Devalia Safari Park | Wildlife Trip 2017
2nd & 3rd September 2017
Trip in Nutshell
2nd September 2017, 2:30 PM – And our self-drive cost sharing trip begins.
Late by half & hour but as we had no plan of any photography break on way or at Junagadh so nothing worry. In case if you go to Sasan and love architecture photography then don’t miss Mahabat Maqbara at Junagadh, have shared more details of it in the previous trip post.
But the road was worst. Picked a friend from Junagadh who reached directly from Ahmedabad. ( and whose car we self-drive from Jamnagar). Similar to the last trip we ordered dinner on way and left the decision of menu to resort management preferring Kathiyawadi food. 8:00 PM we reached Sasan and were hungry like hell. On reaching mouthwatering pure kathiyawadi dinner was ready; Rotla, paratha, khichdi, kadhi, lasun (garlic) chutni, sev-tameta nu shaak, Gur (jaggery), buttermilk, and lots of achar variety. Complete Gujju dish and the taste was just awesome.
After completing dinner we came to know that there is no mineral water available over there due to off-season and few members can’t manage without them. And so went to Sasan (say some 10Kms) and then mother nature welcomes us on-way with first bird of trip checklist, it was spotted owlet sitting on a road direction board. But as we had no plan of night photography and so returned back and it was time to sleep as have to get up early. My first experience to sleep on Khatla. N morning came as it was just 5 mins of sleep. Totally relaxed and refreshed.
3rd September 2017, 5AM
2 Alarms and we got up on time but were late then our plan of entering first at check-post. Left resort and had tea at Sasan and started for Devalia Park, being late no chance of any sort of wildlife on way.
Started the journey of beautiful Devaliya route (single track) with beautiful morning atmosphere and green forest around. And the first break to car for Indian Peafowl & Wild Boar.
Indian Peafowl by Mihir Modi – Nikon D3200 + Tamron 70-300 – SS: 1/320 | f/5.3 | ISO-200
Reach Devalia Safari Park and the first thing to do is book our seats in bus & now time to wait and enjoy some birds like India Peafowl, myna, jungle crow and few Monkey. While 2 friends joined booking queue, all others were searching for birds.
Jungle Babbler shouting at Indian Mongoose – Nikon D5300 + Nikon 70-300 – SS: 1/320 | f/4.8 | ISO-100
Soon we heard the noise of few Jungle Babbler at near place, and literally ran over there. Because they behave that way only when there is some animal or reptiles. And witnessed our Lucky Charm “Indian Mongoose” again (Note: it’s said seeing Mongoose is a good luck). Had missed a good photo of it during the last trip as that was only a moment of sighting and that too with a bit blurry image as we were in the car and too too low light.
It was already 8:30 AM and we were eager to enter the park. But officials asked to wait few more minutes to get the bus full as there was very less rush and so others would have to wait for next bus to get full. And in few minutes our trip of Asiatic Lion Trip begins. First to see were grey francolin, black francolin, scally breasted munia and then comes two queens of Jungle. Time to click-click-click.
Asiatic lioness by Shabir Jam – Nikon D5200 + Nikon 70-300mm ISO: 400 | SS: 1/320 sec | f/6.3
Moving further or can say returning back saw three Leopards, lots of Jackal, black-buck, spotted deer, blue-bull and morning session ends.
Leopard by Jaynil Parikh – Nikon D5200 + Nikon 70-300mm ISO: 100 | SS: 1/200 sec | f/6.3
Jackal by Jaynil Parikh – Nikon D5200 + Nikon 70-300mm ISO: 100 | SS: 1/100 sec | f/6.3
It was a satisfactory trip for everyone. But for us, this was second year of such trip and so was not satisfied by morning opportunity. As we felt the quality work what we expected from trip was not achieved. Still, it was closing time of park and have to return back to resort.
On-way we planned to have our desi breakfast of gathiya and chai. But then the resort owner called and told to have breakfast over there. It was 11:30 already and lunch was almost ready, so we had few light snacks which we bought from Sasan along with tea. And asked them (owners wife who cook herself) that we will have lunch after an hour and started the refreshing session after the morning workout.
Yes, the swimming pool session. (Available at mostly all resorts at Sasan-Gir). Though it was more as a big water tank and less as swimming pool, still all enjoyed it. Got totally refreshed and now it’s time for lunch. Kathiyawadi rotli, lasaniya bateta nu shaak, salad and gur-keri achar, chas, papad; one of the best lunch we had till date.
Monitor lizard by Hemal Jadav – Nikon COOLPIX L830
Even during that time too mother nature kept showing her presence, a pair of Common Iora and a monitor lizard came and gave some good clicks. Though few friend witnessed one more monitor lizard during return journey too.
Now it’s time to check-out and reach Devalia Park again for the last session, but soon we planned to review our morning images to check for mistakes and avoid them during evening session. While review session was going and all were busy reviewing their images and improvements. And during that time I got my sweet 10 minutes sleep too 🙂
After reviews, all decided that we want to go back only if there is any chance of seeing male lion, but as discussed with officials at morning there was no chance for their sighting. So it was time to omit evening session as all got satisfactory images at morning itself.
But how can we ignore the nature and our lucky morning charm as still satisfactory work was not done, so finalized to give evening session a test of our luck and went again.
And there was a heavy rush of tourist now, same like we had last year. So got the chance in the last bus, but it was a favoring opportunity due to soft light which we will get. Entered again and now this time its 3 lioness and a lot better light and location for quality images. So felt it was a fair decision and evening trip made the day worth with beautiful images.
Leopard by Parth Pathak – Nikon D3300 + Nikon 70-300mm ISO: 100 | SS: 1/160 sec | f/5.6
But it’s all in hands of nature and who knows what opportunity is waiting next. And the actual best session was yet to come, moving further (on-return) we saw a leopard on a tree branch resting and making a best natural frame of leaves for us. Lots of clicks and the journey ends with one of the best images of Lioness and Leopard.
Species we witnessed
– Scaly-breasted munia
– Grey francolin
– Black francolin
– Common myna
– Bank myna
– Common iora
– Spotted owlet
– Jungle crow
– Indian peafowl (Peacock)
– Knob-billed duck
– Red-vented bulbul
– Spotted dove
– Green bee-eater
– Jungle babbler
– Oriental magpie-robin
– Red-naped Ibis
– Little egret
– Rufous treepie
and many more common birds