When you think Goa, you think beaches, the ocean, beach parties and seafood. This time around, it’s time to change that and think more on the lines of wildlife, natural reserves, jungles and the wilderness. With the World Wildlife day upon us, it's time to get away from the sunny beaches and pay a visit to the shrouded mysteries of the jungles and forest reserves in and near Goa.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

For the lovers of our feathered friends, this bird sanctuary is a must visit. It adds to the already vibrant aura of Goa in the form of rare, colourful birds that can only be seen around this time of the year. Each of the birds are unique in their own way and you have to tread lightly so as not to catch one of them by surprise. The place is a blessing for avifauna enthusiasts and photographers alike, all because many of the species found here are migratory birds.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located at the western tip of the Chorao Island along Mandovi River

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

Stemming along a tributary of the Zuari river, the sanctuary is home to a large species of amphibians and several freshwater fish species. Apart from the spectacular array of wildlife, it also has some of the most enchanting forest coverage one can find. With moist deciduous woods fused beautifully together with semi-evergreen and evergreen patches, the view is a thing of beauty.

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Sanguem Taluka of Eastern Goa

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is perhaps the only sanctuary that perfectly encapsulates the delicate ecosystem of the Western Ghats. It stays true to the region and is home to species of almost all animals that reside on this side of the Ghats. The main attraction of the sanctuary comes in the form of the diversity in its nature. From cobras to butterflies, from frogs to woodpeckers, Cotigao is a safe haven and an abode for all these species.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Canacona Taluka in South Goa.

Also Read: It’s time to execute that long pending trip to the land of beaches with this guide for North Goa!

Mhadei National Park

Well known for its efforts to keep the Royal Bengal tiger alive and kicking, this national park is also home to some massive and magnificent waterfalls of the Chorla Ghats. Apart from being haitual to Bengal tigers, Mhadei is also recognized for hosting animal species such as the Indian Gaur, Barking Deer, Ruddy Mongoose and Asian Palm Civet. Leopards, Sloth Bears, Black Panther, Dholes also reside here but are a very rare sight, so keep your eyes wide open for these.

Mhadei National Park is located at the Sattari Tukla near Valpoi in Goa.

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

The smallest wildlife sanctuary in Goa just happens to be the embodiment of what a wildlife sanctuary should be. Its got a view of the ghats, a variety of animal species and often manages to attract thousands of nature enthusiasts from around the globe. This can largely be owed to the fact that along with woodpeckers and hornbills, it is also home to over a hundred species of birds. The best part about Bondla is that it tops off the nature experience with a botanical garden as well, making it a hit with younger children and families.

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Pondala region of Goa.

World Wildlife Day is celebrated on March 03 and this is the perfect time to celebrate the day with nature. We hope that this list gives you an idea of the best biomes that you can pay a visit to in Goa over a weekend.

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