A shelter for the endangered sloth bear, Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is situated on the border of Gujarat . Sprawling across the Thar Desert, with a combined area of 180 sq km, this reserve derived its name from the majestic part of Aravalli hill called Jessore. The sanctuary is home to leopards, sambars, blue bulls, wild boars, porcupines, and 105 varieties of birds that include migratory birds as well. The dry climate of the sanctuary has given way to 405 species of plants here, which are mostly thorny scrubs.
Situated 25 kms from Palanpur in Banaskantha district, Jessore sanctuary is one of most picturesque places to visit in Gujarat. The ideal place to stay in Jessore Sanctuary is in the forest huts and cottages that have been made maintained by the Forest Department and are located in front of the lake surrounded by mountains. The best time to visit Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is during the monsoon but sure you take knee length boots and raincoats to save yourself from leeches. Kedarnath Mahadev Temple and Muni Ji ki Kutia are the two attractions in the sanctuary apart from the wildlife.
The largest abode of the Asiatic Lions in the country, is situated 43kms from Somnath and about 60kms from Junagadh. It is the sizable population of these lions that has made Gir national park is and has also perked up Gujarat tourism. However, if we divert our eyes from these big cats, we’ll find out that this lion sanctuary in India is also the home of ratel, rusty spotted cat, pangolin, ruddy mongoose, civets, paradise flycatchers and 300 species of birds. Gir is also one of the most beautiful national parks in the country with the distinctive landscape comprising of rugged ridges, isolated hills, plateaus and valleys. The best time to visit Gir National Park is between December and Mid June.
Offering many facets of wildlife in Gujarat, Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary is situated in Rajkot district and is just 10kms away from Jasdan (once a princely state). It is a small yet significant sanctuary that organizes camps to create awareness about wildlife conservation. Amongst the animals found here are Chinkara, Leopard, Flying fox, Hyena and Wolf.. Along with 230 species of birds, this sanctuary is also the home to about 19 species of snakes. This is an ideal place to take your children as the sanctuary offers great amount knowledge on wildlife apart from fun and excitement. The best time to visit Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary is between July and February.
Spread over 6 sq km of area, Khijadiya is amongst the best bird sanctuaries in Gujarat. A striking number of 220 species of birds are found in this small area, which Khijadiya one of its kinds in India. However, this is not only the factor that marks this place unique; situated in the coastal area near Jamnagar, this sanctuary also has marine habitat, fresh water habitat, marshy lands, mangroves, prosopis areas, salt pans, open mudflats, intertidal mudflats, creeks and scrubs sandy beaches covered under its shelter. Along with birds like Pelicans, spoonbill, Indian skimmer, great crested grebe, little grebe, purple moorhen, ducks, coots, cormorants, herons, egrets, storks, ibises, gulls, terns, jacanas, darter and flamingoes, one can spot Jackal, jungle cat, blue bull, mongoose as well here. The best time to visit Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary is between October and March.