When most of us think of lions, we think of Africa. However, they still exist in an isolated forest in India. 

Lone male lion walking towards the shade as the day heats up.

Lone male Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) in Gir Forest, walking into the shade as the day heats up.

Once spread throughout much of southwest Asia, the Asiatic lion (subspecies Panthera leo persica) is now restricted to the Gir Forest in the state of Gujarat in western India. Being a single, isolated population, it is considered endangered by the IUCN,  and is vulnerable to extinction due to unpredictable events such as fire or a disease outbreak. The population of lions in Gujarat is estimated at just 350 individuals, and it can’t increase much more due to the limited size of the Gir forest. There is hope that some animals may be translocated to the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in the future, allowing it to increase its range, and reduce the risk of extinction.

Male Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) relaxing in the heat of the day in Gir National Park, India

Male Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) relaxing in the heat of the day in Gir National Park, India.

Safaris to India to see Gir’s lion population are increasing in popularity. We believe responsibly managed safaris to Gir Forest are vitally important so that locals continue to receive direct benefits from having the lions near their settlements. This needs to be managed very carefully so that lions and other wildlife in the reserve are not harassed by drivers and guides trying to please their clients. There is a limited choice of accommodation near the Gir Forest, with one of the best being the Lion Safari Camp.

Join us on a responsible wildlife safari to India.

Private safari vehicle in Gir National Park, Gujarat, India

On safari in Gir National Park, Gujarat, India.