Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife Reserve in Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Rising to 1868m at Agasthya Peak and surrounding an idyllic lake created by the 1964 Neyyar Dam, 30km east of Trivandrum, this 128-sq-km sanctuary has a fertile shoreline forest home to gaurs, sambar deer, sloth, elephants, lion-tailed macaques and the occasional tiger. Access is via 'boat safari' trips taking in its Lion Safari Park (a fenced forest enclosure), Crocodile Rehabilitation Centre (named for Australian legend Steve Irwin) and Deer Rehabilitation Centre.

It's also possible to take an 8km boat ride followed by a 6km hike inside the park to a waterfall (Indian/foreigner ₹920/1310; minimum five people), with the option of staying overnight (₹1050/1550) in basic park accommodation; book a day or two ahead. The bookings and reception office is on the west side of the dam and well signposted.