While monsoon may not be everyone’s cup of tea to step out and indulge in the lush greens, an unmatched splendour wraps the landscape during this season. And this is a time, not to be missed especially for wildlife enthusiasts. A monsoon safari at India’s numerous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks is just the right thing to indulge in if you’re drawn in by the charm of nature’s untamed beauty. This is the perfect time of the year when the colourful flora and fauna flourish among the sparkling shades of green. Due to India’s vast geographic stretch and diverse weather in those regions, numerous natural parks and wildlife reserves are open year-round, especially during the monsoon.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is known to be India’s first tiger reserve and spans 1318.54 square kilometres of magnificent pine-studded valleys. The Jhirna Zone and Sitabani Zone remain available for safaris even if the majority of the park is closed due to heavy rainfall. Numerous animals, including deer, antelopes, boars, and many intriguing bird species, including Asian barbets, quail, partridge, owls, raptors, pheasants, and parakeets, can be seen.
Although many tourists avoid visiting during the monsoon, it is in fact a special opportunity to appreciate the pristine beauty and tranquil ambience of the park. So, if you seek adventure and the wonders of nature, consider a safari to Jim Corbett National Park during the monsoon season.
Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
Maharashtra’s Tadoba National Park, aka Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, is a fantastic monsoon safari destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Tadoba National Park has earned recognition as one of India’s most diverse places. It is divided into four clusters of safari areas, namely Colibhit Tiger Reserve, Dafalla Tiger Reserve, Buldhana Tiger Reserve, and Gadchiroli Tiger Reserve.
Tadoba turns into an absolute paradise for wildlife and nature enthusiasts during the monsoon. It is home to 11 monsoon tiger reserves where visitors may see tigers, leopards, Indian black bears, and a wide range of insects including butterflies and unusual spiders. The best thing is that there are quite fewer people during this time of year, making it possible to explore Tadoba in peace.
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary located in the northern part of Goa, spans over 208 square kilometers. The sanctuary comes to life with a variety of bioluminescent mushrooms that produce vivid violet or bluish-green light during the monsoon season. A guided monsoon safari is highly recommended to witness the diverse wildlife, including black panthers, tigers, sloth bears, Indian gaurs, sambar deer, wild boar, and various bird species. In rare instances, you could even see one of the ‘big four’ poisonous snakes of India, including the saw-scaled viper and spectacled cobra. In addition to its abundance of wildlife, the sanctuary provides the perfect monsoon getaway with activities like whitewater rafting down the Mhadei River, rock climbing at the Chorla Ghats, and monsoon trekking over its steep terrain.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Periyar National Park, located on the banks of Periyar Lake, is a refuge for wildlife lovers. Spanning 777 square kilometres in Thekkady, Kerala, the park is home to diverse animals and avian species like tigers, elephants, great Malabar hornbills, and more. Unlike most sanctuaries, the monsoon is considered the best time to visit Periyar for ardent wildlife enthusiasts. During your monsoon safari, you can spot herds of elephants, and orchids blooming in and around. You can also encounter barking deer, sambar, and various avian species.
Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Just four hours from Bengaluru, Bandipur National Park, located along the Mysore-Ooty highway in Karnataka, is a mesmerising monsoon safari destination. It forms an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and shares boundaries with three other national parks. The park is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including tigers, Asiatic elephants, sloth bears, gaurs, Indian rock pythons, and more. A monsoon safari to the Bandipur National Park may let you witness the playful elephants enjoying the rain. The watering holes attract wild boars and bison, and if you’re lucky, you might spot the resident peacocks dancing in the rain.