Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

The second largest of Goa's wildlife sanctuaries, Cotigao, established in 1969, is about 80 km south of Panaji. One of the most densely forested areas of the state, the 105 sq km sanctuary is in part hilly to the south and east. The vegetation is mostly moist deciduous with some semi-evergreen and evergreen forest cover. The Talpona river flows through the park. There are several small settlements of Velip and Kunbis who are forest-dwelling groups existing on subsistence farming so it offers a good opportunity to observe traditional rural life. Some regret that their hunting and wood-gathering activities have been curbed with the establishment of the Sanctuary. The villagers grow chillies and harvest cashew from the forest to take to the market in Cotigao. There have been attempts to introduce sugarcane, rubber and eucalypts by some agencies but environmentalists argue that this would lead to clearing of trees and change the nature of the forest. There is a Nature Interpretation Centre with a small refrence library at the entrance. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary entrance fee. Tel.: (0832) 2965601.

Access. 7 km south of Canacona, a 1.5 km road along a left turn (east) off the NH17 between Canacona and Poinguinim leads to the Cotigao Sanctuary. Buses run from Canacona. Open 0800-1800.

Wildlife. The sanctuary claims to harbour a wide range of mammals (including panther, sloth bear and hyena) and several reptiles but you are really only likely to see wild boar, the odd deer and gaur and many monkeys on a visit although bird spotting is more rewarding. Birds not easily seen elsewhere in Goa include rufous woodpecker, Malabar crested lark and white-eyed eagle.

Viewing. The Department's jeep is available to go around the sanctuary along the network of metalled and unmetalled roads within the sanctuary with a free guide. Contact the Range Forest Officer whose office is by the Interpretation Centre at the entrance. There is a viewing platform up a tall tree at Bhutpal 9 km from the entrance and waterholes at Tulsimol and Dhantali but there are no signposts so you will have to be taken by a guide.

Park information. Visitors usually come for a day trip. Those wishing to stay close by, choose to stay in Palolem or at Molyma at Kindlebaga. Overnight stay in the forest is possible, with permission. Three tents with concrete floors are available free but only the hardiest of campers could endure a night here, made even more difficult by the rich insect life.

our first stop in the sanctuary
Our first stop in the sanctuary.
pathway to the treetop house
Pathway to the treetop house.
huge roots of the trees on the pathway
Huge roots of the trees on the pathway.
lianas over our heads
Lianas over our heads.
huge ficus has eaten the tree in its center
Huge ficus has eaten the tree in its center.
stones have been put in the order
Stones have been put in the order.
flight of stairs leads up to the treetop house
Flight of stairs leads up to the treetop house.
i was afraid a little bit to climb to the treetop house
I was afraid a little bit to climb to the treetop house.
sunrise in the forest
Sunrise in the forest.
this bird slightly looks like a toucan
This bird slightly looks like a toucan.
green pigeon
Green pigeon.
blue head bird - Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus)
Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus).
flat thin barrel
Flat thin barrel.
ground view from the treetop house
Ground view from the treetop house.
green thicket
Green thicket.
small water drinking pool for the animals
Small water drinking pool for the animals.
ground view from the watchtower
Ground view from the treetop watchtower.
forest after sunrise
Forest after sunrise.
inside the treetop house
Inside the treetop house.
border of the treetop watchtower
Border of the treetop watchtower.
small lizard with yellow throat
Small lizard with yellow throat.
small lizard looks like a trunk
Small lizard looks like a trunk.
Kingfisher sits on the branch
Kingfisher sits on the branch.
Indian giant squirrel
Indian giant squirrel.
Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica)
Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica).
natural water drinking pool
Natural water drinking pool.
walked down from tree top house
Walked down from tree top house.
treetop watchtower from afar
Treetop watchtower from afar.
huge ficus gate
Huge ficus gate.
pathway in the deep Indian forest
Pathway in the deep Indian forest.
treetop watchtower pointer
Treetop watchtower pointer.
smooth asphalted road
Smooth asphalted road.
all objects here have its pointers
All objects here have its pointers.
fire has burnt the grass
Fire has burnt the grass.
sometimes the road has red-brick color
Sometimes the road has red-brick color.
artificial drinking pool
Artificial drinking pool.
Bela Lake pointer
Bela Lake pointer.
watchtower for birds tracking
Watchtower for birds tracking.
birds drinking pool as seen from watchtower
Birds drinking pool as seen from watchtower.
this flight of stairs leads down from watchtower top
This flight of stairs leads down from watchtower top.
Marlem and Bitke Water Hole pointer
Marlem and Bitke Water Hole pointer.
deep thicket of the Cotigao forest
Deep thicket of the Cotigao forest.
ground has the black color after the fire
Ground with black color after the fire.
wild buffalo
Wild buffalo.
small deer
Small deer.
horned buffalo near artificial water pool
Horned buffalo near artificial water pool.
artificial water pool
Artificial water pool.
winter road
Winter road.
brick wall
Brick wall.
exit from the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Exit from the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.
intersection with NH-17 highway
Intersection with NH-17 highway.
an offshoot of the NH-17 highway
An offshoot of the NH-17 highway.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary map

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary map