It’s been a while since I’ve posted any thing on this blog pertaining to “Travel”. From the frequency of posts on that subject, you would think that travelling would not be very high on my priority list. But, it is! And, this year on, I intend to do something about it.
For starters, this May I’d scheduled time-off from work to address not one but two trips out of town.
The first was to celebrate our 10th anniversary, the details of which would forever remain between us and the friendly people of the charming resort we’d booked our stay in. I returned from that holiday, only to depart the following day for a photo-tour in the Lion Sanctuary of Gir!
A friend and I had been talking about doing a photo-tour for a while, and were able to sync our calendars for this one. I’d planned the thing weeks in advance by reading up all I could lay my hands on.
It was to be the baddest, hottest time of the year for Sassan Gir, with temperatures soaring upto 45 deg C… it would also be the best time to spot the lions, as the heat would make them go in search of water more often.
We’d booked ourselves in a Jungle Lodge (surrounded on all sides by the forest!) after reading about it on travel sites, and it turned out to be even more charming and exciting than the reviews had mentioned. The food was great, the people were friendly, the safari trips were well-organized, and we were able to shoot quite a bit of wildlife through the lenses of our respective cameras, even picking up some info on wildlife habitats along the way.
This was my first open-jeep safari, and it was an experience unlike any other! While some of the lion sightings were so far away that you could hardly spot them without a telescopic lens, we also had a few “encounters” merely 10 feet away from our vehicle.
Words cannot adequately explain the thrill of being in lion-land, a few steps away from the magnificent cat, in an open-jeep, with nothing in your hands except a camera.
Of course, as the safari guides kept reminding us, going to Gir is more than about “spotting lions”. On our multiple runs through the sanctuary we saw countless deer and peacocks, and a host of other animals and birds, trying to capture as much as possible with our equipment. On our way back, we also made a brief stop at the town of Junagadh, to shoot the fantastic Indo-Islamic architecture of the city, and were more than rewarded for the hours we spent in the sun.
I was hooked for Life, and will be sure to return to many more wildlife trips in the years to come…
Pictures on my photoblog, here.