Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

Panaji & Central Goa

At only 8 sq km, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is Goa’s smallest protected wildlife sanctuary. Though not particularly remote, it’s really only accessible if you have your own transport or a car and driver. You’re unlikely to see animals just by wandering around the sanctuary, though the park’s jungly reaches are home to wild boar, gaurs (Indian bison), monkeys, jackals, leopard and deer, but if you’re committed, it’s a butterfly-spotter and birdwatcher’s paradise. The sanctuary is about 10km from Usgao village. A return taxi here from Panaji should cost around ₹2000, or ₹1000 from Ponda.

Bondla has Goa’s only zoo, a very small moated offering, which is a bit sad considering it’s within a wildlife sanctuary; still, it gives you a look at a leopard, crocodiles, porcupines and snakes. There’s also a nature interpretation centre and botanical gardens (neither of which are worth the trip out here in themselves).

There are some Forest Department cottages here if you want to spend the night.