While the experience of seeing the unforgettable lions is a tale for another time, the joy of travelling to Sasan Gir is a journey well worth describing. For the brisk and fact-oriented traveller, the airports at Keshod, Diu and Rajkot have flights from Mumbai with an approximate flying time of an hour. Rajkot also has flights from Delhi that reach in just under 2 hours. From Diu airport, the travel time to Woods At Sasan is an hour-and-a-half to cover 90km and around three-and-a-half hours to cover 165 km from Rajkot airport.
And that is where the actual delight of the journey lies – by road. Ahmedabad is about six hours of travel by car to reach the Sasan Gir forest and an hour more till the retreat of Woods At Sasan. If travelling from Ahmedabad, starting early, around 6 am, is a good way to beat the traffic. By the time it’s 8, you are well on your way and outside the city. The broad roads make for a very comfortable drive and soon the urban and peri-urban areas are left behind for open fields and lots of greenery. At Limdi in Surendranagar district, about 110 km out from Ahmedabad, there is a halt for refreshments and a restroom break at the HFM Mall. After that, it’s a straight drive to Sasan Gir, unless you make a foray into the city of Rajkot. We would recommend that you drive straight on. One interesting detour is to Veraval, a coastal town around an hour away from the outskirts of Sasan Gir. This bustling town is a hub for the fishing industry and large quantities of seafood are either exported or supply the local markets with fresh catch. The beachside is either atmospheric and stormy or placid depending on the season.
As the Woods Sasan Gir approaches, the landscape changes with more trees on either side as you enter the boundaries of the Sasan Gir forest reserve. The roads get narrower and with stretches completely covered over by tree canopy. Tiny villages infrequently line the road with villagers walking calmly to and fro. One marvel at the confidence and ease with which they travel these paths, knowing the right times to venture out and what to do if faced unexpectedly by a wandering lion! Deeper and deeper into the sanctuary the road takes you, till eventually, you come upon the gateway of one of the unique retreats in India- Woods At Sasan. As you enter the gates, all ready for a long rest, you also look back on the journey knowing that you will have a chance to relive its mystique on the way back.