Trip Report

Big Cats of India Tour

Duration 2- 14 April 2017

By – Shyam S. Sharma

Naturalist and Guide Asian Adventures

Day 1- Velavadar National Park.

The Velavadar National Park, in Gujarat, India, is beautifully set between 2 rivers. The best time to visit the park is between the months of February to April. The Park closes in mid-June, through the Monsoons in India till the month of October.

With 2 wildlife Safaris and a night walk at the Velavadar National Park, we sighted Blackbuck, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Desert Hare, and Nilgai. We also spotted some good birds like Greater Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Streak-throated Swallow. Rufous-tailed, Ashy-crowned, and Crested Lark. Yellow Bittern, Indian Thick-knee, Clamorous Reed Warbler, etc.

Day 2 & 3 – Gir National Park.

The Gir National Park, in Sasan Gujarat, is the home to the Asiatic Lions. The Summer temperatures are soaring and the best time to visit is October to March. We were visiting in the first week of April and we still managed to get lovely sightings of 11 Asiatic Lions, in the three jungle Safaris spread across 2 days. It was a pleasure to see 7 lions on a kill, 3 were spotted near water holes and 1 on track.

Besides we even spotted an Indian Porcupine, he was running slowly in the forest about 150 ft. away from us. The Birds sighted at Gir were the Jungle Nightjar, Brown Fish Owl, Red-naped Ibis, Red-headed Vulture, Barred Buttonquail, Coppersmith Barbet to name a few.

Day 4 & 5 Little Rann of Kutch

The Little Rann of Kutch is open throughout the year, however, the best sightings are said to be made in the winter months from November to February, as it is that time when the migratory birds visit in large numbers. Even though we were visiting at the beginning of Summer we were delighted with our sightings of the Asiatic Wild Ass, Desert Fox, Nilgai, and Sand Colored Rat. We even spotted a Sykes's Nightjar with three chicks.

Day 6 & 7 – Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, Central India.

Satpura is a haven for the Naturalist, with a variety of Flora & Fauna. It is a picturesque park with many rivulets adding to its beauty. We took safaris during the day and night and spotted Leopard, Jungle cat, Indian giant squirrel, and a large variety of birds – Indian Skimmer (about 22 birds), Black-bellied Tern, White-Naped Woodpecker, Barred Buttonquail, White-eyed Buzzard to name a few.

Day 8 & 9 Pench National Park. Madhya Pradesh

Pench National Park is named after the Pench river which flows across the park. The best time to visit is during the pleasant weather between October to March. We were in Pench for 2 days and took a total of 3 safaris. Mammals spotted were Leopard, Flying squirrel, Wild Dog, Indian Golden Jackal, Gaur, Spotted deer, Samber, Nilgai, wild boar. The birds spotted were the Mottled Wood Owl, Jungle Owlet, Orange-headed Thrush, Black-hooded Oriole, Indian Vulture, and many more.

Day 10 & 11 Tadoba National Park. Maharashtra

Tadoba National park is the largest national park in Maharashtra, with densely forested hills. During our two days at Tadoba, we took 4 safaris and spotted the tiger, Sloth bear, Southern tree shrew, Small Indian civet, and Chowsingha.


Mammals and birds list

Total Mammals = 35

Total Birds = 198


1- Asiatic Lion

2- Royal Bengal Tiger

3- Leopard

4- Sloth Bear

5- Jungle Cat

6- Indian Palm Civet

7- Small Indian Civet

8- Indian Grey Mongoose

9- Ruddy Mongoose

10 Indian Giant Squirrel (central)

11- Flying Squirrel ( phillippensis )

12- Five-striped or Northern Palm Squirrel

13- Three-striped Palm Squirrel

14- Southern or Madras Tree Shrew

15- Sand-coloured Rat

16- Sambar Deer

17- Red Muntjak or Barking Deer

18- Cheetal or Spotted Deer

19-Four-horned Antelope or Chowsinga

20- Blackbuck

21- Indian Gazelle or Chinkara

22- Nilgai or Bluebell

23- Indian Gaur

24- Northern Plains Langue

25- Rhesus Macaque

26- Indian Crested Porcupine

27- Desert Hare

28- Black-naped Hare

29- Indian Golden Jackal

30- Dhole or Indian Wild Dog

31- Desert Fox

32- Indian Wild Pig or Boar

33- Indian Flying Fox

34- Greater Short Nosed Fruit Bat

35- Indian Pygmy Pipistrelle