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About Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Experience all the sights and sounds of the lush forests of Dandeli with a wildlife safari. Travel by jeep with experienced guides who will take you on the adventure of a lifetime, and delve deep into the natural habitat of wild animals, exotic birds and unusual reptiles.

Travel through beautiful wooded trails and appreciate the rich diversity of plant and animal life as the colours, scents and textures of this extraordinary landscape unfold before you.

If there were a ‘Who’s Who’ of exotic creatures then the inhabitants of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary would fill it! Elephants, wild pigs, tigers, rare black panthers, wild dogs, monkeys, deer and mongoose are just some of the fascinating mammals you can see while you are there.

Some of the more unusual mammals to look out for in the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Sloth Bears are pretty odd looking creatures, they have no upper incisor teeth but have a very long tongue and they just love termites - love eating them, that is! The long tongue and lack of upper incisors help them to suck as many termites into their mouths as possible.

They have feet which turn inwards and long claws which they use to dig at termite hills. They also eat other insects, birds’ eggs and honey, and they have been spotted shaking trees and climbing them to get fruit.

Barking Deer live quietly in the sanctuary, you would hardly know they are there, apart from their call which sounds like a dog. If you are rowing down the Kali river and think you hear a dog barking - think again! Barking deer are solitary and timid, more usually spotted alone or in a pair than in a group. Be patient (and quiet) if you want to photograph one.

The Indian Pangolin is an amazing ant-eating creature, with overlapping scales which make it look like a Medieval knight in armour! These unusual scales are made up of hundreds of tiny hairs compressed together.

Like the Sloth Bear, the Pangolin likes to snack on termites and ants and has long claws which it uses to dig them up. When it comes to defending itself from tigers and other predators, the Pangolin curls up into a ball, letting it’s scales protect it.

The Malabar Giant Squirrel or Ratufa Indica is roughly the size of a small dog, with it’s tail about the same length as it’s body. It is very shy and, if it senses danger, it will flatten itself on a tree branch and blend in with the foliage. Although predominantly black, colouring can range through mixed red to black and off-white. Keep still and train your eyes on the nearest tree to spot one of these creatures.

Local Flora and Fauna and why Dandeli is a bird spotter’s paradise

The forest here is awash with colour, a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees including bamboo and teak plantations. The many fruit bearing trees provide food for the 196 species of birds in the area, and many of the plants are revered for their healing and medicinal properties. For example, the leaves of the Kydia Clycina are used to relieve muscular aches and pains.

Some of the birds which inhabit the area are the Great Pied Hornbill, Blue-Throated Barbet, Peregrine falcon and the curious-looking Malabar Pied Hornbill. This bird is quite large and has a yellow beak with a hard, helmet-like bump on top, called a ‘casque’.

There are over 200 species of birds in and around Dandeli, including:

