Reached Sasan Gir without online safari booking?? Was not able to book safari standing in queue?? No Problem, you can still see this majestic creature in “Devalia Safari Park” also known as Gir Interpretation Zone.
Devalia Safari Park
The Gir National Park is popular worldwide for its Asiatic Lions and Indian Leopards. The Park is a concentrated center of conservation for more than 2,000 distinct species. For these reasons, Gir attracts heavy footfall every year.
To reduce the tourist pressure on Gir National Park and to cater the tourist unable to get safari permit because of heavy rush or unavailability because of the online bookings, the eco-tourism department of Gujarat has carved out a distinct area known as the ‘Gir Interpretation Zone’. It is also often called the ‘Devalia Safari Park’. In other words, Devalia is a part of Gir National Park segregated by 412 Ha. of Chain linked fences.
It houses a large number of jungle residents within the segregated area. Here, you can spot various rare animals of Gir, including the Asiatic Lions, within a short span of time and on cheaper rates as compared to actual lion safari.
This Interpretation Zone is ‘Gir in a nutshell’ as it covers all habitat types and wildlife varieties of Gir. It is provided with feeding cum living cage for carnivores and has double gate entry point.
Reaching Devalia Safari Park
Devalia Safari Park lies within Gujarat’s Junagarh District and is merely 12 km away from the Sasan Gir Village. If you are traveling by air, you can reach Junagadh or Rajkot airport and take a cab to reach Devalia. Junagarh also happens to be the nearest railhead. Buses and cabs to Junagadh and Sasan Gir are available from all major cities of Gujarat.
Devalia Safari Park Timings
Devalia Safari Park is open for visitors on all days of the week, except Wednesdays. The park opens at 8 and closes at 11 AM in the morning hours. In evening, the services are open 3 PM onwards until 6 PM.
Safari Charges at Devalia Park
Indian visitors have to pay INR 150 per head on weekdays i.e. Monday-Friday. Charges on weekends i.e. Saturday-Sunday are higher at INR 190 per head. If you happen to visit the Interpretation Zone on one of the festive holidays, you have to pay INR 190 per person.
Different charges apply for the foreigner visitors. They have to pay INR 2400 per day for visiting the park on weekdays. INR 3000 per person is charged for the park’s visit on weekends and festive holidays.
Entry Permit for Devalia Safari Park
The permits required for exploring Devaliya Park can be received from the tourist reception center. But if you are somebody who hates long, time-taking queues; you can avail the online services of Gir Permit booking system. However, permits booked online are non-refundable in nature. Limited permits are issued per day so make sure you reach the reception center before time if you are visiting on the weekend or a holiday.
The administration of Gir Interpretation Zone used to conduct Lion Shows for its tourists. During these lion shows, visitors could spot prowling Asiatic lions in their natural habitat and enjoy a close view. Later on, this custom was found to be cumbersome for the staff and threatening to the lions. Sadly, the lion shows are no longer in practice.
The administration does provide buses to tour the park’s landscape. You can spot and capture in cameras the diverse wildlife of the park on the bus tour.
As per latest available information, there are large numbers of Asiatic Lions, 250 to 300 spotted deer, 100 to 110 bluebells, 10 to 15 wild boars, 5 sambar and various other mammals and reptiles in the Devalia Safari Park. The zone also boasts of large avifauna variety and is a treat to bird watchers.