Considering the fact that the landscape of Kerala is comprised of more than 25% of forest area, the existence of wildlife sanctuaries should come as no big wonder. Kerala has a total number of 13 wildlife sanctuaries. Apart from the wildlife sanctuaries, there are five national parks. These regions are major tourist attractions and have proven to be major crowd pullers all around the year. Through these sanctuaries and national parks, tourists get to spot both abundant and endangered species coexisting together. Owing to the unexplored and unexploited regions of Kerala, wildlife preservation becomes a lot easier.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve and an extension of the Bandipur National Park. Wayanad Sanctuary is home to tigers, elephants, and leopards.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Sanctuary, consists of rare forms of flora and fauna. It also holds tea gardens. The sanctuary also goes by the name of Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary. Boating and trekking are some of the main activities facilitated for tourists here.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the deep regions of Thoduppuzha, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary offers boat rides and trekking for those who seek adventure. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from December to April.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is unique from other sanctuaries in Kerala. This specific region gets only eight weeks of rainfall per year. A watchtower has been constructed for tourists to view wildlife from a vantage point. The best time to spot wildlife is during the early hours of the day.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Within this sanctuary is three dams and two watchtowers. Teak, neem wood and sandalwood are some of the trees that can be found in abundance here. Owing to the dams, boating is available for tourists.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The reservoir in Neyyar, is home to a lion safari park and a crocodile breeding center. Tourists can spot other types of reptiles like pythons and cobras.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
The Peppara region is a habitat for tigers, panthers, elephants, and wild boars. Eucalyptus plantations form part of thick forest areas. The region was declared as a sanctuary in 1983 due to the ecological significance. The rocky terrain paves the way for trekking activities. Within the sanctuary, there are tribal settlements that remain undisturbed by modern life.
Chenthuruni Wildlife Sanctuary
The midst of this sanctuary, has a river flowing through it. The ideal time to visit Chenthuruni is from March to July.
Peechi – Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
Animals like leopards, sambar deer, wild dogs, barking deer, spotted deer, and bisons can be found in this sanctuary.
Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary
Chimmini Sanctuary shares a small portion with the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. It comprises evergreen and semi-evergreen forests.
Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary
The ideal time to visit Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary is from June to October. Jungle cats like leopards have been spotted in this sanctuary.
Bird Sanctuaries in Kerala
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
The bird sanctuary is located in the city of Kochi. The mangrove vegetation is a breeding ground for many bird species like Little Cormorant and Black-Crowned Night Heron.
Thattekaad Bird Sanctuary
Almost 500 species of exotic birds, can be found in Thattekaad Bird Sanctuary. The landscape is spectacular to look at. The tropical and deciduous forest range has become the perfect natural habitat for several bird species, including Falcon Grey, Black Winged Kite, Sunbird, Night Heron, and Hornbill. Each sanctuary has its own feature and the ideal time to visit. Technically speaking, a tourist can visit these sanctuaries all year long.