The last refuge of the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is this forested, hilly, 1412-sq-km sanctuary about halfway between Veraval and Junagadh, where visitors may go lion-spotting between mid-October and mid-June (December to April is best). Taking a safari through the thick, undisturbed forests is a joy – even without the added excitement of spotting lions, other wildlife and myriad bird species.
Access to the sanctuary is by safari permit only, bookable in advance online. If you miss out on a permit, your other option for lion encounters is at the Devalia Safari Park, a fenced-off part of the sanctuary where sightings are guaranteed but more stage-managed.
The gateway to the Gir National Park is Sasan Gir village, on a minor road and railway between Veraval and Junagadh (about 40km from each).