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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lion-spotting at Devaliya, Junagadh

For those who want to see-it-all in just one trip to the Gir forest, the Devaliya Interpretation Zone is a good bet. Located around 60-odd kilometres from Junagadh city (an eight-hour drive from Vadodara) on the fringes of the Sasan Gir, Devaliya encloses roughly 4 sq km of the forest. There are altogether seven lions and lionesses in Devaliya while the total in the Gir forest is 411. You can book your seats on the safari buses (which run on eco-friendly jaltropha biodiesel) which run from 9 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 5 pm. Each tour takes about half an hour. Charges vary for airconditioned and non AC buses and also for weekends, public holidays and weekdays. It cost us Rs 115 per head when we visited there on Republic Day (January 26). We spotted two lions, two lionesses, a family of four man-eater leopards (in a huge jail-like enclosure), many spotted deer, neelgai and an Egyptian vulture. Here are some pics:

Oh deer!

All that grass...
A leopard that has turned man-eater

All kinds of deer

A neelgai and an egret

Male lions keep a watch

The king meets his queen

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