Inside Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary: Goa’s Well Kept Secret!, Goa
Goa, the land of sun and sand, attracts people from all over the world with its lively night scenes and pretty beaches. But few are aware of the greener side of Goa, which is still unexplored and untouched. One of them is the amazing Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa.
Located in the Canacona region of South Goa district, the park was established in 1968. As soon as you reach the place, you will find an ecotourism resort right at the entrance of the sanctuary. The complex has pretty chalets, a library, a canteen, a nature interpretation center and a children’s park.
While visitors to Goa are happy to bask on the golden beaches, some also want to learn more about the fascinating wildlife sanctuaries that surround the area. And that’s where places like Cotigao score. This place is a natural haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
A butterfly hub
Ask a Goan where you might find yourself surrounded by vibrant butterflies and people will tell you to head to Cotigao. Flying butterflies are said to be a sign of a healthy environment and Cotigao is proof of that. A butterfly park was introduced inside the sanctuary in 2011 and it has since become a hub for butterfly enthusiasts.
Once inside the park, you will be treated to magical and incredible colors of butterflies. These magnificent winged creatures are extremely friendly and instantly cheer you up with their lovely sights. A state-run butterfly park, it was established as part of the Forest Department’s Ecotourism Project.
The primary objective of this 2000 m² park is to raise people’s awareness of the importance of butterflies in the ecosystem.
Although the sanctuary is not populated with a wide variety of animals, the colorful birds and beautiful trees make this sanctuary a must-see. Keep your eyes peeled for flying squirrels, pangolin, deer, four-horned antelope, viper, spotted woodpecker, speckled woodpecker, and flying lizards, among others.
There are eight nature trails in the sanctuary, ranging from 500m to 5km in length. You may also encounter tribal groups that live in and around the park, such as the Velip and the Kunbil. They are extremely friendly people who enjoy sharing their life and culture with others.