Last Updated: September 10, 2019 Anil Rana
Karnataka is an ideal wildlife destination in India that reflects a pleasant face of Indian biodiversity. With more than 20 wildlife sanctuaries that shelter some rare species and ample of common species, the state attracts wildlife aficionados from all over the world and gives them a great opportunity to witness vividness par excellence. Since the wildlife reserves fall in the territory of the Western Ghats and the South Vindhyan Mountains, one can seize the opportunity to trek on some beautiful trails and witness the splendour of nature along with spotting wildlife. Visiting the wildlife parks in Karnataka can be a good idea if you are looking for an exhilarating and unique vacation.
Here is a list of the best wildlife destinations in Karnataka that can provide you a once in a lifetime experience:
Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park
An important part of Niligiri Biosphere Reserve, Bandipur National Park is one of the best places to spot tigers in South India. Covering an area of about 880 sq, Bandipur Tiger Reserve is a safe habitat for over 100 species of animals. The main attraction of the national park is its sizable number of elephants, tigers and butterflies. If bird watching intrigues you then this wildlife reserve is the perfect place to be at; there are about 350 species of birds that one can spot here. The Nugu River that snakes through the park is home to many aquatic animals. The highest point of the park is Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta from where the view is splendid. The national park is at a short distance from Mysore and Bengaluru thus making it a best holiday destinations for a weekend.
Bhadra Tiger Reserve
Flanked by the lofty mountains of Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri & Babaudangiri, Bhadra Tiger Reserve is an ideal place for an action-packed getaway in Karnataka. Situated in Chikmagalur, the sanctuary is home to many animal species like tiger, leopard, elephant, Indian bison (Gaur), sambar, barking deer, spotted deer, wild dog, wild boar, Porcupine, Muntjac and sloth bear. The reserve also houses about 120 species of flora including many medicinal plants. The park offers you a great jeep safari experience but make sure to book in advance to avoid inconvenience.
Anshi National Park
Sprawling over an area of 340 sq kms, Anshi National Park is situated in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka and is a part of Dandeli Sanctuary. The National Park borders Goa and is also a great place to catch a glimpse of the vivid flora and fauna. The park is home to animals like Bonnet Macaque, deer, Indian bison, Malabar Civet, Malabar giant squirrel, pangolin and sloth bear, elephants, and tigers. There are also fixed bird trails and mammal trails that let the wildlife enthusiasts enjoy watching about 200 bird species and several animal species. The trekking trails also lead to beautiful grasslands, high altitude and splendid scenery viewing points.
The best time to visit Anshi National Park is between November and June, when the humidity is comparatively less. Ulavi Channabasaveshwara Temple, Kadra Valley view point and Devbagh beach at Karwar are the other attractions near Anshi National Park.
Bannerghatta National Park
Do not confuse Bannerghatta National Park with Bannerghatta Biological Park. One should understand that Bannerghatta Biological Park is a part that has been carved out from Bannerghatta National Park. Known for rich bio-diversity, it is one of the most popular tourist places in Karnataka. Wildlife lovers often visit the man-made biological park, which is situated 22kms from Bengaluru. This park houses a zoo, a butterfly park and zoological reserve that shelters as many as 30 lions and a number of sloth bears. It is an ideal place to take your kids as it offers a great opportunity to learn about wildlife and the need for their conservation. Other than lions and sloth bears, the park is home to elephant, Bengal tiger, white tiger, panther, bison, spotted deer, several birds and butterflies species.
The best time to visit the Bannerghatta National Park is between September and January.
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary boasts serene surroundings and rich flora and fauna. The sanctuary is a safe shelter for barking, spotted and mouse deer, sloth bear, panther, tiger, gaur, elephant, wild dog, civet cat, bison, jackal, langur and giant flying squirrel along with many species of colorful birds. What catches the eyes of the visitor here is the adventure opportunity that includes wildlife safaris in jeeps, nature walks, bird watching, crocodile sighting trips, fishing, coracle boat rides and trekking.
The best time to visit Dandeli National Park would be between March and October.
Kudremukh National Park
This national park in Karnataka is known for its impeccable natural beauty. Marked by steep cliffs, deep ravines and chain of mountains, Kudremukh National Park is a must visit. The park is situated in Chikamagalur district of Karnataka and is home to species like gaurs, chitals, barking deer, sambhar, Malabar giant squirrels, flying squirrels, Langurs, macaques, porcupines, wild boars and mongoose. Kudremukh is one of the most popular reserves for lion-tailed macaques and is also one of the best wildlife tourist places in Karnataka. There are about 194 species of avifauna that one can spot here along with resplendent landscape and the tea and coffee plantation in the forest makes the park unique.
The best time to visit Kudremukh National Park is between October and May.
Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary
Among the many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, Mookambika has made an indelible mark due to its rich flora and fauna and is home to animals like slender loris and lion-tailed macaque. This national park is situated in Kollur in Udupi district of Karnataka and is also known for being a safe habitat for sambar, chital, sloth bear, gaur, wild pig, sambar, barking deer, otter, porcupine, tiger and leopard. The park is also a secure shelter for endangered cane turtle and a species of climber called Coscinium fenestratum. It shares its boundary with Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and is a great place for enjoying activities like camping and trekking.
The best time to visit Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is between November and March.
Nagarhole National Park (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)
Offering one of the best wildlife getaways, Nagarhole National Park is situated 80kms away from Mysore. The park is recently named as Rajiv Gandhi National Park after the former Indian Prime Minister. The reserve is the refuge for tiger, leopard, wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison), chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet and otter. The most common species found here are snakes, four-horned antelope, aloth bear, porcupine, jackal and mouse-deer. The hunter-gatherer tribe called Jenu Kuruba still lives in the forest and if lucky one may get the opportunity to meet this tribe. Along with wildlife, accommodation at Kabini River Lodge is yet another factor that makes this jungle experience unforgettable.
The best time to visit Nagarhole National Park is between April and May and again between November and February.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Reckoned to be the largest bird sanctuary in Karnataka, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is situated on the bank of River Karveri and is 3kms away from the historic town called Srirangapatna. The sanctuary houses around 170 species of birds that include birds like Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher. Besides the avifauna; the reserve attracts migratory birds from distant places like Australia, Siberia and even North America. There are six isles of the river, which are also the part of the sanctuary and are used for boating tours and crocodile, otter and bat sighting.
The best time to visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is between June and November.
Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary is one of its kind place, and is a haven for anglers; also it is one of the best places for birdwatching holidays in South India. Situated on the bank of river Kaveri/Cauvery, this sanctuary is also home to as many as 200 species of birds. Grey headed fish eagle, pied crested cuckoo and darter are the common birds that one can spot here whereas, the reserve is enriched with animal species like sambar, spotted deer, jackals, the highly endangered grizzled giant squirrel, the leopard and elephants. However, known as the largest fresh water sport fish, Mahaseer steals the limelight here. Besides spotting birds and animals, one has the opportunity to indulge in fishing and angling in the wildlife sanctuary at Bheemeshwari Nature and Adventure Camp. Trekking and camping are other activities that one can greatly enjoy in the park.
The best time to visit Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary is between September and February, when the weather is cool and pleasant.
At a short distance of about 2kms from Kushalnagar, Nisargadhama is a gorgeous island that has been converted into an ecological park. It is indeed an ideal place to spend a vacation as the park allows tree-top accommodation and ample of flora and fauna to look at. Deer park, orchidarium, and elephant and boat rides are the main attractions here. Nisargadhama is an ideal wildlife weekend getaway and is an outstanding place for a great family vacation in Karnataka as it offers something for everyone!
Dubare Elephant Camp
This Elephant Camp is the home of many Asiatic elephants and is one of those places that must be visited once in a lifetime. The camp is situated on the bank of Kaveri River in Kodagu district of Karnataka. You must have heard about the elephant procession that takes place during Dusshera in Mysore? Well, these are the same elephants that are trained and sent for the event. At Dubare Elephant Camp, one has the opportunity to watch the elephants closely and learn about their lives. One can enjoy still water rafting here and along with elephants spot animals like sambhar, the spotted deer, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, gaurs, bears and crocodiles. This camp is one of the best places for wildlife tourism in Karnataka as it is replete with surreal and serene surroundings and exquisite accommodation options.
Kabini National Park/Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is a paradise for nature lovers. With its varied topography the reserve is home to 250 species of flowers and trees. Kabini Wildlife Reserve is popular for being the home to one of the single largest congregation of Asiatic Elephants. Apart from that, Kabini is known for sheltering animals like leopard, panther, sambhar, spotted deer, chital and bisons and many endangered and rare species as well. This wildlife sanctuary is situated on the bank of Kabini River and is part of the famous Nagarhole National Park. One of the best wildlife destinations in Karnataka, Kabini is situated 80kms from Mysore and about 205kms from Bengaluru. The rich blend of wildlife and adventure has allured many to come to Karnataka and now it is your turn. Visit Karnataka and explore some of these wildlife reserves that certainly adds to an experience of a perfect holiday in India. Make sure to book in advance in order to avoid inconvenience. For some great wildlife packages that go well with your budget and needs, you can contact us and we will ensure that you have an unforgettable holiday experience in Karnataka!
The best time to visit Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is between October and May.
Published: 19 Aug, 2014
As a tour manager at TourMyIndia.com, Anil Rana has helped his clients in exploring the Indian wildlife and cultural heritage. His love for travel has imparted him immense knowledge of Indian wildlife, cultural heritage, leisure destinations. To help travellers all across the world, he loves to pen down his experiences and wisdom about cultural, wildlife and leisure travel in India.