Wayanad, Kerala, India

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Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Top choice in Northern Kerala

Wayanad's ethereal 345-sq-km sanctuary is accessible only by two-hour jeep safari (₹680), on which you might spot langurs, chital deer, sambar, peacocks, wild boar or wild elephants; the odd tiger and leopard wanders through, though you'd be incredibly lucky to spot one. Jeeps are arranged at either of the sanctuary's two entrances, Tholpetty and Muthanga; during the November-to-March high season, arrive at least an hour before the morning or afternoon openings to register and secure a vehicle.

Whether you go to Tholpetty or Muthanga essentially depends on whether you're staying in the north or south of Wayanad, as there's no difference in the chances of spotting wildlife or the visiting arrangements. Both Tholpetty and Muthanga close from mid-March to mid-April, but remain open during the monsoon. There are a limited number of guides and jeeps permitted in the park at one time, and trekking is not permitted.