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Not to be wondered about hearing unusual things regarding Goa which is known as the land of pristine beaches to the outer world. But when you visit this tiny state in India, you will come to know about the beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Goa which would make you happy without doubt. The tourism sector in Goa is developing their focus on other major parts of the region rather than the beaches and beach based activities.

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Among them, the most important one is the introduction of the major wildlife sanctuaries to the travelers arriving in Goa. That is a positive sign of exploring the land with more passion and it is a chance to know its interiors on your own. The huge jingles in Goa make way for these wildlife sanctuaries to become a prominent part of tourism. The wilderness acts as a favourite haven for many rare animals and birds along with a unique collection of plants and trees.

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A visit to these sanctuaries would be making your holidays in Goa eventful and of course creates the best memories to cherish a lifetime. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary etc are some of the most visited and highly protected sanctuaries in the state. The Western Ghats give the maximum support to the animals reared inside these sanctuaries and the backwaters and rivers in Goa are giving them water and the pleasing ambience to maintain their relation with nature.

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For people who are really interested to know about the forest ranges and the inhabitants in them must visit these sanctuaries to identify yourself closely associated with each item in the jungles.

Here are some of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Goa:

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01

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

The smallest of all the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary falls in the Ponda region. Slightly away from the coast, this 8 sq.km long natural reserve lies in the foothills of the lush green Western Ghats.

A great attraction to school children and tourist Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to a wide range of wildlife like Indian Bison, Sambar Deer, Indian Peafowl, Malabar Giant Squirrel and a variety of deer and snake. Along with the Common Grey Hornbill and Golden Backed Woodpecker, more than a hundred different species of birds reside in this garden.

More of a jungle resort with Eco-Tourism cottages where nature lovers can stay and explore the diverse wildlife in Goa, the sanctuary even has a zoological park, an expansive deer park,  botanical and rose garden to woo its visitors. The adventure enthusiasts in Goa can also opt for a trek through the reserve to gain insight and enjoy the picturesque natural ambiance.

Best visited during December and January, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary even houses a small archeological exhibition with many figurines dating back to the sixth century. Allowing the visitors between 9:00AM-5:00PM (except on Thursday), this sanctuary can be easily reached as it is well connected to different parts of Goa.

Also, check out best resorts to stay in Goa.

02

Molem Wildlife Sanctuary



Molem Wildlife sanctuary is the core area of Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Goa. Located in the Sanguem region, it is best explored in between November to March. 

Barking Deer, Black Panther, Bengal Tiger, Bonnet Macaque, Leopard, Civet and Wild Boar can be easily spotted while strolling around this sanctuary. A heaven for bird watchers, it boasts of recording 120 different bird species like Wagtails, Fairy Bluebird, Drongo, Three-Toed Kingfisher, Great India Hornbill and Golden Oriole.

With vehicles permitted within the sanctuary, the biggest attraction here is the adventurous jungle safari; the park is also famous for its trekking trails in Goa and bird watching. It is also recommended to hire an experienced guide while travelling through the thick forest.

03

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

A perfect representation of the delicate ecosystem of the Western Ghats, the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Canacona Taluka, South Goa. This 105 sq. km. large park is called a tree lovers paradise and is at its blooming zenith is between October to March. Visitors are allowed every day from early 7:00AM to 5:30 PM after a minimal entry fees; however, there are extra charges for carrying camera or any kind of videography devices.

Covered heavily by thick deciduous trees, it serves as the home to Flying Lizard, Golden-Back Gliding Snake, Malabar Trogon, White-Bellied Woodpecker and Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch. The sanctuary has about eight natural trails ranging from 500m to 5km.

A Nature Interpretation Centre run by the forest department organizes various treks and walks through the abundant greenery.  For the daredevils who wish to spend a night in the open wilderness, the forest department even arranges for a cot and mosquito nets.  

Another unique feature is the 25m high watchtower that is balanced entirely atop the trees and provides an exhilarating view of a waterhole where the four-legged residents often visit.

Visitors can also go for some of the best water sports activities in Goa for more fun and entertainment.

