Uncommon and endangered species of both flora and fauna can be found in Kerala's second-largest wildlife sanctuary, Wayanad. It is encircled by the protected areas of Bandipur and Nagarhole in Karnataka and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu. The wildlife sanctuary was established in 1973 and is a crucial component of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India's first 14 biospheres. The sanctuary is divided into Upper Wayanad and Lower Wayanad, with a total area of 345 square kilometers. Bamboo and eucalyptus trees are both growing there. The Wayanad Wildlife Division takes care of the sanctuary with its headquarters at Sultan Bathery. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala offers a lot to explore for those who seek some adventure in their lives.
Jeep safari in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
The two-hour jeep safari offered by the forest department in the jungle's tourist zone is Wayanad's standout ecotourism activity. You can face the wild with a driver and an experienced guide. As the jeep rattles down the forest trail, occasionally displaying breathtaking sights, you would not realize how quickly time passes. Elephant and gaur herds are familiar sights along the route, but seeing a large cat is a real treat. Jeep safaris are run in the early morning and late at night when there is a fair amount of wildlife activity in the tourist area.
Jeep safari cost and timings
Timings- 07.00 AM to 10.00 AM (40 Jeeps are allowed) | 03.00 PM to 05.00 PM (20 Jeeps are allowed)
Fee- 100 Guide fee
300 for Jeep Safari
Flora and Fauna in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
You will get a beautiful view of the diverse flora and fauna as you cross the roads to Muthanga and Tholpetty. The plantations along the roadside are all lush and green, with bamboo trees, prickly ginger bushes, and other lovely trees and bushes growing there. Another remarkable feature you'll see along the trip is paddy fields.
Most of the sanctuary area is covered in moist deciduous forests, but there are a few small sections of evergreen forests. The sanctuary's bamboo groves and deciduous forests are among its main draws. Plantations of teak, rosewood, silver oak, and eucalyptus cover one-third of the sanctuary. The sanctuary also includes marshy areas.
- Terminatia chebula
- Kydia calycina
- Anogeissus latifolia
- Osteospermum colias
- Dalbergia latifolia
There are also numerous bushes and creepers in the area. In the forests of Wayanad, one can see woody climbers like Entada scandens and Calycopteries floribunda.
Elephant herds and deer herds can be seen crossing roads and through woodlands in the sanctuary, among other wildlife. In addition, the cat family members, including tigers and panthers, are in the area. Visitors to the sanctuary may also see langurs, bonnet macaques, monkeys, sambar, bison, and bears. The slender loris is part of the abundant wildlife in the woodland.
The sanctuary is home to monitor lizards, pit vipers, coral, golden trees, and green whip snakes, among others. Crocodiles, a type of gecko called the termite hill gecko
- Flying lizards
- Flapshell turtles
The sanctuary is home to 216 bird species, including peacocks, babblers, owls, black woodpeckers, cuckoos, and jungle fowls. In addition, the region is home to over 30 species of amphibians, including the bronze frog, Malabar gliding frog, elegant microhylid, red microhylid, ornate microhylid, and Ceylon kaliula.
The rivers that intersect the sanctuary are home to a wide variety of fish, including giant danio, Wayanad mystus, Malabar catopra, korhi barb, snakeheads, and Ariza labeo.
History of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
In 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was founded. Pazhassi Raja had resided in these jungles while he was a rebel against the British. Because the sanctuary was a part of Project Elephant, you will see several herds of elephants roaming freely through the national parks and neighboring states as you travel along the route. Visitors are only permitted to stay in the outer zone because only wardens and researchers have access to the inner zone, which is 25 kilometers wide. Wildlife can be seen in nearby areas, and the sanctuary is home to various plants and animals.
A tiger was shot and killed in 2012 by the Kerala Forest Department in the coffee plantations of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The local political elites gave this killing high acclaim. However, after reports and concerns over the tiger stealing and murdering domestic animals, Kerala's chief wildlife warden plans to carry out the hunt.
Best time to visit Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Karottimala, the nature sanctuary's tallest peak, rises 3800 feet above sea level and is the highest point. Other summits are also located between 2100 and 2600 feet in elevation. The winter months (October to February) are perfect for visiting the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary since the landscape provides a temperate climate with moderate temperatures ranging from 11°C to 25°C. However, there is a lot of rain between June and August, making the area unsuitable for travel.
How to Reach Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
All forms of transportation are excellently connected to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Numerous express and luxury bus services connect the sanctuary to Kerala's major cities, towns, and neighboring states. At a distance of 98 kilometers from Calicut, 216 km from Kasargod, 502 km from Trivandrum, and 286 km from Cochin. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is also reachable by private taxis.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
- Seetha Devi Temple
- Kuruva Island
- Valmeekam Tribal Museum
- Begur Reserve Forest
- Thrissilery Shiva Temple
- Muneeswaran Kunnu Viewpoint
- Muneeswaran Temple