Monday, 2 February 2015

Gaurav Gujarat Ni Gaurav Wildlife Resorts - Worth Exploring

A paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, Gujarat is home to many wildlife resorts and specialty jungle lodgings. Here is a collaborated list of the best wildlife resorts in Gujarat located in the vicinity of the best known sanctuaries and national parks in the state.

1. Wild Ass Sanctuary, Rann of Kutch

Watch out for: Wild ass, nilgais, desert cats, desert foxes, wolves, MacQueen's bustards, flamingoes, Demoiselle cranes, Sykes nightjars, sand grouses, harriers and owls.

Rann Riders Safari Resort

Rann Riders is an eco resort with rustic cottages that blend with the rural countryside of the Dasada Village in which it is located. They offer horse, camel and jeep safaris into the Wild Ass Sanctuary. This also makes a great base for exploring the local culture and handicrafts of the Surendranagar District.

USP: The cottages are built like the kooba and bhunga houses of the local tribal community, beautifully decorated with mirrors, embroideries and mud plaster designs. The tandoori cuisine and the regional specialities are a must try.

Desert Coursers

Desert Coursers have been organizing safaris since 1984 and are probably your best bet if you wish to experience the real Rann of Kutch. They provide eco-friendly cottages with all the modern amenities and local cuisine. They also provide customized cultural and wildlife tours.

USP: The cultural tours are not to be missed. The property lies right next to a lake, so it attracts more than 70 species of birds to the property.

Royal Safari Camp

Another gem in Kutch, the Royal Safari Camps promises you an experience you aren’t likely to forget. The camp is beautifully constructed by the local artisans. Each of the 18 red stone cottages exhibit impressive craftsmanship, and have all the modern conveniences. In addition, the grounds have facilities for billiard, lawn tennis, swimming pool, theatre and a multi-cuisine restaurant.


USP: They offer on-the-foot excursions, which are a delightful way to exploring the countryside. Try fishing in the artificial lake created within the property.

2. Gir National Park, Junagadh

Watch out for: Asiatic lions, Indian leopards, sloth bears, golden jackals, four-horned antelope, nilgais, chitals, blackbucks, monitor lizards, crested hawk eagles, black-headed orioles, woodpeckers, crested treeswifts, Indian pitta.

Lion Safari Camp

One of the most reputed camps inside the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary,this camp is the ultimate choice for accommodation in this area. Set within acres of mango orchards, the Lion Safari Camp provides 25 AC tented accommodations which are surprisingly luxurious. The interiors are quite lavish and are complimented with all the necessary modern amenities. This has been voted as one of the best wildlife resorts in Gujarat.



USP: The deck in the camp is a great spot to observe the surrounding wildlife. The tariff, inclusive of all three meals, is pleasantly surprising.

Gir Birding Lodge

The Gir Birding Lodge sits right at the entrance of the national park and is also set amidst sprawling mango orchards. It offers comfortably furnished standard rooms as well as standard and deluxe cottages. Surrounded by thick groves of the Kesar mango trees, the property attracts a huge number of birds during peak season.


USP: Check out their natural history library. You should also opt for the game-watching drive within the sanctuary where you will be accompanied by their resident naturalists.

Asiatic Lion Lodge
Nestled between the two forested hills of the Gir National Park, the Asiatic Lion Lodge is an ideal choice for avid wildlife enthusiasts looking for plenty of privacy. The lodge offers rustic cottage accommodations with en-suite bathrooms, and verandas with safari chairs. It is just a 10 minute drive from Bhambha Fol Gate and 15 minute drive to the Sasan Gir. They provide jeep safaris, tribal village visits and a daily movie on the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.


USP: The lovely jungle-side cafe with library. You can also opt for cycling and guided nature walks with knowledgeable guides.

3. Velavadar Blackbuck National Park, Bhavnagar

Watch out for: Blackbucks, foxes, jungle cats, lesser florican, larks, MacQueen’s bustards


The Blackbuck Lodge

For those who do not wish to compromise on comfort, the Blackbuck Lodge offers unparalleled luxury right in the midst of an untamed landscape. The cottages are big and airy with minimalistic design. Additional facilities include a swimming pool, open air barbeque and library.


