The Gujarat Forest Department has started the preliminary ground work for the establishment of a lion safari park on Gujarat-Diu border.
If reports are to go by, this project will likely prove to be a significant crowd-puller to Diu, as well as travellers along the coastal highway to popular destinations like Somnath and Dwarka.
The lion safari park will serve as a home to zoo-bred lions and aims to recreate the ambiance of the renowned Sasan Gir. While the Ambardi safari park near Dhari was initially designed to cater to visitors bound for Diu and Tulsishyam, it was noted that a significant number of tourists preferred the coastal highway route. Therefore, the new safari park will feature two pairs of lions, four cubs, and other hooved animals, providing an experience reminiscent of Sasan Gir.
One notable aspect of this project is that the department will not need to acquire additional land, as there is already a forested area located just 7.7 km from Diu. The plan includes offering both bus and jeep safaris to enhance the overall experience for visitors.
Nityanand Srivastava, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), has confirmed that work on this new safari park will begin once the appointed architect submits their design proposal.
Additionally, the government has plans to establish an open safari park in Kevadiya, where visitors will have the opportunity to observe lions and tigers up close. This initiative aims to enhance the tourism experience, capitalising on the success of similar facilities that have become major attractions for travellers, such as the Statue of Unity. The proposed safari in Kevadia is expected to be double the size of the existing one nearby, spanning 375 acres and featuring a geodesic dome aviary.