Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka covering an area of 5729.07 sq kms. The sanctuary spreads in an area of rich forests in the Uttara Kannada District along the banks of river Kali close to Goa. It was declared as a sanctuary on 10 May 1956 and later designated as a Tiger reserve in 2007. The hilly forest terrain is cut by deep valleys and meandering rivers. The altitude of the place ranges from 100 to 970 m, the highest point being the Hegada Temba. The annual rainfall varies between 1250 mm and 5000 mm, averaging at 2500 mm per year.
The sanctuary abounds in flora and fauna and also offers hosts of adventure sports like water rafting, boating, bird watching, crocodile spotting and angling trips. However, it is favored by many for its clean and unspoilt atmosphere. The forest is typical moist deciduous and semi evergreen types, with pockets of evergreen.
Animals: Animal spotting is not easy here. Black Panther, the scariest and the rarest of all the wild animals, can be seen here. However, crocodiles, sloth bears, bush grail, elephants, sambars and tigers have been sighted including spotted and mouse deer, gaur, wild dog, civet cat, bison, jackal, mongoose, porcupine, langur and giant flying squirrel.
Avifauna: The main bird species inhabiting Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary are magpie robin, golden backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle, white breasted kingfisher, grey hornbill, great pied hornbill, the Malabar pied hornbills.
The pre-historic limestone Kavala Caves, located 30 kms away, and the Shiroli Peak, the highest point in Uttara Kannada District, is a must-see. If you are in for some nature study visit the Kulgi Nature Camp located just 14 kms away.
When To Go: The peak season is from January to May and October to December while the off season is from June to September.
How To Get There: Dandeli Sanctuary is just 57 kms from Dharwad, 145 kms from Goa and 480 from Bangalore by road. The closest airport is Dabolim in Goa while the nearest railhead is at Londa (25 km), Dharwad (57 km) and Hubli (72 km).
Where To Stay: There is a host of accommodation at the sanctuary in the form of jungle lodges, adventure camps, forest rest houses and resorts at Dandeli.