Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary – Goa

Cotigao wildlife sanctuary is situated in Canacona Taluka, in the south of Goa. It lies at about 10 km from Chaudi, the main town of Cancacona on NH17. Any of the buses running south on NH-17 to Karwar via Chaudi will drop one within 2-km of the gates. To explore the inner reaches of the sanctuary one needs to have their own transport. You can experience jungle off-roading and do take care. In Goa you can easily rent a bike or car at a very nominal rate.

If you want to see a forests with tall trees, rare plants and insects, Cotigao Sanctuary is the place to go. The vegetation is mostly moist-deciduous type, interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen patches. Near to the ticket gate there is a butterfly garden which has about many different types of butterflies. Only downside is they charge about 150 rupees for the visit which is quite high.

The Nature Interpretation Center run by the Forest Department is a valuable repository of knowledge. At present, the Department is capable of providing rudimentary facilities like snake-proof camping sites, canvas tents, reference material and loads of goodwill. For those who really want to rough it out, there is no end of possibilities. If you want to stay overnight you will need a written permission either. It can be obtained from the Deputy Conservator Of Forests in Panaji, as far in advance of one’s visit as possible.

The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, was established in 1969 to protect a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa-Karnataka border. It covers a 86-sq-km of mixed deciduous woodland. The reserve is certain to inspire tree lovers, but less likely to yield many wildlife sightings. The tigers and leopards were hunted out long ago, while the Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Panthers and Hyenas that allegedly lurk in the woods rarely appear.

Visitors however, stand a chance of spotting at least two species of Monkey, a couple of Wild Boar and the odd Gaur. The sanctuary is best visited between the months of October and March. Cotigao is a peaceful and scenic park that makes a pleasant day trip from Palolem beach, 12-km northwest. The wardens at the reserve’s small Interpretative Center will explain how to get to a 25 m-high treetop watchtower. But it might be a little tough to find it on your own. The watchtower overlooks a waterhole that attracts a handful of animals. Although during the day there are hardly any sightings thus visit it early morning. Also keep in mind that there will be no mobile network inside the sanctuary.



Sabyasachi Written by:


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