The Gir Birding Lodge is located in a large mango orchard at the entrance to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. The lodge has two standard rooms in the main building, four standard cottages and six deluxe cottages, all with attached toilets, featuring western toilet fittings, hot and cold showers. Comfortably furnished, the rooms and cottages are surrounded by groves of the famous Kesar Mango of the Gir hills and other vegetation ensuring that a good number of birds come into the property itself.
Appointed in Gujarati-style with low settees, mattresses and bolsters, and decorated with wildlife photographs and regional handicrafts, the dining and drawing areas on the first floor of the lodge are airy and have large windows and verandas that are ideal to enjoy the view of the forests and watch birds in the orchard and nearby sanctuary.
North Indian and western set-menu meals are served in these rooms that have a superb view of the deciduous forests from large windows, doors and verandahs. We also entertain special requests for meals like traditional Gujarati/Kathiawadi regional dishes, North-West Indian street-food specialties, Kumaoni-style Chinese and of course the famous seafood from Veraval (a major fishing pier for lobster, crab, prawn and seafish like pomfret and kingfish) one hour away. Geared-up for birders and other nature lovers, the lodge has knowledgeable resident naturalists to take guests for birding walks and excursions, a natural history library and arrangements for game-watching drives in the sanctuary
Gir is the home of the Maldharis, a term used for the many Hindu and Muslim pastoral groups of the area. The Maldhars live in traditional settlements called nesses and tend Jafrabadi buffalos, Gir cows and other livestock. Some of them also have camels, sheep and goats. Among the best-known pastoral groups of Gir is the Sorathi Rabari.
Siddis are a community with African origins. Believed to have come from African countries as mercenaries, slaves and labour, the Siddis grew to become powerful generals, some of them even became rulers. In Gir, there are villages of the Siddis, who are well known for their dances and other performances, and a major shrine for the community. .
Places of Interest near GIR
Veraval (36 km): The fishing port of Veraval is known for its dhow-building yard where massive hand-built seaworthy vessels are made. Once a port of the Nawab of Junagadh, it has old gates and historic buildings.
Somnath (40 km): Somnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas or holy abodes of Lord Shiva. The main temple is an important pilgrimage for Hindus and its riches were ransacked by invaders. The Prabhas Patan Museum has interesting architectural fragments and sculptures from the ruined temples. Somnath also has Lord Krishna's cenotaph and bathing ghats at Triveni Tirth, a medieval Sun Temple , the historic Ahilya Temple , Bakhla Tirth where Krishna is said to have met his end, and a cave temple.
It also has beaches and there are chances of seeing coastal birds like dunlin, curlew sandpiper, black-headed, brown-headed, Pallas, yellow-legged and heuglin's gulls, gull-billed, Caspian, lesser crested, common, little, whiskered and river tern, ruff, ruddy turnstone, whimbrel, curlew, red-necked phalarope, etc.
Junagadh (63 km): Historically, Junagadh is one of the most interesting cities of Gujarat. Emperor Ashoka's rock edicts here date to the 3rd century BC and there are also ancient Buddhist cave-sites dated to the Mauryan and Gupta Fort. The Uparkot Fort of the Chudasama Rajputs rises from a hilltop and has 11th century monuments inside the imposing battlements. Mystic poet Narsinh Mehta also lived in Junagadh and his monument is in the city. By the 19th century, the Nawabs of Junagadh rose to become affluent rulers and during their reign palaces, colleges, mosques, mausoleum complexes and a quaint railway station came up at Junagadh, all of which are worth seeing specially the palace museum. The city museum has archaeological finds and manuscripts.
While in Junagadh, visit Sakkarbagh Zoological Park that is captive-breeding Asiatic lions and you could see ibises and other birds in the park.
Gir National Park
Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1412 sq km hilly tract of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub, evergreen and semi-evergreen flora and grasslands, fed by rivers and streams. Among the many water-bodies in the reserve is the Kamleshwar Dam, known for its large crocodile population.
Originally protected by the Nawab of Junagadh, after British viceroys brought to his attention the plight of the lion in Asia, the sanctuary is the jewel of Gujarat's ecological resources.