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04

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

Located at the Sattari Taluka near Valpoi town, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity and is being considered to be promoted as one the Project Tiger Reserves due to the presence of Royal Bengal Tigers. Highly renowned for spectacular waterfalls like the Vazra Sakla and the Virdi Falls in the Chorla Ghats region, this biodiversity hotspot has been termed as an area of high endemism by Conservation International. 

The animal lovers can treat their eyes with a glimpse of Indian Gaur, Barking Deer, Sambhar Deer, Ruddy Mongoose, Asian Palm Civet and Black-Faced Langur. However Leopard, Sloth Bear, Black Panther, Dhole, Mouse Deer, Jungle Cat, Indian Pangolin and the endangered Slender Loris are a rare sight in this sanctuary. 

Also awarded the title of an International Bird Area, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary also houses a number of   White-bellied Blue-flycatcher, Malabar Parakeet, Nilgiri Wood-pigeon, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Rufous Babbler, Grey-headed Bulbul and Crimson-backed Sunbird. Best time to plan your visit to the wildlife in Goa is in the months of November to March when the humidity level is comparatively low.


05

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

The newest addition to the enchanting wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Sanguem Taluka of Eastern Goa which covers an approximate 211 sq. km of the enchanting Western Ghats. It derives its name from the Netravali or Neturli, an important tributary of the Zuari River, which is also an extremely significant source of fresh water in the region.

Along with a spectacular array of wildlife and terrain, this sanctuary also has some of the most enchanting forest coverage with moist deciduous woods fused beautifully together with semi-evergreen and evergreen patches. This rich and diverse abode of the wilds also boasts of its stunning range of fauna that includes Panthers, Cobras, Giant Squirrels, Great Pied Hornbills Slender Loris and the rarely found Malabar Tree Toad.

A perfect haven for birds and butterflies it is also the home to avifauna like Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Grey Headed Bulbul, Great Pied Hornbill and butterflies like Black Rajah, Gaudy Baron, and Malabar Tree Nymph. Best visited in the months from October to March, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary attracts lots of nature lovers with its scintillating forests along with numerous waterfalls and perennial streams.

Some of the best scuba diving packages in Goa can be checked out here.

06

Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary

Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, a 240sq.km of protected area located in the Western Ghats, in Sanguem taluka, is the biggest of all the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa. Along with being rich in flora and fauna, it encloses numerous temples from the Kadamba Dynasty and the famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls.  

The domain is also home to Dhangar nomadic buffalo herders. The unspoiled vegetation constituting of tropical evergreen and semi-green forests together with moist deciduous forests along with numerous perennial water streams makes Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary a perfect habitat for a plethora of birds and animals. 

Mammals like Panther, Barking Deer, Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Bonnet Macaque and Sambar can be spotted along with birds like Blue Mormon, Common Jezebel, Common Mormon and Plain Tiger.

Open all through the week from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, this sanctuary is best visited in between November and March. One can leisurely stroll through the sanctuary along with an experienced guide, but for the adventure enthusiasts, there are various exciting activities in Goa like jungle safaris, forest trails, and night safaris.

07

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Located at the western tip of the Chorao Island along Mandovi River, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a mangrove swamp, which is an ornithologist's paradise. Named after the most popular ornithologist of India, Dr. Salim Ali, this sanctuary is a sheer delight for anyone who has a fondness towards rare and exotic birds.

Open all throughout the year, you can enter this avifaunal paradise after a prior permission of the Chief Wild Life Warden of the Forest Department with minimal entry fees. Boat rides within the sanctuary take the visitors to some of the areas that are often visited by the colorful dwellers of the park. Moreover, one can plan a trip with family and friends to visit best places in Goa

The variety of local and migratory bird species found here are Eagles, Drongos, Kingfishers, Kites, Myna, Curlews, Sandpiper, Redshank, and Hoopoe. To get the most out of this trip plan the visit either in the early morning and late evening. 

Besides being the hub of the party and beach lovers, Goa is also a hotspot for the wildlife lovers. Be it for those who adore the colorful birds or those who prefer to witness wilderness amidst the jungle beasts, wildlife in Goa or the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa are the idyllic options!

