Gir Forest is a great place to see lions. There is an ever growing lion population thanks to the conservationists.
There are many hotels, resorts, lodges and safari camps near, actually just outside the sanctuary area. The Lion Safari Camp is very good. Entry into the sanctuary is restricted and regulated. Only 30 jeeps are allowed inside at any given time (twice in the morning and once in the evening). Of these 15 are booked on line and 15 current booking at the counter. It is advisable to book on line in coordination with your resort, hotel or lodge as the line for current booking at Sasan can get long and unruly and if you don't get in, disappointing.
At the office at Sasan, you pick up your entry permit and are allotted a government approved guide. there are 8 preplanned routes through the forest (actually 4 in 2 directions) and the route you follow is allotted with the permit (for cameras above 7.1 megapixels you pay a fee here)
The forest mas many lions (we saw lionesses the first day and a big male lion the next morning). There is also an abundance of spotted deer, birds and other wildlife but the leopard in my 4 safaris over the years has eluded me.
Some of the routes take you past the Kamleshwar Dam and reservoir.
When is the best time to go ? Well winter is the most enjoyable climatically, bur you see more lions in summer. Lions tend to venture out in the night and rest or sleep during the day. In summer it gets very warm and if you wait near one of many natural or man made watering holes or streams, the lions will surely come to quench their thirst.
If you do go in summer, some safari camps have air conditioned luxury tents if you want.
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