Top Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala

There are more than 500 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India, each of which is replete with a huge variety of flora and fauna. If you happen to be nature and wildlife enthusiast, no other destination can beat the diversity of God’s Own Country, Kerala. Widely known for its sun-kissed beaches, rejuvenating Ayurveda and languid backwaters, Kerala is also home to numerous Wildlife Sanctuaries where various endangered species like the lion-tailed macaque, Indian elephant, Bengal tiger and different types of birds and plants are preserved.

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Best 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries

Since Kerala houses innumerable Wildlife Sanctuaries, it becomes really difficult for tourists to choose which ones are worth visiting. Therefore, we have enlisted the best 10 of them for your help. Here, you will also get information including the best time to visit and what all animals can be spotted in that particular sanctuary.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Also recognized as the “Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary”, this sanctuary takes shelter in the hills of the Western Ghats and is spread over an area of approximately 777 sq km. It is also the biggest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Covering an area of almost 26 sq km, Periyar Lake is nestled at the heart of the sanctuary. In this sanctuary, one can come across around 171 grass species, 143 species of orchids, 35 species of mammals, 265 species of birds, 1800 species of flowering plants and many more.

Animals found here

  • Malabar Giant Squirrel
  • Lion-tailed Macaque
  • Flying Squirrel
  • Wild Boars
  • Barking Deers

Activities to be tried

  • Elephant riding
  • Trekking
  • Boating
  • Jeep safari

Best time to visi

  • November to April

Begur Wildlife Sanctuary

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Situated in the plateau region of the Western Ghats, this sanctuary houses a wide variety of fauna. The scenic surroundings and pleasant climate together make it a perfect spot for tourists to explore. One can also spot many types of birds and trees here.

Animals found here

  • Peafowl
  • Black bulbul
  • Panther
  • Wild boar
  • Bison

Activities to be tried

  • Jungle walk
  • Trekking
  • Jeep safari

Best time to visit

  • December to May

✔️ Also Read:- Must visit places to spot Tigers in India

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

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Located in the Chittur Taluk of Palakkad district and covering an area of 285 sq km, this sanctuary consists of three dams- Parambikulam, Thunakadavu, and Peruvaripallam. Here, tourists can catch a glimpse of 16 species of amphibians, 61 species of reptiles, 124 types of butterflies, 39 species of mammals, 268 varieties of birds and many more. The sanctuary also shelters 4 indigenous tribes that have made their colonies inside the sanctuary premises.

Animals found here

  • King cobra
  • Roller
  • Stork
  • Great pied hornbill
  • Pit viper

Activities to be tried

  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Jungle safari

Best time to visit

  • November to April

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Positioned on the State Highway 17 in Idukki district, this sanctuary is different from all others due to its thorny scrub forest. Covering an area of about 90 sq km, it is also famous for waterfalls and sandalwood forests. It is the abode to several varieties of flora and fauna.

Animals found here

  • Giant grizzled squirrel
  • Turtle
  • Gaur
  • Cormorant
  • Mugger crocodile

Activities to be tried

  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Nature walk
  • Hunter jeep ride
  • Elephant ride

Best time to visit

  • December to April

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

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Occupying an area of 77 sq km, this sanctuary is set between 2 rivers- Cheruthoni and Periyar. Enclosing a thick cover of evergreen forests, it is blessed with picturesque surroundings and harbors a wide range of wildlife.

Animals found here

  • Jungle cat
  • Wild dog
  • Tiger
  • Sambhar
  • Krait

Activities to be tried

  • Boat ride
  • Trekking

Best time to visit

  • December to April
✔️ Also Read:- Wildlife Sanctuaries of India

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

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This wildlife sanctuary is an extension of the Bandipur National Park and forms a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere. Encompassing over an area of 344 sq km, it is home to several varieties of animals and also comprises of thick deciduous forests. Tribal groups such as the Paniyas, the Kurama, the Kurichyas, the Ooralis, and the Adiyars are sheltered in this sanctuary.

Animals found here

  • Civet
  • Leopard
  • Bear
  • Jungle fowl
  • Tiger

Activities to be tried

  • Elephant ride
  • Jeep safari

Best time to visit

  • June to October

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

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Preserving a wide variety of flora and fauna, this sanctuary is nestled in the northernmost part of Kerala. Established in 1984, this sanctuary is spread across an area of 55 sq km. The hill ranges of elevation between 50 to 1145 m make this sanctuary one-of-its-kind in Kerala.

Animals found here

  • Leopard
  • Jungle cat
  • Squirrel
  • Mouse deer
  • Tiger

Activities to be tried

  • Jungle walk
  • Wildlife safari
  • Trekking
  • Nature camping

Best time to visit

  • June to October

Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

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Blessed with various types of forest cover- evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous, this sanctuary contains a dam set on the River Chimmini. Located in the Western Ghats, it covers an area of approximately 87 sq km. visiting this sanctuary can be a dream-come-true situation for an avid wildlife photographer. The sanctuary shelters around 25 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, 31 species of fish, 39 species of mammals and 160 species of birds.

Animals found here

  • Grey-headed bulbul
  • White-bellied flycatcher
  • Fish eagle
  • Malabar trogon
  • Nilgiri Langur

Activities to be tried

  • Bamboo Rafting
  • Trekking
  • Wild Safari
  • Camping

Best time to visit

  • October to March

Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary

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Constructed in 1958 and covering an area of 125 sq km, this sanctuary is the second oldest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Positioned in the Thrissur district of Kerala, it is the abode to almost 25 species of mammals and several bird species as well. The distinct feature of this sanctuary is that it is fenced by reservoirs formed by two dams- Peechi and Vaazhaani.

Animals found here

  • Asian elephant
  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Spotted deer
  • Indian bison

Activities to be tried

  • Nature walk
  • Jungle safari
  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Boat ride

Best time to visit

  • October to March

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Residing at a distance of 32 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the sanctuary is built at the Southeast side of the Western Ghats and covers an area of 128 sq km. The wildlife sanctuary preserves 176 species of birds, 30 species of reptiles, 40 species of mammals, 17 species of amphibians and 40 species of fish. The sanctuary also lodges an Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, a Deer Rehabilitation Centre and a Crocodile Farm.

Animals found here

  • Sloth bear
  • Sambhar
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Tiger

Activities to be tried

  • Lion safari
  • Tiger safari
  • Trekking
  • Boating

Best time to visit

  • October to March

The mesmerizing wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala not only enable tourists to catch sight of diverse wildlife but also treat them with numerable exciting activities. A tour to these wildlife sanctuaries is surely going to leave you awestruck and will be an unforgettable experience of the lifetime.

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