildlife Tour (14 Days; # 110 v/F20)
The Gujarat birding & Wildlife Tour takes you to the best birding & wildlife destinations in the West Indian state of Gujarat. Velavadar Park lies inland from the Gulf of Cambay on the West coast of India. Created for the conservation of the Blackbuck, Valavedar is a tiny 35 sq kms but unique grassland ecosystem. Birders can spot the Stoliczka’s Bushchat, Ashy-crowned sparrow lark, Rufous-tailed, and Crested Larks, Desert and Variable wheatears, Southern Grey and Rufous Tailed Shrikes. Apart from the Harrier, other raptors to be seen could include Black-shouldered Kite, Shikara, and Short-toed Snake Eagle. Common Crane and other waders can be spotted on the Alag River. The park has more than 1,000 Black Buck that can be viewed on the open grassland from very close range. The wolf and the jackal are the main predators in the park. Other mammals likely to be seen are Bengal fox, Black–naped Hare, Indian Desert Gerbil, Jungle cat, and Nilgai.
Your next destination is Gir, located in southern Gujarat. The main reason to visit Gir is to see the Asiatic Lion, in its natural habitat. Latest census reports have counted 107 lions at Gir. Gir comprises diverse habitats – open scrub country, dry deciduous and tropical thorn forest and an evergreen corridor along the riverside. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded. Changable Hawk, Crested serpent, and Bonneli’s Eagle, Black Ibis, Wooley-necked Stork, Rock Bush Quail, Painted Sand Grouse, Crested Tree Swift, Greater Rocket-tailed Drongo, Black headed Cuckooshrike, Asian Paradise-Flycather, Brown, Fish and Great Horned Owls; Pygmy Woodpecker, Black Headed Oriole and Indian Pitta are the chief attraction.
The last destination Rann of Kutch. The South East portion of the Rann called the Little Rann, is open to tourists. This unique region is astonishingly rich in bird life; particularly in winter when millions of waterfowl, along with desert species, can be spotted. The entire 4950 sq kms of the Little Rann of Kutch, has been designated as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, as it is home to the rare and endangered “khur” – The Indian Wild Ass; not found anywhere else in the world. In winter the Little Rann is host to a variety of birds – almost 300 species.