Kerala, located in the southwestern part of India, is known for its stunning landscapes and incredible biodiversity. The state is home to a plethora of forests and wildlife sanctuaries, which offer a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. From dense jungles to serene backwaters, Kerala has it all. In this article, we will explore Kerala’s top 18 forests and wildlife sanctuaries, providing a nature lover’s guide to the best spots to visit in the state.
Highlights and Attractions
– Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Famous for its tiger reserve and elephant herds.
– Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Home to rare species like tigers, elephants, and leopards.
– Silent Valley National Park: Known for its untouched rainforests and diverse flora and fauna.
– Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary: Offers exciting wildlife safaris and bird watching opportunities.
– Eravikulam National Park: Home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and stunning landscapes.
– Thattekad Bird Sanctury: A paradise for bird watchers with over 300 species of birds.
– Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Known for its unique thorny scrub forests and wildlife.
– Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Offers boat cruises, trekking, and wildlife spotting experiences.
– Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary: Famous for its abundance of elephants and wildlife.
– Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary: Offers jeep safaris to spot elephants, tigers, and various bird species.
These are just a few of the many enchanting forests and wildlife sanctuaries that Kerala has to offer.
How to Reach and Things to Be Taken Care
– The nearest airport to most of these wildlife sanctuaries is the Cochin International Airport.
– Hiring a local guide is recommended for a better understanding of the flora, fauna, and safety precautions.
– It is essential to follow the rules and regulations imposed by the forest authorities.
Where to Stay and Food Specialities Nearby
– Depending on the location, there are various accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly stays.
– Local cuisines like Malabar biryani, appam with stew, and seafood delicacies are must-try dishes.
Best Time to Visit
– The best time to visit the forests and wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala is during the winter months (October to February) when the weather is pleasant.
Language and Communication Tips
– English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but learning a few basic Malayalam phrases can enhance the overall experience.
Cultural Customs and Etiquette Guidance
– Respect the local customs and traditions, such as removing shoes before entering temples or religious places.
– Dress modestly while visiting wildlife sanctuaries and avoid bright-colored clothes.
Must-Visit Destinations and Attractions Nearby
– Athirapally Waterfalls: It is one of the largest waterfalls in India and is located near the Sholayar forest range.
– Periyar Lake: The picturesque lake is located within the Periyar Tiger Reserve and offers boat rides to spot wildlife.
– Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Situated along the banks of Vembanad Lake, it is a paradise for bird watchers.
Food and Dining Recommendations
– Try the traditional Kerala sadhya, a sumptuous vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf.
– Seafood lovers must indulge in the famous Kerala fish curry and karimeen pollichathu (pearl spot fish).
Safety Precautions and Emergency Measures
– Follow the instructions of local guides and authorities during wildlife safaris to ensure your safety.
– Carry mosquito repellent and dress appropriately to avoid insect bites.
Many travelers have spoken highly of their experiences in Kerala’s forests and wildlife sanctuaries. Some have shared memorable moments of spotting herds of elephants in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, while others have marveled at the diversity of bird species in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. The breathtaking landscapes and close encounters with wildlife have left visitors in awe.
Packing and Travel Essentials
– Light and breathable clothing
– Comfortable walking shoes
– Sunscreen and insect repellent
– Binoculars for wildlife spotting
– Camera to capture the stunning surroundings
Kerala’s forests and wildlife sanctuaries offer a perfect getaway for nature lovers. From majestic elephants to rare bird species, the state is a treasure trove of biodiversity. With proper planning and guidance, exploring these natural wonders can be an unforgettable experience.
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