38 kms from Margao is the smallest of the three wildlife sanctuaries of Goa – the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary. More than a sanctuary, it is an ideal jungle resort, a major attraction for school going children and nature lovers.
Its mini zoo, sprawling deer park in natural habitat, botanical and rose gardens attract people throughout the year.
The Bondla wildlife sanctuary is about 50 Kilometers from Panaji and 38 Kilometers from Margao and 20 Kilometers east of Ponda. It is more of a jungle resort with tourist cottages available on site run by the Forest Department.
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The common animals that inhabit the sanctuary are the Gaur and the Sambhar deer. It is a popular destination for school picnics. It is closed on Thursdays. There are tour buses that make a stop over at Bondla from Margao and Panaji.
The Sanctuary is just 8 sq. km. in size, located among hills at the junction of three Talukas viz. Ponda, Sanguem and Sattari. It boasts of a Mini Zoo, Deer Safari Park, Formal Gardens, Botanic Gardens and Eco-Tourism Cottages.
It is connected to Ponda as well as Molem by a good tar-road. Late evenings and nights are very pleasant. Bondla is a Paradise for Eco-Tourists.
The area is covered with Moist Deciduous Forests, with small patches of Evergreens and Canes along the nullahs. The State Tree Terninalia crenulata (Matti) and Rosewood are common here. Others are Lagerstroemia (Naked Maiden of the Forest / Nano), Kindall, Jamba, Mimusops, Saraca indica, etc. The thorny bamboo Bambusa arundinacea and Giant Lianas (Entada) abound.
Gaur the state animal is frequently seen. The Panther is the largest carnivora and the Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Toddy Cat are others. Herbivorous consist of Deers (Sambar, Spotted, Hog, Barking and Mouse) Wild Boar, Porcupines Scaly Ant Eater, and Malabar Giant Squirrel. The diminutive Flying lizard (Draco) is fairly common.
Over a hundred species of birds are residents. The State Bird (Ruby Throated Yellow Bulbul) can be seen. And the Common Grey Hornbill and Golden Backed Woodpecker are daily visitors to the Garden.