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.
[su_highlight background=”#1c58eb” color=”#fafcfc”]How to Reach[/su_highlight]
From Dabolim Airport it is around 50 kms. From the airport you have to take taxi or bus to reach the sanctuary. Margao (36 kms) is the nearest railhead, which has trains from important places of the country. From Margao, a taxi will take you to Bondla vis Ponda, Tiska, Usgao and Gajnem. Panaji is 52 kms away, taxis and buses are available for Bondla. To reach the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary follows the same routes as for Mollem, but turn off NH 4 A at Tiska.
[su_highlight background=”#1c58eb” color=”#fafcfc”]Important:[/su_highlight]
Timings of Senctuary is from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Thursday closed (Garden and Zoo) The Entry Fee for Adult & Child is chargeable as well as for camera and vehicle
[su_highlight background=”#1c58eb” color=”#fafcfc”]Nearby Attractions[/su_highlight]
Safa Shahouri Masjid (Mosque) : Before reaching Bondla, step in Safa Shahouri Masjid in Ponda. Built by Adil Shah in 1560, the original mosque was destroyed in the hand of Portuguese and a new one was built up again in its place.
[su_highlight background=”#1c58eb” color=”#fafcfc”]Where to Stay[/su_highlight]
For accommodation, the Forest Department offers 8 double-bedded cottages and 2 dormitories which you have to book through the Bondla Range Forest Office or the main Forest Office in Panaji.