An experience of God's own country inspired by some of the world's richest natural environments and biodiversity hotspots. Livened up by some of the very best from the plant and animal kingdom. Come, discover your nature.
Elephants are the leitmotif of Kerala, perhaps the only place in the world where they are kept as pets. While the sanctuaries in the State enables elephant sightings, close encounters can be has at the many elephant shelters and training centres across the State.
Wild and Wonderful: Kerala Wildlife Tours
Nestled in the lush forests of the Western Ghats of Kerala are thirteen wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks. All enveloped in the spice-scented air of endless acres of plantations and sporting some of the most delightful trekking trails.
Kerala's tree houses built carefully on gigantic trees; rise up to 90ft high amidst tropical evergreen rainforests. Today, tree house experiences are a major draw among travellers to this land.
The sanctuaries of Kerala are home to some of the worlds' most valued flora and fauna like the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, the Atlas Moth-the largest its kind in the world and the Neelakurinji that blooms once in every twelve years. Kerala also shelters India's stretch of tropical evergreens, India's richest bird habitat and the world's oldest teak plantation.
Fresh Tracks: Activities in Kerala Wildlife Tour
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala
Kerala, green and spectacular, is a land of hills and forests, rivers and lakes-and inhabiting this diminutive yet amazing land is magnificent array of wildlife. Just 38, 863 sq km of area, but within this are contained an impressive thirteen wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and forest reserves.
Grassland, scrub and local forests known as sholas comprise most of this region, which is home to animals as "typically Indian" as tigers and elephants to creatures as indigenous to Kerala as the extremely rear and endangered as the Nilgiri tahr or the lion-tailed macaque.
For the wildlife enthusiast, there is plenty to see here and what makes it even easier is the fact that Kerala's best wildlife parks are in close proximity to some of the state's biggest cities-and can easily be visited as convenient getaways of not more than a day or two.
Wildlife in Kerala
A fast-growing population and the rapid spread of industries have inflicted pressures on the rural landscape of Kerala, but the region still supports a wealth of distinct flora and fauna.
Walking on less frequented beaches or through the rice fields of the coastal plain, you'll encounter dozens of exotic birds, while the hill country of the interior supports an amazing variety of plants and trees.
The majority of the peninsula's larger mammals keep to the dense woodland of the Western Ghat mountains, where a cluster of reserves affords them some protection from the hunters and loggers who have wrought such havoc on India's fragile forest regions over the past few decades.
Although you can expect to come across many of the species listed above on the edge of towns and villages, a spell in one of Kerala's nature reserve offers the best chance of viewing wild animals and birds.
These reserves are a far cry from the well-organized and well-maintained national parks you may be used to at home. But the larger and more easily accessible wildlife reserves-such as Periyar and Eravikulam- have a solid infrastructure exists to transport visitors around, whether by jeep or, in the case of the Periyar, boat and bambo rafts.
Don't, however, expect to see much if you stick to these standard excursions vehicles laid on by the park authorities. Most of the rarer animals keep well away from noisy groups of trippers.
Wherever possible, try to organize walking safaris with a reliable, approved guide in the forest. In Periyar, guides are recruited from the area's indigenous minorities- formerly responsible for most of the region's poaching-and posses a wealth of local knowledge.
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