USP: The secluded setting and close proximity to the Blackbuck National Park. Each room has a veranda out back with deck chairs, perfect for watching blackbucks which amble into the premises. Also it is a 90 minute drive to Lothal, one of the important excavation sites pertaining to the Indus Valley Civilization.

Kaliyar Bhavan Forest Lodge

This is one of the two accommodation options near the Blackbuck National Park. This lodge is a great choice for those who do not wish to spend too much on luxury. Run by the forest department, Kaliyar Bhawan Forest Lodge offers clean standard rooms with basic amenities. All the meals provided are vegetarian. There is just one AC room (rest are non AC) and no TV.

USP: Low tariffs. It is located right in the middle of the park.

4. Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary, Panchmahal

Watch out for: Sloth bears, jungle cats, hyenas, leopards, wolves, four horned antelopes, herpetofauna, birds


The Caravan Serai Resort
Located at the foothills of the Jambughoda Sanctuary, the Caravan Serai is an activity-centric resort with accommodations provided in tents and wooden caravans. Recreational areas include swimming pool, golf course, discotheque and spa. The resort offers a strategically positioned tree decks for birdwatchers. The rooms do not have TVs. Activities organized here are: rope slings, jungle safari and trekking, Tarzan swing, machaan, monkey jumps, obstacle racing, rock climbing, rappelling and canal surfing.

USP: Barely 20 km from Champaner (UNESCO Heritage Site).

Dhanpari Eco Campsite
This is another forest eco-tourism site within the Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary. Dhanpari Eco Campsite provides humble, no-frills cottage accommodations surrounded by magnificent forests teeming with a variety of flora and fauna. The campsite is located close to the Kada Dam. There are machaans erected for viewing wildlife.


USP: The beautiful nature trail within the campsite. It also has an orientation centre, that provides information on what to expect during the local safari.

5. Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Narmada

Watch out for: leopard, sloth bear, Rhesus macaque, chausingha, barking deer, pangolin, herpetofauna, Alexandrine parakeet.

Presidency Forest County

Surrounded by teak and sandalwood forests, mango orchards and the beautiful Baldeva Dam Lake, the Presidency Forest County is set in a dreamy location. Situated very close to the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, the resort offers wildlife excursion tours along with numerous adventurous activities. Guests can avail deluxe rooms or tented accommodations.


USP: The stunning location of the resort.

From deciduous forests and wetlands to grasslands and desert plains to coastal and marine locations, Gujarat offers a myriad of natural habitats which in turn has led to the flourishing of a spectacular variety of wildlife species, making this one of the popular biodiversity hotspots in the Indian subcontinent. Make sure you visit some of these best wildlife resorts in Gujarat and experience the untamed wild side of this wonderful state.

Make 2015 - The Year of Travel

Quench your wanderlust with these perfect getaways ideal for the long weekends in 2015! The new year brings with it a number of long weekends perfect for visiting and exploring new places.

Dubai, once again, welcomes you to the largest shopping extravaganza! This year, the carnival begins on 1 January and carries on till 1 February. 
The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world

Beautiful snow-capped mountains in Gulmarg serve as the perfect place to strap on those skis and go conquer the slopes! 
Ready to take the on the slopes


The “City of Love” is beautiful any time of the year, but the festival of St. Valentine adds a special charm to Paris! Nothing can be more romantic than a long weekend trip to Paris with the love of your life! 
If you like it then you should put a lock on it--Love Lock Bridge

Jaisalmer Desert Festival--that time of the year when the dry desert scape comes alive. The three-day long festival includes spectacular performances by acrobats, fire dancers and puppeteers. 
Sunset at the Gadsisar Lake


Vivid colours streaking and dancing across the night sky. Visit Iceland to witness the amazing phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis! 

Shimmering night sky and Aurora Borealis!
Vrindavan, Braj and Barsana celebrate a special kind of Holi, known colloquially as Lath Maar Holi! But as they say, “Please don’t mind--it's Holi”! Plan a trip to Vrindavan to enjoy the flavours of the city! 

The tradition of Lath Maar Holi as celebrated in Barsana


An exotic blend of the old and the new, Greece is a charming destination for the Easter weekend getaway. Go on an egg hunt, enjoy the spectacular fireworks and feast on the traditional Greek Easter dinner! 

