· Location: Marakkadavu, Kerala
· Area: 344 sq km
· Nearest Airport: Kozhikode International airport
· Nearest Town: Kozhikode (Calicut)
· Safari: Jeep Safari
· Entry Fee: INR 110 for International visitors and for Indian visitors is INR 20.
· Best time to visit: August to February
· Number of Fauna Species: 45
· Number of Avifauna Species: 203
Areas from the Wayanad and Kozhikode Territorial Divisions were carved in the year 1973 to form the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The Wayanad Wildlife Division, separate wildlife division was formed in the year 1985. The sanctuary constitutes of almost 13 forest reserves. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is located adjacent to the Bandipur & Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka) and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu).
The geographical and ecological continuity has made the sanctuary highly significant along with other popular protected areas such as Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. These national parks and sanctuaries provide a unique ecosystem for the exotic flora and fauna.
The climate is categories into four seasons, namely Hot Weather (March-May), South West Monsoon (June-September), North East Monsoon (October-November) and Cold Weather (December-February). For the last five years, the mean minimum and maximum temperature were recorded as 18°C and 29°C respectively. The place also experiences high humidity that scales up to 95% between the months of June to September. The District also experiences mean average rainfall of about 2322 mm.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary provides protection and shelter to almost 45 species of mammals, which include 6 Western Ghats endemics. Some of the mammals that could be spotted in the forests are Indian Porcupine, Ruddy Mangoose, Wild Dog, Indian Field Mouse, Sambar, Chital, Indian Pangolin, Leopard, and Common Langur.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers. The sanctuary provides shelter to various native and migratory birds. There are almost 203 species of birds recorded, out of which 10 are endemics, 6 are restricted and 5 are globally threatened species. Some of the birds that could be spotted in the sanctuary are Whitebreasted Kingfisher, Rofous Babbler, Black Bittern, Small Yellownaped Woodpecker, White Backed Vulture, Franklins Wren, Rufousbacked Shrike, Green Imperial Pigeon, Whitethroated Ground Thrush, Thickbilled Flowerpecker, Brown Hawk Owl, and Red Vented Bulbul.
Butterflies & Dragonflies
There are about 143 species of butterflies that include 8 Western Ghats endemics. Apart from this, there are about 51 species of Dragonflies, which include 11 species of Western endemics.
The Kakkayam supports about 52 species of fishes, which include 21 Western Ghats endemics. The stream provides habitat for some of the endangered species such as Tor Khudree, Mahseer, etc.
The sanctuary provides shelter to almost 30 species of amphibians, out of which 26 are Western Ghats endemics. The amphibians such as Philautus Ponmudi, P. Neurostegona, P. Chromasynhysi, P. Anili, P. Akroparallagi, P. Tuberohumerus and P. Ochlandrae, were recorded.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is also popular for providing shelter to almost 45 species of reptiles, which includes 8 Western Ghats endemics.
Flora in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
The influence of cool climate and Western Ghats could be seen in the flora of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The district is mainly covered with coffee plantation. Apart from this, wild-type trees such as Anjili (Artocarpus), Rosewood, Mullumurikku (Erthrina), Caussia and many non-descript varieties are available. A shorter variety of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Grandis) is also available in some of the regions. The area around gets suffused with the distinctive aroma of eucalyptus. Out of the total forest cover, 20,864 hectares support teak plantation. Areca nut palms, jack trees, tea plantations are also seen here. Horticulture is favorable according to the climatic conditions and soil type of Wayanad.
Wildlife Safaris inside Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
In the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, the guests could take pleasure in Jeep Safari. All through the areas of Muthanga and Tholpetty, the guests enjoy jeep safari and spot some of the amazing wildlife of the sanctuary.
Safari Jeep Fee: INR 300/trip.
Every day, the entry timings are 7:00 to 10:00 am and 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The visitors are allowed to visit the sanctuary for the maximum duration of 1 hour 30 minutes. For the Indian visitors, the entry fee is INR 20 and on the other hand, international visitors have to pay INR 110 as the entry fee. Along with this, entry of heavy vehicles in the park requires a fee of INR 150 and light vehicle for INR 50. The visitors could also take an ordinary camera inside the park by paying a fee of INR 25 and INR 150 for video/movie (non professional).
Best time to visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
To visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, the months from June to October are favorable.
How to Reach Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
By Air: The Kozhikode International Airport is located at a distance of 125 km from the sanctuary. Apart from private taxis, KTDC buses are also available to carry the tourists from the airport to the forest.
By Rail: The Kozhikode Railway Station (100km) is the nearest railway station and well-connected to different parts of the country.
By Road: the deluxe and express bus service is available that connects different cities and towns with the forest. Some of the nearby locations are Calicut- 98 km, Kasargod- 216 km, Cochin- 286 km and Trivandrum- 502 km.
· To avoid last minute disheartenment, book your safari in advance.
· Do not litter in the park.
· Possibilities of rains are very often, thus carry umbrella/ raincoats in the park.
· Carry essentials like mosquito repellent, a torch and required medicines.
· Carry your own water bottles.
· Avoid wearing clothes with loud colors. Clothes with neutral colors are apt to get well with the natural surroundings and climatic conditions.