Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite of teenagers and nature lovers.
Want to travel in nature at your fingertips? See the jungle, its flora and fauna while walking? Then proceed to Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa. Spread over approximately 8 km², Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is an exceptional ecotourism resort in the former Portuguese colony most famous for its beaches, churches and colonial relics. With well-developed holiday facilities, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite of teenagers and nature lovers. Besides the Sanctuary, Bondla Zoo, Deer Safari and Botanical Gardens are its various attractions. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary cottages and dorms offer travelers a comfortable stay option right next to the sanctuary.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Usgao at the junction of the Ponda, Sanguem and Sattari talukas. The smallest of Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 8 km² and is located 3000 feet above sea level in the lush foothills of the Western Ghats. The landscape of Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is stunning and the lush vegetation provides a natural ecosystem. Bondla National Park has a botanical garden, rose garden and deer park within its premises. One can also opt for a jeep safari inside the Bondla Sanctuary Deer Park. This shrine is a favorite among school children who come here for educational excursions. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary consists of a number of manicured gardens and lawns which serve as favorite haunts for visitors.
A mini-zoo housed inside the sanctuary is home to various animals including wild boar, gaurs, jackals, peacocks, palm civets (toddy cat), deer, and more. A number of crocodile species are seen basking in the sun along the water bodies. The Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to a variety of colorful birds. Elephant rides offered by the Forest Department are a popular activity among children and adults.
Although it is the smallest of all the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is also the most popular with children, families and ecotourists. Its ideal location in the Ponda Taluka combined with its manageable size of only 8 km²; makes it an ideal destination for a day trip. The sanctuary is well equipped to entertain day-trippers and night visitors.
In addition to the plethora of animals and plants that can be seen in the sanctuary, there are also a number of other attractions including a zoo, deer safari park, botanical gardens and a wildlife center. interpretation of nature.
How to get to Bondla
This shrine is located in the Ponda Taluka of North Goa. It is easily accessible from Panaji and Margao, which are 50 km from Panjim and 38 km from Margao. In fact, tourist buses are available to reach the shrine from these two places.
When to go to Bondla
With its abundance of sights and activities, this sanctuary is an extremely popular place to visit all year round. Most tourists, especially ecotourists, flock here during the October to March season, but the monsoon season is also known to be one of the best times to visit as the invigorating rains enhance the scenic beauty of the place.
Bondla Wildlife Park is open to visitors every day except Monday, all year round from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The admission cost for adults is Rs.5 and children Rs.2. Additional charges include parking (Rs.10 for a two-wheeler and Rs.50 for a four-wheeler), cameras (Rs.25) and video cameras (Rs.100).
The fauna and the flora
The area encompassed by this sanctuary in the Ponda Taluka is covered with humid deciduous forest with some patches of evergreen vegetation. Some of the common trees found here include Goa State Tree Terminalia Crenulata (Matti) and Rosewood.
There are a number of animals that call this place home. They include Gaur, Goan State Animal, Sambhar Deer, Panther, Jungle Cat, Leopard, Toddy Cat, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Scaly Anteater and Giant Squirrel of Malabar. There are watchtowers set up at strategic locations where one can observe the animals in their natural habitats.
The park is also home to a number of birds. The most common of these are the yellow-throated bulbul, which is the state bird, the common gray hornbill and the golden-backed woodpecker. There are also a number of rare species that visit the park. Park rangers are more than happy to help keen and budding birdwatchers with the best vantage points from which birds can be seen and photographed.
Apart from the plant and animal life that abounds in the safety of the sanctuary, there are also a number of other popular activities that one can indulge in while visiting the nature park.
Zoo – The small Bondla Zoo exists within the wider boundaries of the wildlife park and is home to a number of animals. These include Tigers, Elephants, Panthers, Gaurs, Sambars, Deer, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Boars, Crocodiles, Reptiles and many more.
Botanical Gardens – These beautifully landscaped gardens are popular with nature lovers and botanists. There are a number of rare tree and plant species that make these gardens a paradise for botanical students and researchers. The beautiful, colorful flowers make the gardens a feast for the eyes.
Deer Safari Park – There are a number of species of deer that visitors would encounter on a deer safari. The most common among them are spotted deer, hog deer, barking deer and mouse deer, also known as Chevrotain.
Nature Trails – For energetic people who like to see nature up close, there are a number of hiking and trekking trails that criss-cross the park. These tours are usually led by experienced guides who can point out the different species of flora and fauna that can be encountered as well as interesting and rare sites.
Rehabilitation Center – One of the most commendable measures taken by this sanctuary in preserving the environment is the rescue center which takes care of injured animals, especially leopards that have entered an area of human habitation too close.
Nature Education Center – Apart from the large number of exhibits the center has, there is also a well-stocked library attached to the center and films/documentaries can also be shown on demand.
This is a great day trip to do during your vacation in Goa and it also changes the scenery for those who wish to spend a few nights away from civilization. There are plenty of activities and entertainment that make a visit here action-packed and fun for all members of the family.