Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 52 km from Panaji in the foothills of the Western Ghats in Goa. Eight square km in size, Bondla is "rather small" even by official accounts. It includes a Mini Zoo, Deer Safari Park, Formal Gardens, Botanic Gardens and a few Ecotourism Cottages.
By road: Bondla is off National Highway 4A that connects Belgaum with Panjim. Branch off at Mollem.
Route: Mollem-Satpal Sancorda-Shivddem-Bondla. (20 kms). Branch off at Tiska Route: Tiska - Usgaon - Ganhem - Bondla (14 kms).
Route: Margao-Ponda-Usgao-Ganjem-Bondla (36 kms) Panjim-Ponda-Usgao-Ganjem-Bondla (52 kms).
By Rail: Collem (on the Mormugao-Hubli line). Route: Collem-Mollem-Sancorda-Shivddem-Bondla: 28 kms.
Carambolim (Karmali Railway Station, on Konkan Railway) Route: Carambolim-Old Goa-Ponda-Usgao-Ganjem-Bondla: 40 kms.
By plane: Dabolim-Ponda-Usgao-Ganjem-Bondla (70 kms)
The Forest Department has announced that it is contemplating to run a bus service from TISKA to BONDLA everyday, except Thursday. Dep. Tiska 11.00 hrs and 19.30 hrs Dep. Bondla 07.30 hrs and 17.45 hrs. Many currently travel via their own transport. Hired taxi is a "little bit costly" as the Forest Department cautions.
There are botanical gardens, a zoo and a deer park. The gardens are very pleasant, while there has been some criticism of the state in which the animals are maintained. There are elephant rides offered in the afternoons, around 4PM.
Late evenings and nights out there can be interesting. It has moist deciduous forests, small patches of evergreens, and Goa's state tree Terminalia Crenulata (Matti) and Rosewood are common here.
To see Goa's state animal, the gaur, you need to go here too. You could run into panther, jungle cat, leopard cat, toddy cat, deer, wild boars, porcupines, ant eaters, or squirrels are some of the other animals here. Over a hundred species of birds are believed to be here, and Goa's growing romance with British birdwatchers is building awareness in this area.
Please note that the zoo, deer safari, and garden are closed on Thursdays.
There is not much to purchase here, except a few touristy items, snacks and a modest guidebook or two. This is a no-plastics zone.
Small restaurants in the area.
The Den at Bondla was not as expected even in the simple of menu!
As above, a few restaurants here.
Ecotourism cottages here can accommodate 24 persons. Two dormitories have a total of 48 beds. A restaurant called The Den is available too. In October 2008, the Goa government inaugurated a Hornbill Cottage at the Ecotourism Complex, Bondla as part of Wild life week celebrations.
Usually on your own or hired transport. Don't depend on public transport here.