Nestled in the foothills of Western Ghats is the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary – one of the 3 wildlife sanctuaries of Goa. About 8 square km’s in size, it houses a four decades old zoo within it.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
About 50 km’s from the state capital Panjim towards the east, Bondla houses a mini zoo in the natural forest area. On the drive, while approaching the sanctuary, you feel the calmness, greenery, chirping calls of birds. Shadow, cool breeze and sereneness of being amidst nature.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary offers a nature trail, bird watching, wildlife observatory, tourist cottages, and botanical garden to explore. During this monsoon season, we visited the sanctuary and could cover only the zoo due to intermittent drizzle. But it was the perfect time to see the beautiful water streams along the way. Rivulets & Monkeys on the way indicate fast approaching sanctuary.
It has a mini zoo, thankfully housed in natural surroundings. We could see Crocodiles, various types of Snakes, Tiger, Leopard, Peafowls, Black Buck, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Porcupines, Sloth Bears, Wild Bisons & Boars. Wild animals housed in groups were playful and unmindful of the visitors to the zoo. Tiger & Leopard were in solitary confinement, though spacious. They were either just strolling the same path and or resting.
While we were strolling around the campus, a group of Malabar Grey Hornbills surprisingly landed on the nearby trees. We saw them flying among the higher branches of the trees. It was a pleasant first time spotting of this type of hornbill for us. Dandeli is where we first spotted the Malabar Pied Hornbills. It is home to over a hundred bird species.
Another pleasant surprise on our way back was spotting this crocodile in an open natural pond beside the road. A sure sign of wildlife in this area. We plan to visit again to explore more post the monsoons.
There is a small canteen in the campus. A nominal entry fee is charged per person and vehicle by the forest authorities. Public transport is poor. It is Open from 9 AM to 5 PM and closed on Thursdays.
It is one of the Places to Visit in Goa if you like an outing in nature.
I have written about other Places to visit in Goa. You may like to read.