Wild Life in Dandeli

Dandeli has a dense forest cover and is one of the best natural habitats in the world.

Wild Life in Dandeli

Experience all the sights and sounds of the lush forests of Dandeli with a wildlife safari. Travel by jeep with experienced guides who will take you on the adventure of a lifetime, and delve deep into the natural habitat of wild animals, exotic birds and unusual reptiles.

Travel through beautiful wooded trails and appreciate the rich diversity of plant and animal life as the colours, scents and textures of this extraordinary landscape unfold before you.

If there were a 'Who's Who' of exotic creatures then the inhabitants of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary would fill it! Elephants, wild pigs, tigers, rare black panthers, wild dogs, monkeys, deer and mongoose are just some of the fascinating mammals you can see while you are there.

Some of the more unusual mammals to look out for in the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Sloth Bears are pretty odd looking creatures, they have no upper incisor teeth but have a very long tongue and they just love termites - love eating them, that is! The long tongue and lack of upper incisors help them to suck as many termites into their mouths as possible.

They have feet which turn inwards and long claws which they use to dig at termite hills. They also eat other insects, birds’ eggs and honey, and they have been spotted shaking trees and climbing them to get fruit.

Barking Deer live quietly in the sanctuary; you would hardly know they are there, apart from their call which sounds like a dog. If you are rowing down the Kali river and think you hear a dog barking - think again! Barking deer are solitary and timid, more usually spotted alone or in a pair than in a group. Be patient (and quiet) if you want to photograph one.

The Indian Pangolin is an amazing ant-eating creature, with overlapping scales which make it look like a medieval knight in armour! These unusual scales are made up of hundreds of tiny hairs compressed together.

Like the Sloth Bear, the Pangolin likes to snack on termites and ants and has long claws which it uses to dig them up. When it comes to defending itself from tigers and other predators, the Pangolin curls up into a ball, letting it’s scales protect it.

The Malabar Giant Squirrel or Ratufa Indica is roughly the size of a small dog, with it’s tail about the same length as it’s body. It is very shy and, if it senses danger, it will flatten itself on a tree branch and blend in with the foliage. Although predominantly black, colouring can range through mixed red to black and off-white. Keep still and train your eyes on the nearest tree to spot one of these creatures.

There are over 200 species of birds in and around Dandeli, including:

  • Grey Jungle fowl
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Bar Headed Geese
  • Rufous Woodpecker
  • White Bellied Woodpecker
  • Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker
  • Yellow Crowned Woodpecker
  • Heart Spotted Woodpecker
  • Black Rumped Flameback
  • Greater Falmeback
  • Brown Headed Barbet
  • White Cheeked Barbet
  • Coppersmith Barbet
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Great Hornbill
  • Malabar Trogon
  • Indian Roller
  • Common Kingfisher
  • White Throated Kingfisher
  • Blue Bearded Bee-eater
  • Green bee-eater
  • Blue Tailed Bee-eater
  • Chestnut Headed Bee-eater
  • Eurasian Cuckoo
  • Greater Coucal
  • Vernal Hanging Parrot
  • Plum Headed Parakeet
  • Malabar Parakeet
  • House Swift
  • Crested Tree Swift
  • Collard Scops Owl – heard
  • Brown Wood Owl – heard
  • Indian Nightjar
  • Blue Rock Pigeon
  • Mountain Imperial Pigeon
  • Spotted Dove
  • Emerald Dove
  • Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Red Wattled Lapwing
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Grey Headed Fish Eagle
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Black Eagle
  • Shikra
  • Oriental Honey Buzzard
  • Changeable Hawk Eagle
  • Little Cormorant
  • Indian Cormorant
  • Little Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Intermediate Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Indian Pond Heron
  • Grey Heron
  • Wooly Necked Stork
  • Asian Fairy Blue Bird
  • Golden Fronted Leafbird
  • Brown Shrike
  • Long Tailed Shrike
  • Pied Flycatcher Shrike
  • Rufous Treepie
  • House Crow
  • Large billed Crow
  • Ashy Wood Swallow
  • Eurasian Golden Oriole
  • Black Hooded Oriole
  • Large Cuckoo Shrike
  • Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike
  • Small Minivet
  • Scarlet MInivet
  • Black Drongo
  • Ashy Drongo
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • Bronzed Drongo
  • Spangled Drongo
  • Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Black Naped Monarch
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Common Iora
  • Large Woodshrike
  • Common Woodshrike
  • Blue Capped Rock Thrush
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Red Throated Flycatcher - heard
  • White Bellied Blue Flycatcher
  • Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  • Verditer Flycatcher
  • Oriental Magpie Robin
  • White Rumped Shama
  • Pied Bushchat
  • Chestnust Tailed Starling
  • Common Myna
  • Jungle Myna
  • Chestnust Bellied Nuthatch
  • Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
  • Great Tit
  • Black Lored Tit
  • Wire Tailed Swallow
  • Red Rumped Swallow
  • Yellow Browed Bulbul
  • Black Bulbul – heard
  • Grey Breasted Prinia
  • Oriental White Eye
  • Common Tailor Bird
  • Booted Leaf Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • Dark Fronted Babbler
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
  • Thick Billed Flowerpecker
  • Chestnut Shouldered Petronia
  • Tickell's Flowerpecker
  • Purple Rumped Sunbird
  • Crimson Backed Sunbird
  • Purple Sunbird
  • Little Spiderhunter
  • House Sparrow
  • Forest Wagtail
  • Grey Wagtail
  • White Browed Wagtail
  • White Rumped Munia
  • Black Throated Munia
  • Scaly Breasted Munia

During August and September, Malabar Pied Hornbills flock to the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary in large numbers to feast on the fruit trees. They create quite a show - not to be missed..!

More about Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

The sanctuary covers part of the rich forests of the Uttara Kannada District, on the banks of the river Kali. In the jungles of Dandeli, one can spot several animals as well as birds including many endangered species – provided the reasonable ground for the government to declare the Dandeli forest, a National Wildlife Sanctuary in 1956.

The sanctuary now covers an area of 834.16 square kilometres. This sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka.Along with its adjoining Anshi National Park, Dandeli is an abode of 40 tigers. All credit goes to the government announced Project Tiger that has helped increase the tiger-count to 40 from just 13 in 1997.

It’s not just tigers, the sanctuary is a natural home to leopards, black panthers, elephants, deer, beer, antelopes, reptiles and more than 300 bird-species as well. Meandering tributaries of river Kali – Kaneri and Nagajhari, when criss-cross the jungle, leave the spectators spellbound.

Altitude varies from 100m to 970m, the highest point is the Hegada Temba. Annual rainfall varies between 1250mm and 5000mm, averaging at 2500mm per year. There is easy access by road and rail, and convenient bus services.

The best time to enjoy the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is between March and October and the centre is open between 6am and 6pm.

There are so many attractions and opportunities on offer at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, whether you choose action and adventure with white water rafting or slow the pace down with peaceful birdwatching and wildlife photography. You’ll be spoilt for choice..!