1) Grey Jungle fowl
2) Indian Peafowl
3) Bar Headed Geese
4) Rufous Woodpecker
5) White Bellied Woodpecker
6) Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker
7) Yellow Crowned Woodpecker
8) Heart Spotted Woodpecker
9) Black Rumped Flameback
10) Greater Falmeback
11) Brown Headed Barbet
12) White Cheeked Barbet
13) Coppersmith Barbet
14) Malabar Grey Hornbill
15) Malabar Pied Hornbill
16) Great Hornbill
17) Malabar Trogon
18) Indian Roller
19) Common Kingfisher
20) White Throated Kingfisher
21) Blue Bearded Bee-eater
22) Green bee-eater
23) Blue Tailed Bee-eater
24) Chestnut Headed Bee-eater
25) Eurasian Cuckoo
26) Greater Coucal
27) Vernal Hanging Parrot
28) Plum Headed Parakeet
29) Malabar Parakeet
30) House Swift
31) Crested Tree Swift
32) Collard Scops Owl – heard
33) Brown Wood Owl – heard
34) Indian Nightjar
35) Blue Rock Pigeon
36) Mountain Imperial Pigeon
37) Spotted Dove
38) Emerald Dove
39) Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
40) Green Sandpiper
41) Common Sandpiper
42) Red Wattled Lapwing
43) Brahminy Kite
44) Grey Headed Fish Eagle
45) Crested Serpent Eagle
46) Black Eagle
47) Shikra
48) Oriental Honey Buzzard
49) Changeable Hawk Eagle
50) Little Cormorant
51) Indian Cormorant
52) Little Egret
53) Great Egret
54) Intermediate Egret
55) Cattle Egret
56) Indian Pond Heron
57) Grey Heron
58) Wooly Necked Stork
59) Asian Fairy Blue Bird
60) Golden Fronted Leafbird
61) Brown Shrike
62) Long Tailed Shrike
63) Pied Flycatcher Shrike
64) Rufous Treepie
65) House Crow
66) Large billed Crow
67) Ashy Wood Swallow
68) Eurasian Golden Oriole
69) Black Hooded Oriole
70) Large Cuckoo Shrike
71) Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike
72) Small Minivet
73) Scarlet MInivet
74) Black Drongo
75) Ashy Drongo
76) White Bellied Drongo
77) Bronzed Drongo
78) Spangled Drongo
79) Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
80) Black Naped Monarch
81) Asian Paradise Flycatcher
82) Common Iora
83) Large Woodshrike
84) Common Woodshrike
85) Blue Capped Rock Thrush
86) Malabar Whistling Thrush
87) Asian Brown Flycatcher
88) Red Throated Flycatcher - heard
89) White Bellied Blue Flycatcher
90) Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
91) Verditer Flycatcher
92) Oriental Magpie Robin
93) White Rumped Shama
94) Pied Bushchat
95) Chestnust Tailed Starling
96) Common Myna
97) Jungle Myna
98) Chestnust Bellied Nuthatch
99) Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
100) Great Tit
101) Black Lored Tit
102) Wire Tailed Swallow
103) Red Rumped Swallow
104) Yellow Browed Bulbul
105) Black Bulbul – heard
106) Grey Breasted Prinia
107) Oriental White Eye
108) Common Tailor Bird
109) Booted Leaf Warbler
110) Greenish Warbler
111) Dark Fronted Babbler
112) Jungle Babbler
113) Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
114) Thick Billed Flowerpecker
115) Chestnut Shouldered Petronia
116) Tickell’s Flowerpecker
117) Purple Rumped Sunbird
118) Crimson Backed Sunbird
119) Purple Sunbird
120) Little Spiderhunter
121) House Sparrow
122) Forest Wagtail
123) Grey Wagtail
124) White Browed Wagtail
125) White Rumped Munia
126) Black Throated Munia
127) Scaly Breasted Munia

During August and September, Malabar Pied Hornbills flock to the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary in large numbers to feast on the fruit trees. They create quite a show - not to be missed..!

More about Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

The sanctuary covers part of the rich forests of the Uttara Kannada District, on the banks of the river Kali. In the jungles of Dandeli, one can spot several animals as well as birds including many endangered species – provided the reasonable ground for the government to declare the Dandeli forest, a National Wildlife Sanctuary in 1956.

The sanctuary now covers an area of 834.16 square kilometres. This sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka.Along with its adjoining Anshi National Park, Dandeli is an abode of 40 tigers. All credit goes to the government announced Project Tiger that has helped increase the tiger-count to 40 from just 13 in 1997.

It’s not just tigers, the sanctuary is a natural home to leopards, black panthers, elephants, deer, beer, antelopes, reptiles and more than 300 bird-species as well. Meandering tributaries of river Kali – Kaneri and Nagajhari, when criss-cross the jungle, leave the spectators spellbound.

Altitude varies from 100m to 970m, the highest point is the Hegada Temba. Annual rainfall varies between 1250mm and 5000mm, averaging at 2500mm per year. There is easy access by road and rail, and convenient bus services.

The best time to enjoy the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is between March and October and the centre is open between 6am and 6pm.

There are so many attractions and opportunities on offer at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, whether you choose action and adventure with white water rafting or slow the pace down with peaceful birdwatching and wildlife photography. You’ll be spoilt for choice..!

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