Safaris and Experiences

Exploring the Rann is all about knowing where – and how – to go into this roadless, limitless expanse. We speak about the salt flats, the beautiful sunsets, the wild ass and the birds, but for us at Rann Riders by Kaafila, this is just one part of the story of the Rann. To truly appreciate the full richness of this unique desert, we have curated a carefully selected mix of experiences.

Safaris In the Little Rann

For someone unaccustomed to this area, exploring the vast salt flats can seem like an impossible task. But that is where the local guides and drivers come in. Having grown up here, they know the Rann like the back of their hand. The drives across the Rann are a safari experience like no other. From some areas, all one can see is flat land and a flat horizon. But the keen eyes of the trackers, alive to every slight alteration in the landscape, lead you to an imperial eagle or a peregrine falcon sitting on its kill. The islands and small-scale salt harvesting projects act like markers. A safari is essentially navigating between these markers in search of wildlife and stunning landscapes.

Safaris here are an outstanding balance between exploring the salt flats, understanding the biodiversity and the geology and, of course, exquisite vistas. For birders, the winter months are fantastic for getting up close to a variety of species. The onset of summer shifts the focus to the denning foxes and hyenas. During the monsoon, the safaris are focused more on specific large nesting colonies of flamingoes.

Longer Safari Options – Longer safari options are available, including all-day drives across the Rann and half-day safaris to the volcanic hillock at Murdak or the temple at Wachraj Bet, but they require advance booking. Walking the barren hillock at Murdak can reveal the area’s geological history, with clusters of marine fossils found in the desert.

Another beautiful day trip is the drive across the Rann via Nandobet, the northernmost island of the Little Rann and end up at the more oversized island of the Kutch landscape, Khadir Bet, and visit the ruins of Dholavira, a Harappan settlement known for its intricate fresh water harvesting systems that are almost 3000 years old. The lucky few can even hope to encounter the rare Caracal while driving across Dholavira’s scrub jungles.

Safaris outside the Rann

The team at Rann Riders view guiding as a vocation rather than just a job. They strive to understand the landscape beyond the salt flats, exploring hidden gems such as Nawa Talao, Wadkoa, Saw-lash Lake, Mandav Talao, and Pancheshwar Kiari. These areas are a mix of wetlands, grasslands, lakes, and canal systems that provide a rich habitat for birdlife. During monsoon season, these spots become breeding grounds for lesser florican, painted storks, and several species of ducks and waterfowl, often attracting more species than found within the Rann.