5 Popular Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India

by Arjun Dikshit

The rich and diverse wildlife sanctuaries in India are worth exploring for it offers a wildly refreshing experience to adventure freaks. Imagine seeing a tiger in his natural habitat. The thrill and amazement of spotting a tiger and other wild animals in their habitats is the best experience one can ever have. It is simply inexplicable. The beautiful and thrilling Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India have drawn many visitors not just from the country, but from outside as well. Let’s check some of the most thrilling Sanctuaries in South India that are worth visiting and having some adventure with friends and peers.

Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India

Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary

In southern India, a popular wildlife Sanctuary is the Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary located beautifully in Karnataka. The safari region is known as “Kabini” and it is a part of India’s best tiger reserves known as the Nagarhole National park. You will rediscover the joys of exploring the forest and learning about wildlife. The special attraction is the dam located across the Kabini River near Beechanahalli. You can spot wild animals on the banks of Kabini River. This popular wildlife destination was a private hunting area for the British and it is also a famous tourist spot because of the rich variety of flora and fauna found here. The Kabini national park covers an area of 642.4 km2. The sanctuary is ideal for wildlife photography enthusiasts. You can explore the forest in an open safari vehicle and enjoy the opportunity of spotting Leopards, Bengal tigers, Gaurs, Crested Hawk Eagle, etc. The main wildlife attractions are Tigers, elephants, Cheetal, Panther, Leopard, Sambhar, 250 stunning species of birds and a lot more. It’s magnificent to experience the beautiful sunset by the river and cruise down the Kabini reservoir in a boat. Going in a group, discussing the observations and unique perspectives of individuals makes the safari all the more enjoyable. The best time to visit is from October to May.

 Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

explore Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

If witnessing thick forest and wild animals had been your dream then the sounds and sights of the lush forest Dandeli will certainly amaze you. Dandeli is the most interesting Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India, Karnataka that will take you on a lifetime adventure. It’s enjoyable to catch sight of unusual reptiles, exotic 196 species of birds and wild animals like tigers, rare black panthers, monkeys, wild pigs, elephants, mongoose, and other fascinating animals. Some unusual mammals like Sloth bears, barking deer and Indian Pangolin are lovely odd looking creatures to photograph as you travel through wooded trails. The texture, scents, and color of the extraordinary landscape looks graceful as they unfold before the tourists and spectators. Apart from beautiful wildlife and topography the special attractions which are worth exploring are Syntheri Rocks and Kevala Caves. The coverage area of the sanctuary is 866 km2 and the best time to visit is from October to March.


Masinagudi is a part of Madumalai forest reserve which is described as a wildlife retreat located at the foothills of Ooty. Masinagudi is just on the border of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. The resorts and forest departments offer night and jeep safaris to tourists to enjoy the quietude and exotic wildlife among thick forests and greenery all around. Masinagudi is not so popular unlike the other Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India but looks equally beautiful for it is nested amidst the Blue Mountains, the Nilgiris. The unique and rare species of fauna is worth exploring as well. The wildlife attractions are red giant squirrels, pythons, Sambar deer, cobra, tigers, elephants and lot more. The surrounded forests boast rich bird life as well. As soon as you begin the safari you will start encountering Guars and Deer. Keep extra days for visiting beautiful hill stations nearby like, Coonoor and Ooty. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to May.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Madumalai is the most famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India which lies on the border of Tamilnadu and Karnataka. River Moyar acts as a borderline between the two states that flows through the sanctuary. This beautiful wildlife sanctuary was established in the year 1940 and the coverage area is 321 km2. It was the first wildlife sanctuary of South India. It is the most spectacular picturesque park located among beautiful hills and valleys. The thrilling wildlife of the park is exclusive to watch as the park hosts rarest species of the Indian elephant and the Bengal tiger. It is mainly a tiger reserve but there are some major wildlife attractions to spot as well. These include wild boar, Sambar deer, four horned Antelope, gray Langur and 80 percent of total bird species in India which includes Emerald Dove, threatened Black and orange Flycatcher, and much more. The climate is usually warmer than other forest reserves so the best time to visit is from February to May and from September to October.

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Established as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1973, Wayanad or Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary was brought under the project elephant in 1991-92. It is a rainforest that connects Madumali in Tamilnadu and Bandipur Parks in Karnataka. This moist deciduous forest is second largest Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India, Kerala to experience a variety of trees, plants, and rich flora and fauna. The sight of wild animals is highly exciting for nature lovers and adventure freaks as they make their way via jungle safari. The endless population of birds like owls, cuckoos, peacocks and much more is powerfully exhilarating. Large wild animals like Indian bison, Civet cats, jungle cats, leopards, tigers, and elephants can be located here easily. A jeep safari twice a day will surely allow you to spot various bird species and animals in their natural habitat. The major attraction is the animals coming down to the lake for drinking water. The best time to visit is from June to October.

These Wildlife Sanctuaries in South India fall in the category of the most magnificent and unique wildlife retreat. It is a complete package for nature and adventure lovers. You are bound to bump into some wild animals when you go out for some sightseeing and wildlife adventure for these are dedicated spaces for the wildlife.

Visiting these sanctuaries is also a wonderful way to learn about wildlife, animal species, etc. There are plenty others which are worth paying a visit too, and visiting these wildlife sanctuaries will be equally interesting and adventurous. Check out the various trips from Chennai, Bangalore or send a query to local travel expert. There’s a lot to explore in South India, beaches, hill stations, waterfalls etc. 


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