Kerala Wildlife Safari Tours.

Imagine yourself in the midst of lush green forests, the air fresh and filled with the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves. Close by, you might catch a fleeting glimpse of a elusive tiger or an elephant lazily moving through the trees. This is the essence a wildlife safari tour in Kerala—an adventure that transports you to the heart of untouched nature. In this blog post, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about Kerala’s wildlife safari tours, offering a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your adventure in the wild.

Why Choose Kerala for a Wildlife Safari?

Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and diverse ecosystems. The state’s Western Ghats mountain range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The varied terrain, comprising dense forests, tranquil backwaters, and misty hills, is home to a multitude of wildlife species. Choosing Kerala for a wildlife safari not only promises an encounter with nature at its rawest but also an opportunity to see some of the most rare and endangered species.

Unique Biodiversity

One of the key reasons why Kerala stands out as an excellent safari destination is its unique biodiversity. The state’s diverse ecosystems support an incredible variety of flora and fauna:

  • Over 500 species of birds
  • Endangered species like the Nilgiri Tahr and the Lion-tailed Macaque
  • Large mammals including Indian elephants, tigers, and leopards
  • Various types of reptiles and amphibians

Scenic Landscapes

From the hilly heights of Wayanad and Munnar to the peaceful expanse of Periyar, Kerala’s landscapes are incredibly varied. These scenic backdrops provide a picturesque setting for your wildlife adventure and offer plenty of opportunities for photography and relaxation amidst nature.

Eco-Friendly Tourism

Kerala is committed to sustainable and eco-friendly tourism practices. Most of the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have stringent guidelines to minimize human impact on natural habitats. This ensures that your safari experience is both exhilarating and responsible.

Top Wildlife Safari Destinations in Kerala

Now that we’ve highlighted why Kerala is an excellent choice for a wildlife safari, let’s delve into some of the top destinations where you can embark on your adventure.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Thekkady, is one of Kerala’s most famous wildlife reserves. Spread over 925 square kilometers, this sanctuary offers a wide range of safari options to explore its rich biodiversity.

Things to Do

  • Boat Safaris: One of the most popular ways to explore Periyar is through a boat safari on Periyar Lake. These guided tours offer a chance to spot elephants, sambar deer, and various bird species.
  • Jeep Safaris: For a more traditional safari experience, you can opt for a jeep safari. These tours take you deeper into the forest and offer higher chances of spotting big cats and other elusive animals.
  • Nature Walks: Accompanied by trained guides, nature walks in Periyar offer an intimate experience with the forest’s flora and fauna.

“Exploring Periyar is like stepping into another world, where every turn holds a promise of an encounter with the wild.”

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the northeastern part of Kerala, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It spans an area of 344 square kilometers and is divided into two parts: Tholpetty and Muthanga.

Things to Do

  • Elephant Safaris: One of the unique experiences in Wayanad is the elephant safari. It’s a thrilling way to explore the sanctuary and spot various animals from an elevated vantage point.
  • Bird Watching: With over 200 species of birds, Wayanad is a haven for bird watchers. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for bird watching tours.
  • Trekking: Wayanad offers several trekking routes that take you through its dense forests and rolling hills, providing ample opportunities to see wildlife up close.

Eravikulam National Park

Situated in the Idukki district, Eravikulam National Park is famous for its population of Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered mountain goat. The park covers an area of 97 square kilometers and offers stunning views of the Western Ghats.

Things to Do

  • Trekking: The Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India, is located within the park. Trekking to this peak is a popular activity and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Wildlife Spotting: Apart from the Nilgiri Tahr, the park is home to several other species, including leopards, Indian bison, and various types of butterflies and birds.
  • Floral Beauty: Eravikulam is also known for its unique flora, including the Neelakurinji flower, which blooms only once every twelve years, covering the hills in a stunning blue hue.

Silent Valley National Park

Silent Valley National Park, located in the Palakkad district, is a pristine stretch of tropical rainforest. The park spans 89 square kilometers and is part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Things to Do

  • Jeep Safaris: Explore the depths of the forest with a guided jeep safari. The park is home to several endemic species, including the lion-tailed macaque and the Malabar giant squirrel.
  • River Trekking: The Kunthi River flows through the park and offers opportunities for river trekking and rafting, adding an adventurous twist to your safari experience.
  • Bird Watching: Silent Valley is a bird watcher’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds, including many that are endemic to the region.

