Gir Birding Lodge is a relief as it is quiet, green and bordering the National park itself. So 4 stars for location and ambience. (Other resorts around its periphery generally looked garish)
Service is excellent, though we would have liked it if there was a little bit more of personal touch at the beginning, with someone in charge coming across to say "hi.. is everything ok?" sort of thing. But cant find fault with the staff who made sure everything worked like clockwork. No real complaints here.
Other than the safari's, the path leading down to the rivers edge presents an excellent birding walk, which is right opposite the lodge gate and runs along the side of the national park.
Avoid weekends and holidays as much as you can. The tourist rush goes crazy and safari's that are supposed to be pre-booked weeks in advance, may suddenly become "wait listed" and cancelled. Not very clear how this system works in Gir. I suspect there is no real "advance booking" or everyone just becomes a little greedy when the demand peaks :)
In terms of rooms, the deluxe rooms are well worth it, if you can afford to pay more. I would say they are a must if you have children in the room with you, as the the std rooms are a bit cramped even for 2 people. The view is also better from the deluxe rooms.
In terms of wildlife, Gir has plenty more than just lions on offer. It has a high density of leopards, golden jackals, herbivores and several bird species. So you may want to instruct your guide & driver that you are not there just to chase lions, lest they end up rushing from one rescue van/tracker to another in a bid to show you the "sher"
The roads from Ahmedabad to Gir are pretty good, being 4 lane most of the way and 2 lane after Jetpur. A fast driver can get there in about 6 to 7 Hrs.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gir Birding Lodge is located in a large mango orchard at the entrance to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. The lodge has standard rooms, standard six deluxe cottages, all with attached toilets, featuring western toilet fittings, hot and cold showers. Comfortably furnished, the rooms and cottages are surrounded by groves of the famous Kesar Mango of the Gir hills and other vegetation ensuring that a good number of birds come into the property itself.The dining and drawing areas on the first floor of the lodge are airy and have large windows and verandas that are ideal to enjoy the view of the forests and watch birds in the orchard and nearby sanctuary. Indian set-menu meals are served in these rooms that have a superb view of the deciduous forests from large windows, doors and verandahs. Geared-up for birders and other nature lovers, the lodge has knowledgeable naturalists to take guests for natural history drives and walks in the sanctuary. ... more less
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