Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Welcome to Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, a hidden gem nestled in the lush greenery of Goa. This serene haven offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, discover exotic wildlife, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Western Ghats. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you on a virtual tour of Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, providing essential information and tips for an unforgettable visit.

About Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Location and Size
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Canacona taluka of South Goa, India. Covering an area of approximately 86 square kilometers, it is one of the most well-preserved wildlife sanctuaries in Goa. Its dense forests, scenic landscapes, and rich biodiversity make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.


The sanctuary is renowned for its diverse flora and fauna. It is home to several rare and endangered species, making it a vital conservation area. Some of the notable wildlife species found here include:

  • Indian Bison (Gaur): Cotigao is famous for its population of Indian bison, locally known as 'gaur.' These majestic creatures can often be spotted grazing or wandering through the forest.
  • Leopards: While elusive, leopards are present in the sanctuary. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of these beautiful big cats.
  • Malabar Giant Squirrel: The sanctuary is also home to the striking Malabar Giant Squirrel, an attractive species with vibrant fur.
  • Various Bird Species: Birdwatchers will be delighted by the numerous avian species, including hornbills, woodpeckers, and kingfishers.
  • Reptiles: Keep an eye out for reptiles like pythons, cobras, and various species of tortoises and turtles.


The sanctuary's landscape is characterized by thick evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Tall trees, dense undergrowth, and meandering streams create a picturesque environment that's perfect for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous trek.

Things to Do

Nature Trails
Cotigao offers several well-marked trails that take you deep into the heart of the forest. The trails vary in length and difficulty, catering to both novice and experienced trekkers. The "Treetop Canopy Walk" is a highlight, offering breathtaking views of the forest from elevated walkways.

Wildlife Watching
For wildlife enthusiasts, Cotigao is a paradise. Carry your binoculars and cameras as you embark on a quest to spot the diverse inhabitants of the sanctuary. Early morning and late evening are the best times for animal sightings.

Interpretation Center
Visit the sanctuary's interpretation center to gain insights into the local flora and fauna. The center offers informative exhibits and knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions about the sanctuary's ecology and conservation efforts.

Cotigao's picturesque landscapes, diverse wildlife, and serene surroundings provide endless opportunities for photographers to capture the beauty of the sanctuary.

Experience the magic of the wilderness by camping in designated areas within the sanctuary. Make sure to obtain the necessary permits in advance.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is during the winter months, from November to February, when the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are more frequent. Avoid visiting during the monsoon season (June to September) as heavy rains can make the trails slippery and unsafe.

Entry Fees and Timings

  • Entry Fee: The entry fee for Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is nominal, with additional charges for vehicles and cameras.
  • Timings: The sanctuary is open to visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Make sure to plan your visit accordingly.

Tips for Visitors

  • Carry Essentials: When visiting the sanctuary, bring essentials like water, snacks, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Binoculars and Cameras: For a rewarding wildlife experience, carry binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens to capture the mesmerizing moments.
  • Respect Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from animals, and do not disturb them in their natural habitat.
  • Litter-Free Zone: Keep the sanctuary clean by disposing of waste responsibly.
  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide for a more informative and immersive experience.

How to Reach:

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible by various modes of transportation.
By Air
The nearest airport to Cotigao is Dabolim Airport in Goa, approximately 60 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the sanctuary.
By Rail
The closest railway station to Cotigao is Canacona Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Canacona, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to the sanctuary, which is around 10 kilometers away.
By Road

  • From Panaji: Cotigao is approximately 80 kilometers from Panaji, the capital of Goa. You can take a taxi or drive yourself via NH66.
  • From Margao: Margao is about 47 kilometers away. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from Margao to reach the sanctuary.
  • From Palolem: If you're staying in Palolem, Cotigao is only around 18 kilometers away. Renting a scooter or hiring a taxi is a convenient option.


Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is a pristine paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and wildlife enthusiasts. With its lush greenery, rich biodiversity, and tranquil ambiance, it offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you're an avid trekker, a passionate photographer, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Cotigao has something for everyone. Plan your visit to this enchanting sanctuary and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Explore the wonders of Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, where nature comes alive in all its glory!

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

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