- Four nights accommodation at Ichingo Lodge and Ichobezi Safari Boats
- All meals, all house wines, beers and spirits
- All soft drinks and water
- All activities
- Use of the dedicated photographic boat as well as tender boats
- River guides and a Ambassador as a host during the photo safari
- Park fees, bed and community development levies and licenses
What’s not included:
- Travel arrangements to Ichobezi River Lodges
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
Gir Birding Lodge Gallery
Day 1 – Arrival at Ichingo River Lodge
After arriving either via Kasane or Vic Falls you will be transferred to the lodge. Once your booking form has been received will be in touch with you to help with all the necessary travel arrangements and the lodge will then assist with transfers from the respective airports to the lodge.
Once we have settled into our rooms we will make our way onto the river for the first afternoon of wildlife photography. All our photographic activities on the river will be determined by sightings and light so your facilitator will liaise with the river guides in order to maximize your photographic opportunities.
After returning for dinner we will spend the first night of this photo safari at the Ichingo River Lodge.
Day 2 – Wildlife and a Houseboat
A cup of coffee will get us going before heading out onto the river to photograph what the Chobe has on offer. After about 3 hours we will return to the lodge for breakfast before making our way to the houseboat to start the second part of our journey.
As our houseboat makes it’s way down the river and into the Chobe Game Reserve we will be on the photographic boat photographing the amazing diversity of wildlife and birds.
The houseboat will moor across the river from Elephant Bay, one of the most prolific game viewing areas on the river, and this is where we will spend our first night on the water. The nice thing is that when all the other boats have to start leaving the area to get back to their lodges we will be able to stay on the water to take advantage of the amazing golden, late afternoon light on the river. Whether on the photographic boat or one of the tender boats, you will be in a position to get images that very few other photographers will be able to get.
We will enjoy dinner on board the houseboat all the time keeping a watchful eye for nocturnal photographic opportunities which could range from African night skies to the ever elusive leopard.
After a quiet drink on the deck, to soak up the African night sounds, we will spend the night on the houseboat.
Day 3 – Wildlife photography from the houseboat
After a quick cup of coffee we will be on the water before the sun breaks the horizon. This is again a very unique highlight of the trip as most other operators will only be allowed into the reserve after 06h00 in the morning.
We will spend the entire day working the Chobe River for photographic opportunities. Our houseboat will keep on making it’s way further west, away from the crowds and other boats, and we will stop in for lunch and drinks when needed.
After a full day of wildlife photography we will spend another night on the houseboat – the perfect ending to a great day on the Chobe River.
Day 4 – Heading East on the Chobe River
Since we can, we will again be on the river before sunrise to capture the African morning on the Chobe River.
Today will again be spent on the river, looking for wildlife photographic opportunities, as we make our way back East towards the lodge. It will take us the whole day to get back so you can again be assured of a day filled with amazing visual spectacles and photographic opportunities.
Once we return to the lodge we will have some time to freshen up before having drink on the deck overlooking the river.
Day 5 – Departure
After an early cup of coffee we will head out onto the Chobe River for one last roll of the dice to see what photographic opportunities we can find.
After returning to the lodge we will enjoy breakfast before wrapping up a fantastic few days in one of Southern Africa’s best wildlife photography destinations.
The lodge will assist with transfers to either Kasane or Vic Falls in order for us to catch our flights back home.
Gir Birding Lodge Tariff & Fact Sheet
Get In Touch
F-313, Ground Floor,
Lado Sarai,Near ITDC Show Room,
New Delhi - 110030 India
Cell:+91 98117 04651, +91 98999 98841
Infinite Journeys Pvt. Ltd. (erstwhile Saad Tourism)
103, Mahadkar Chambers, Karve Road,
Near McDonalds, Kothrud, Pune,
Maharashtra - 411038 India
Tel: +91 20 25459845 / 46 / 47, 25456535 / 66032406 / 09
Fax: +91 20 25459847
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve,
Village Tala, District Umaria, M.P. - 484 661 India