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

Nestled between the borders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is another gem for wildlife enthusiasts. Covering an area of 643 square kilometers, the reserve is relatively less crowded, offering a more secluded safari experience.

Things to Do

  • Tiger Safaris: As the name suggests, the reserve is known for its population of Bengal tigers. Opt for a jeep safari to maximize your chances of spotting one.
  • Bird Watching: The reserve is also home to over 250 species of birds, including the Great Indian Hornbill, making it an excellent destination for bird enthusiasts.
  • Eco-friendly Lodges: Stay in eco-friendly lodges and learn about sustainable practices that help preserve this rich habitat.

Planning Your Kerala Wildlife Safari

Embarking on a wildlife safari requires some planning to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your adventure.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kerala’s wildlife sanctuaries and national parks is from October to March. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are more frequent. However, each sanctuary has its peak seasons, so it’s advisable to check in advance.

What to Pack

  • Clothing: Light, breathable clothing in neutral colors is ideal. Long sleeves and pants can protect you from insect bites.
  • Footwear: Sturdy, comfortable shoes are a must, especially if you plan on trekking or walking.
  • Accessories: Don’t forget your binoculars, camera, and a good sun hat.
  • Essentials: Carry insect repellent, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.

Permits and Regulations

Most wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala require permits for entry. These can usually be obtained at the respective park’s entrance or through authorized tour operators. It’s important to adhere to all park regulations to ensure your safety and the well-being of the wildlife.

“Respecting the rules and regulations of wildlife sanctuaries not only ensures your safety but also helps in the conservation efforts of these fragile ecosystems.”

Choosing a Safari Tour Operator

Selecting a reputable tour operator can significantly enhance your safari experience. Look for operators who employ knowledgeable guides, follow eco-friendly practices, and have positive reviews from previous travelers.

Experiencing the Culture Alongside Nature

Kerala’s unique culture and warm hospitality add another layer of richness to your safari adventure. Here are some cultural experiences you shouldn’t miss:

Traditional Homestays

Staying in traditional Kerala homestays offers a glimpse into the local way of life. Enjoy home-cooked meals, learn about local customs, and experience the famous Kerala hospitality.

Culinary Delights

Kerala’s cuisine is a treat for the senses, with its use of aromatic spices and fresh ingredients. Don’t miss out on trying traditional dishes like appam with stew, fish curry, and the famous Kerala Sadya.

Ayurvedic Treatments

After days of exploring the wild, rejuvenate your body with traditional ayurvedic treatments. Kerala is renowned for its ayurveda therapies, which use natural herbs and oils to promote wellness and relaxation.

Local Arts and Crafts

From Kathakali dance performances to intricate handicrafts, Kerala’s cultural heritage is vibrant and diverse. Take some time to explore local markets and attend cultural performances to enrich your travel experience.

Tips for a Responsible Safari Experience

While enjoying the splendors of nature, it’s crucial to be a responsible traveler. Here are some tips to ensure that your safari has a minimal impact on the environment:

  • Stay Quiet: Animals are sensitive to noise. Keeping quiet not only maximizes your chances of spotting wildlife but also ensures that you don’t disturb them.
  • Respect Boundaries: Never venture off designated paths or trails, as this can harm the environment and put you at risk.
  • Avoid Littering: Always carry your trash back with you and dispose of it properly. Littering can be harmful to the wildlife and the ecosystem.
  • Support Local Communities: Purchasing locally made products and using local services can benefit the communities and encourage sustainable tourism practices.

The Unforgettable Experience

A wildlife safari tour in Kerala promises more than just the thrill of spotting exotic animals; it offers a profound connection with nature. Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or a first-time safari-goer, the beauty and diversity of Kerala’s ecosystems will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

“A journey into Kerala’s wild is not just a trip; it’s an experience that awakens your senses and enriches your soul.”

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and set off on an adventure that promises to be as enriching as it is exhilarating.

By choosing Kerala for your wildlife safari, you’re signing up for an expedition filled with awe-inspiring encounters, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural richness. Each sanctuary and national park offers its unique allure, making every visit a new chapter in your wildlife adventure book. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the wilderness of Kerala and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Troper Tours

If you’ve already been on a wildlife safari in Kerala, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Share your stories and tips in the comments below!