Not all individuals think much about our mother nature the same way Anil Malhotra and his wife Pamela Malhotra did. The duo has dedicated their entire lives to preserving nature and establishing the natural habitat for animals and birds. With their joint efforts and hoards of struggle, the couples have successfully set up the 300 acres of India's only private wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats of southern India. We are talking about SAI Sanctuary Trust - often called Save Animal Initiative.
Save the Animals Initiative (Sai Sanctuary) is India's first and only private wildlife sanctuary. It is located in Karnataka's Kodagu district. The United Nations designated Sai Sanctuary the hotspot of biodiversity. It was settled by Pamela and her husband Anil Malhotra after they came to visit India in 1986. It was a wonderful initiative by the couple to make a natural habitat for animals to live in. The wildlife and nature conservation loving couples bought 55 acres of land in 1991, and today, they are responsible for creating over 300 acres of a wildlife sanctuary that houses wild creatures like Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Marten, Wild Boar, Sambar, Leopards, different types of monkeys, deers, etc.
In the middle of this private wildlife sanctuary, there is one river that houses several aquatic species like fish, snakes, etc. The Sai Sanctuary also houses 305 species (approx.) of birds like Paradise Flycatcher, Hornbill. Inside India's first and only private wildlife sanctuary, Pamela Gale Malhotra and Anil Malhotra installed several cameras to keep the check on new animals and poachers.
Here is details about Sai Sanctuary in Coorg
- Location: Kodagu District, Karnataka
- Main Wildlife Attractions: Royal Bengal Tigers, Foxes, Asian Elephants, Civet Cats, and various types of monkeys and deers
- Coverage Area: 300 acres
- Established: 1991
- Best Time to Visit: October-January, February-May
- Timings: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
How to Reach Sai Sanctuary?
By air: Reaching Sai Sanctuary in the Kodagu district of Karnataka is not at all hassle. There are two international airports to reach the SAI Sanctuary. The nearest airport name is Mangalore International Airport, 184 km (approx.) from Kodagu district. While the other one is Bangalore International Airport, which is 319 km (approx.) from Sai Sanctuary.
By train: If you think airfare would be quite expensive for you, take advantage of well-connected trains and arrive at Mangalore Central Railway Station. It is one of the busiest railheads in South India and has good train connectivity with prime Indian towns. The average distance between Sai Sanctuary and Mangalore Central Railway Station is 180 km (approx.).
By road: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses run regularly from the nearby towns like Coorg, Mysore, Bangalore, etc. One can opt for the state buses for affordable transportation if you live in and around the Kodagu district.
Types of Safaris in Sai Sanctuary
No vehicle safari options are available in Sai Sanctuary despite its big size. Only walking safari options are available. The couples who are also the guides have in-depth knowledge about the sanctuary and its safe areas. Foot safari in Sai Sanctuary offers tourists unforgettable encounters with creatures both great and small. From stalking a herd of Civet Cats to discovering the Royal Bengal Tigers, these experiences become far more meaningful when you explore India's first and only private wildlife sanctuary on your feet.
Note: You will be guided by the duo (Pamela and Anil) about the do's and don'ts before you set off to ensure a safe and rewarding walk amidst nature.
Things to Do in Sai Sanctuary
- Photography opportunities
- Wildlife Safari on Foot
- Stay at the Eco Tourist Cottages
Where to Stay During a Sai Sanctuary Expedition?
There are 2 eco-tourism cottages inside Sai Sanctuary, which are located within the sanctuary grounds. The cottages are equipped with two bedrooms with attached bathrooms. Let your senses drink in the purity and beauty of nature during your stay. Upto 16 guests can be accommodated in 2 cottages. There is a staircase with 4 rooms in 2 cottages leading to the cottage roof where practicing meditation and yoga will rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Did we mention the cottage is equipped with a hot water supply by eco-friendly solar heating panels?
What is the Price for Cottage Stay inside Sai Sanctuary?
Tourists can enjoy their stay in the eco-tourism cottages inside Sai Sanctuary for just INR 2950 (approx.) per person for one night. The staycation price is inclusive with 3 times nutritious vegetarian meals, guided treks.
Do's and Don'ts of Visiting Sai Sanctuary
- Be a responsible tourist and support the ecosystem
- Keep your cameras ready
- Go on a guided walk/trek (Mandatory)
- Do not disturb the flora and fauna
- Put trash in litter bins
- Hunting and poaching is a serious offense
- Consumption of alcohol and smoking is prohibited
- Leave only footprints, not scars
- Carry sunglasses, binoculars, and walking sticks
Note: Minimum age for children is 14 years. However, it could be taken into consideration depending upon various factors. Make sure you remain transparent during your booking.
Timings may slightly differ in accordance with the mentioned duration. Ask the actual foot safari timings in Sai Sai Sanctuary during your booking. Also, you need to showcase your valid Identification proof to enjoy the safari opportunity inside India's first and only private wildlife sanctuary.