The splendour of Santorini cannot be captured in words!
The erstwhile Portuguese colony of Diu is most famous for its churches and the old fortress. Have your dose of sun, sand and sea--minus the chaos! 

A Portuguese Fort in Diu


Vivid Sydney--the 18-day light, music and entertainment bonanza will be held from 22 May to 8 June 2015. Make the most of the long weekend with pleasant weather, clear blue skies and all the love from Down Under! 

Take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House

Hot springs, gushing waterfalls, numerous lakes and the famous Tawang Monastery make for the beautiful landscape of Tawang. The monastery is one of the largest in India with a magnificent prayer hall! 

Sakyamuni Buddha at Tawang Monastery


Hong Kong
An ancient Chinese tradition, the Dragon Boat Race is an adrenaline-pumping festival. Several teams race away in specially-crafted boats with ornate detailing of the Dragon. Drum beats and cheers only add to the fervour! 

Row, row, row your Dragon Boat! 
Ladakh is also known as the “Roof of the World”. In an ideal world, it would be labelled as the lost kingdom. Cross over to the heavens with this bridge between the earth and the sky! 

Palace and Monastery at Shey 


Come July, get ready for the ultimate weekend of madness in Boom, Belgium which will be hosting “Tomorrow 2015”--the world famous EDM festival. The three-day festivities will be celebrated from 24 to 26 July. 

Frozen, not stirred!
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
There is no better time to capture the beauty of Valley of Flowers than July! The whole valley is carpeted with vibrantly coloured wild flowers. The picturesque backdrop of the mountains, the colourful valley below--the beauty of this place is beyond words. 

Fragrant valley!


Paint the town red this August at the annual La Tomatina Festival in the town of Buñol in Spain,which happens to hold the title of the “Biggest Food Fight in the World”. It takes place on the last Wednesday of August

Tomatina Festival 

Make the most of this long weekend in 2015 and escape to the dreamy landscape of Coorg.You must experience the monsoon at Coorg. 
Lose yourself to the lush greenery! 


Oktoberfest 2015 in Munich coincides with the long weekend in September! Treat yourself to 16 days of non-stop fun, unlimited food and beer. A vacation doesn’t get better than this. 
Maharashtra's most popular hill station Mahabaleshwar deserves a visit in September. This is the peak strawberry season and you can indulge in strawberry picking and, of course, large helpings of strawberries and cream. The weather, too, is perfect at this time of the year. 

Needle Hole Point  

From the Andean peaks to the Caribbean coastline and the acres of lush Amazon rainforest in between, Venezuela is a country with a staggering variety of landscapes. Add to this, the rich cultural heritage and unlimited adventure options, Venezuela is a great choice for the experimental traveller who wants to make full use of the ultra-long weekend in October. 
A colonial castle on the Margharita Island in Venezuela

Visit the heart of India--Khajuraho and revel in the breathtaking architectural masterpieces. Apart from architecture, visitors can also explore the local villages, browse through tribal museums, explore the food scene and plan a trip to the Panna Sanctuary. 

The magnificent temples of Khajuraho


Travel Visa Free to Jamaica--the beautiful island country! Fewer things in life can be as invigorating as a trek to the Blue Mountains, or as relaxing as the stretches of sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and hidden coves. 
Blue Lagoon in Jamaica
Considered to be one of the best tropical island clusters and deep sea diving spots in the world, Lakshadweep can be a wonderful island retreat for the long weekend in November. Lakshadweep is nothing short of paradise. 
Kadmat Island in Lakshadweep


Starting mid-November, Vienna’s lovely town squares become even more magical with numerous Christmas markets setting off the pre-Christmas celebrations. Pretty lights, festive decor, mouthwatering baked goodies and lots more--a must experience. 
Lighting up the town!

With the Sunburn Festival, Christmas and New Year celebrations, the party capital of India is at an all time high in December! Make the best of the long weekends with a trip to Goa and bid a rocking farewell to 2015! 
A Portuguese villa in Goa
With several long weekends in 2015, make the most of them. Hope this list helps you plan your holidays. Here’s wishing you a wonderful new year filled with joy, abundance and lots of travel!