In reality there is no full-fledged wildlife sanctuary in Goa. Bondla is rather a Zoo located in the Ponda Taluka, the north eastern region of Goa. The lush green and strikingly beautiful foothills shelter this smallest wild life reserve of Goa. The total area of the park is 8 km2. Though they have maintained few rare spices in the Bondla but trip is very small unless you are nature lover and photographer, you can take a round of jungle around and catch some of the rare species of the birds in your camera; it needs lots of patience and concentration. The forests of this sanctuary consists of deciduous forests, evergreen vegetation patches, bamboo plantations along with other trees like Terninalia Crenulata (Matti), Rosewood, Largerstroemia, Kindall, Jamba, Mimisops, etc.
Initially, it was established as a zoo to protect the injured and orphaned animals. But today, it provides shelter not only to the leopards, bears and cobras but also to other animals including the Sambhar Deer, Indian Bison, Malabar Giant Squirrel and many species of snakes. It is also a treat for keen bird watchers and butterfly spotters.
Bondla wildlife sanctuary is situated in the Ponda taluka in the North Goa. The sanctuary is well-maintained with ample space for all the species that are housed. You’ll get to see tigers, deer, cheetahs, sloth bear, porcupines, wild boars, deer, snake species and crocs. In the crocodile enclosure, watch the crocodiles as they clamber themselves out of the water and rest over the rocks in the sun. In addition to wildlife viewing Bondla is good for bird-watching too. You can spot a variety of birds that include Brown fish owl, Ruby throated yellow bulbul, Indian scimitar babbler and Oriental dwarf kingfisher. Apart from the animals, the scenery is great, big trees, a nice lake, and a feel of the forest. There is a spice farm very close to the bondla sanctuary. You might want to visit this before the sanctuary since it closes at 4 and the sanctuary is open until 5pm. Vegetation of Bondla mainly comprises deciduous forests interspersed with evergreen forests. Take a walk through the spacious green lawns of the well-maintained Botanical and rose gardens and admire a variety of plants.
The smallest of the Goan Wildlife Sanctuaries, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over an area of 8 sq. Kms and is located 3000 ft. above on the lush foothills of the Western Ghats. A nature lovers’ paradise. Bondla will tempt you with its lush forest, botanical garden, rose garden, fenced deer park, mini zoo and elephant rides. Rangado river flows on the east and Mandovi river is on the north of the forest. Gaur the state animal is frequently seen. The Panther is the largest carnivora and the Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Toddy Cat are others. Herbivorous consist of Deers (Sambar, Spotted, Hog, Barking and Mouse) Wild Boar, Porcupines Scaly Ant Eater, and Malabar Giant Squirrel. The diminutive Flying lizard (Draco) is fairly common.
You get to see there Zoological Park, Botanical Gardens, Nature Education Centre, Birdlife, Wild Animals, Nature Trails, Archeological exhibit. This sanctuary has been developed with a view to accommodate day as well as overnight visitors. It has furnished ecotourism cottages, that can accommodate 24 persons, and has 2 dormitories with a total of 48 beds. A spacious restaurant “The Den” adequately caters to the food requirement of the visitor.
It is connected to Ponda as well as Molem by a good tar-road. Late evenings and nights are very pleasant. Bondla is a Paradise for Eco-Tourists.