Goa is known for its beaches and scenic beauty and most people visit Goa only for these sights. But Goa is also home to six wildlife sanctuaries.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary offers the best wildlife experience in Goa. Spread over an area of 8sq kms, the sanctuary is located 3,000ft above the foothills of the Western Ghats and is the smallest among India's wildlife sanctuaries. Within its boundaries, one can visit a botanical garden, a rose garden, a deer park and a mini zoo. One can also enjoy wobbly elephant rides here.
Surrounded by valleys on all sides, the sanctuary has deciduous forests and scanty vegetation and is a great place to spot wild animals lurking in the bushes. Wild boar, sambar, gaur (Indian bison), deer, porcupine, jackal and several other wild animals are easily spotted here. The sanctuary is also a great bird-watching spot as a variety of birds like the Brown Fish Owl, Ruby-throated Yellow Bulbul, dwarf kingfisher and Red-throated Flycatcher are found here. Huge crocodiles are often seen resting over the rocks.
The botanical and rose gardens have a large variety of wellmaintained plants. The elephant ride and deer safari take you through the sanctuary. The nature education centre is an initiative that allows people to connect with nature. It is also used for viewing educational videos on wildlife. One can even stay in a cottage near the premises of the sanctuary if one chooses to spend a night. So, the next time you go to Goa, visit the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and witness nature up close.