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Simply WOW!! Quite a thrillophilic journey with immensely warm hospitality, perfect planned schedules and of course amazing travel. As planned we were picked up @7 in the morning and were taken to the falls which happens to be around 100 kms. Bus they provide are very comfortable and AC will also be sufficient to beat the heat of sultry Goa. We also covered a landmark church of Goa enroute. They will give you around 15 20 mins to get that holy feel. Once we reached the venue we were given time to have breakfast, meanwhile the guide arranged tickets for the whole group and settled us up in the bolero which takes you from there further. It was again a Splendid journey of 45 mins through mahavir national park where you will cross several streams also. Pure off roading and adventurous experience. From the parking u have to walk for 5 mins to finally reach the destination which, you undoubtedly will feel deserving enough to have travelled for. Such a sublime scene and cool clear water with fishes around you will quench all the tiredness you might have had after traveelinh to several beaches. You get around 1.5 hours in total after final parking out of which for bathing you will get around 45 mins. Caution : please travel with good non slippery shoes as the rocks are too slippery and carelessness might get fatal. No worries though, you wont drown as they will provide you with life jackets so a good news for non swimmers. Post bath again you will be taken back and be served with complimentary lunch in goan style which is quite palatable. Then a short spice plantation tour followed by a return drop to the reapective pick up points. The trip will end in North Goa around 6 evening. ps : If you have time on your goa trip, do visit this place and thrillophilia is definitely a good option to consider coz it will wave off your trip organisational headache.
03 February 2020
Excellent
Superb cycling experience, it was just the 3 of us including the guide and we were able to complete the trip real fast. The bird sanctuary is where we took most of the pics. We went off road through the forest area as well and we could find the railway lines located there. Couple of steep ups and downs which made cycling challenging. The total distance would be 30 kms. Best I've ever cycled
An unforgettable experience for me. For the first time got a chance to get into snorkeling and see the marine life. Thanks alot guys for an amazing experience.
12 December 2015
Excellent
A well planned and executed sightseeing trip. Good for family tourists like us. We visited some of the famous beaches and churches of Goa. It was nice experience overall.
06 December 2019
Excellent
Goa is famous for its beaches and its parties but amid all the chaos of Goa, this is one soul-soothing experience. This a must-do activity and should be part of any goa itinerary. A 01-hour long cruise journey will give you immense memories.
21 January 2020
Excellent
I went to Goa with my friends, we booked this hotel through Thrillophilia at the pocket friendly price after comparing it on other online platforms. We were welcomed with a drink and after that we were head towards our spacious rooms properly equipped with all the basic amenities. I would recommend to try their Italian cuisines at the Orchid restaurant. Also coming to Goa and not visiting Tito's lane is just a waste so if you guys are planning to go on a Goa trip do try this resort and Tito's lane. The hotel is convenient to access the local area as within walking distance of the Panjim center,. Also, the hotel cars and drivers are available for trips out at additional cost.
10 December 2019
Excellent
Beautifully located on the Miramar beach, extremely well run property, very courteous staff, The rooms are spacious and well maintained. Quick room service. The sea food that we have tried was delicious. We had a marvelous short break at this hotel and will definitely return. Thanks, Thrillophilia for constant support and best deals.
13 February 2020
Excellent
Overall a decent holiday in budget. But the 3 days are not enough to explore the to the fullest. Our hotel accommodation is very good for the price we paid and the sightseeing car was also very good. We liked north Goa compare to south Goa as were in a group of 4 boys. There is a lot of places to party in North Goa but the south Goa is very peaceful and less crowded. Overall a good experiences and Thanks to Rupal from Thrillophilia for planning our itinerary in our budget.
09 February 2020
Excellent
I have visited Goa with friends from Indore and it was best trip of our college reunion. Rahul helped us a lot in customising the package as per our requirement and we also got the group discount. Our guide was very good and helped us explore the best and hidden gems of Goa. We enjoyed a lot at Casino cruise and water sports. Grand Island trip was the best part of the trip. Thank your team Thrillophilia and our guide Fernandes for making our trip awesome.
07 December 2019
Excellent
I have visited Goa with family and kids and it was the most memorable vacation for us. My kids enjoyed the dolphin watching and water activities. South Goa is very peaceful and serene and ideal location family holiday. Our guide was very personal and helpful. Thanks to team Thrillophilia and Rohit for customizing our Goa family tour as per our needs. Looking forward to more travel with my family.

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