Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is a Wildlife Sanctuary, tucked between the two grandiose sanctuaries namely Corbett and Rajaji National Park, located in the Nainital hill station of Uttarakhand. The word Sonanadi means 'the river of gold' derived its name from the gold panning that was carried in the river, before the area became a sanctuary. The Sanctuary was founded in January 9, 1987, occupying an area of 302 square kilometres.
To experience the wilderness of the Sanctuary, Jeep Safaris are available in the Sonanadi zone, which is open for tourists from October 15 to June 15 and is closed during monsoon.
The flora of the Sanctuary consists of Bamboo trees, Sheesham, Bakli, Aonla, Kanthber, Jamun, Semal, figs, Sal and many more. Some of the rarest medicinal herbs and few species of shrubs which have been declared endangered are also found here.
Mammals: Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, Barking Deer, Sambhar, Cheetal, Wild Bear, etc.
Birds: Falcons, Warblers, Hornbills, Himalayan Bearded Vulture, Pheasants, Wall Creeper, Thrushes, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Emerald Dove, Flycatchers and many more.
Reptiles: Python, Monitor Lizard, King Cobra, Different kind of Turtles, Gharials, Mugger, Mahaseer, and Indian Trout etc.
The ideal time to visit the Sanctuary is from the months of November to February. Jeep Safaris are available in the Sonanadi zone, which is open for tourists from October 15 to June 15 and is closed during monsoon. These Safaris operate at different timings - During Summers, the morning safari starts at 7:00 am and closes at 10:00 am, whereas, the evening Safari starts at 2:00 pm and closes at 5:30 pm. During Winters, the morning safari starts at 6:00 am and closes at 9:30 am, whereas, the evening Safari starts at 3:00 pm and closes at 6:30 pm.
Nearest Train Station: Ramnagar is the nearest railway station, located just 5 or 6 km away from the Sanctuary.
Nearest Airport: Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport, located about 80 km away from the Sanctuary. From the airport, a taxi can be hired.
Road Accessibility : The Wildlife Sanctuary is well connected by motorable roads with major cities of India. A number of taxis are available from major cities to Nainital and a lot of luxury buses commute from Delhi to Ramnagar every day.