Replies: 3 - Last Post: Feb 28, 2013 4:40 AM Last Post By: meczko
Dec 7, 2012 8:25 AM
I'm hoping someone can help me with some info for planning a visit to Sasan Gir in mid January.
First, entry fees are confusing me (it doesn't take much....) are these correct, and are there any other charges I've missed?
40usd for a permit (covers up to 6 people)
750 INR to hire a jeep
500 INR for a camera
and guide fee 50 INR per person
How long does the entry permit last, can we do a morning and an afternoon safari on 1 permit?
If you book in advance (is there a website where I can do this?) do you still have to go and queue up in person at the park office at 5am? If you do, is there any way round it, say If we book through our hotel or other agent?
How likely is it that we could just turn up and arrange a safari for the next day?
Looking for a cheap, but not rock-bottom, place to stay, any suggestions? I'm not Indian, so Sinh Sadan is no good.
Feb 1, 2013 12:03 PM
1Hi! Did you visit Sasan Gir? Could you post back the answers for your questions? I am planning to visit next week, so I am very much interested... Finally, did you see lions?
Thanks in advance!
Feb 22, 2013 7:26 AM
2Afraid this will be too late to help you - I've only just got access to a 'proper' computer again, and it seems it is not possible, in the new TT world, to see more than the last 4 or 5 posts on any branch using a mobile device. But I hope you had a good time, and maybe this can help someone else.
We stayed at Nitin Ratanghayara's Family Rooms, just behind the Umang Hotel. There are only 3 or 4 rooms, but they are clean & comfortable (wonderful hand stitched quilts on the beds) a good size, and had attached bathrooms with hot water.
You can arrange the safaris yourself at the park's office at the Sinh Sadan Guest House if you wish, but this involves getting to the office a couple of hours before the safari and queueing - not too practical especially if you want to do the early morning safari, which starts at 6.30am. There are 2 other safari times each day, 10am and 3pm, but as the lions spend most of the day sleeping, the 6.30am one is probably the best. We saw lion at this time, but not during the afternoon. Wrap up warm though, it was very cold in an open jeep early in the morning).
Sinh Sadan seems to be where most of the Indian tourists stay - it was very busy during our visit - but it costs 50usd for a room if you are a foreigner, compared to 500INR for Indians. However it is worth visiting in the evening, as they show an interesting free film on the lions every night.
You need a new permit for each safari, even if you go twice in one day, and the cost for foreign passport holders (and also NRI's) is $40 (paid in rupees) per jeep, covering up to 6 passengers.
We found it easiest to have Nitin arrange the permits, jeep and guide for us. We checked out the official rates first, which are displayed on a board outside the park's office, and Nitin was only charging a tiny amount for the service.
At first we were just 2 people, but during the evening Nitin found 3 more people to share our jeep and refunded us the appropriate amount. We found him honest and fair, I don't hesitate to recommend both staying at his place and letting him sort out the safaris for you.
The camera fee of 500INR is extra, and is chargeable if your camera is more than 7.1 pixels, anything above this is - ridiculously - regarded as 'professional' photography. My camera is the cheapest one I could buy, and it is 12 pixels! Luckily you can change the settings, so we set it to 6 and stuck a bindi over the number 12 on the front.....thereby avoiding the camera fee.
Although we only had 1 lion sighting in 2 safaris, it was a very good one. The lion was sitting at the side of the track about 5 metres in front of us, and we watched him for a good 5 mins before he got up, stretched, and crossed the track into the bush. As well as the lion, we saw wild boar, peacocks, sambar, spotted deer, monkeys & crocodiles.
Feb 28, 2013 4:40 AM
3Thanks for your answer! We visited Sasan Gir on 7 February and had a similar experience. The manager of Relief Hotel in Junagadh where we previously stayed referred us to Nitin and I agree that this guy is a treasure for foreign tourists. He found other guys to share safari cost for us and helped us with the safari booking. His guest rooms are also good value, clean and en-suite for 400 Rs + 100 Rs per person per meal (all you can eat).
We booked our safari at 6 p.m. at the office at Sinh Sadan for 6.30 a.m. in the next day. The cost was 2000 Rs for permit (for 4 persons, would be 2500 for a group of 5 or 6 persons) + 1000 Rs for jeep + 150 Rs for guide (all that shared between the group) + 500 Rs fee per camera. Most important - we took only one safari and saw a big male lion from close distance, maybe 20 meters. Our Canadian companions took 3 safaris and were far less lucky other times - once they only saw a female from a kilometer or so, another time there were no sightings at all.
After the morning safari we managed to catch the 9.57 a.m. train to Delvada (for Diu) but I wouldn't count on that another time. Anyway, there are also buses to Una (near Diu) later during the day.
Finally - the lion we saw on the safari was maybe 100 meters from the Junagadh - Sasan Gir railway track. It may be a good idea to go to Sasan Gir by train and look around from the windows on the final part of the trip!
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