Getaways to explore the wilderness

Ideal vacation spots to visit with family and friends, these destinations satiate the hunger of adventurous people who itch to get a glimpse of large animals

By Author  |  Manjunath Gowda  |  Published: 3rd Mar 2019  12:34 amUpdated: 2nd Mar 2019  9:06 pm

With its swanky malls, multiplexes, and restaurants, Hyderabad is a very exciting city to live in. While the conveniences of modern life are welcome to most living in Hyderabad, others are also in their element when they’re close to nature. Wildlife offers the best excuse to leave the hustle of big city life behind and spend it watching the colourful antics of animals.

Everyone with experience observing wildlife will testify there’s never a dull moment watching big cats, elephants, birds, and such destinations aren’t too distant from Hyderabad. Check out a few good places, mentioned below, to observe wildlife near Hyderabad and the animals likely to be seen there. However, using WildTrails App, you can find all nearby wildlife sanctuaries around you to explore.

Tadoba Andhari National Park and Tiger Reserve

The Tadoba Andhari National Park and Tiger Reserve is 443 km from Hyderabad and is the perfect place to visit if one loves tigers. It is within driving distance from the city, is the largest and oldest national park in Maharashtra, and is counted among the 47 Project Tiger reserves in India. Tadoba Andhari National Park is located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra and its area, including the tiger reserve, is 1,727 square kilometres. It is open to visitors from October 15 to June 30, except on Tuesdays. Teak grows in this park and a few lakes are found here as well. Visitors to the park can enjoy a Tiger Safari seated inside a Maruti Gypsy.

Nagzira Tiger Reserve

Located 614 km from Hyderabad, what makes this reserve so exciting is that leopard sightings are nearly assured to visitors. Covering an area of 152 square kilometres, it is a small wildlife sanctuary. Nagzira Tiger Reserve is located in the northeast corner of Maharashtra in Bhandara district. It has rocky terrain and is covered with teak trees. At the centre of the Reserve is the Nagzira lake, a birding hotspot and animals such as deer, hyenas, jackals, tigers, and, of course, leopards can be spotted here.

Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated around 608 km from Hyderabad, this 180-square kilometre sanctuary is home to tigers, blackbucks, sloth bears, small Indian civet cats, wild dogs, leopards, wolves, Indian foxes, ratels, and jungle cats. Other large animals seen here are gaur, blue bulls, sambar deer, barking deer, spotted deer, peacocks, and wild boars. Those who enjoy birding are assured a good time because more than 180 species of birds are found here. A number of reptiles, including the Indian cobra, rat snake, Indian rock python, Russel’s viper, common monitor lizard, and checkered keelback, are common here.

Pench Tiger Reserve

Located in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara, it is 600 km from Hyderabad. Author Rudyard Kipling mentioned this reserve as the setting of his famous children’s book titled The Jungle Book. Covering an area of 758 square kilometres, this reserve is quite large and visitors can spot the Royal Bengal tiger, jackals, peafowl, sloth bear, wild boar, wild dog, striped hyena, foxes, Indian leopard, monkeys, gaur, Indian wolf, four-horned antelope, and barking deer.

Gudekote Bear Sanctuary

This bear sanctuary is a mere 439 km from Hyderabad and is spread across 40 square kilometres. It was designated as a sloth bear sanctuary by the Government of Karnataka in 2013. The terrain in this sanctuary is rocky and within the sanctuary grows thorn scrub and dry deciduous forests. Nearly 50 to 60 bears roam free here making a bear sighting almost certain. In addition to bears, animals such as jackals, porcupines, leopards, wild boars, and civets can be spotted here.

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary

Sloth bears are commonplace at Daroji bear sanctuary. This sanctuary is a drivable 375 km from Hyderabad. It is located in Ballari District in Karnataka. Visitors to the sanctuary have a great chance of spotting sloth bears. In addition to sloth bears, visitors can also expect to see wild boars, mongoose, leopards, jackals, black-naped hares, and many other animals. The terrain inside the sanctuary is rough but visitors can climb atop watchtowers located in areas sloth bears frequent to get a good view of bears.

Great Indian Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary

The Great Indian Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary is located 338 km from Hyderabad. A visit to this sanctuary is most enjoyable during the rainy season or close of winter. Many species of the Bustard family are common here. Visitors to the sanctuary can spot black and grey Francolin, the spotted and Indian sandgrouse, larks, quails, coursers, shrikes, and plovers. A few lucky visitors may spot Stolicska’s Bushchat and white-naped tit. During winters, more adventurous visitors will be rewarded by walking towards the coastal area of Jakhau because they’ll likely spot large flocks of flamingoes, herons, egrets, sandpipers, and other birds.

The writer is CEO of WildTrails.