Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, is a hidden gem for wildlife enthusiasts. The sanctuary is home to a variety of animals and birds, including the Great Indian Bustard, a critically endangered species, and Blackbuck deer. In this blog, we will explore the history, and wildlife found at the sanctuary. I will also share my stay experience at the sanctuary guest house, and will also talk about my safari experience. Lastly, I will share some tips related to the best time to visit the Rollapadu Sanctuary and how to get there. So read on to get all details that will help you plan a visit to the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary.
Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988 and covers an area of 6.14 square kilometers. The sanctuary is located in the midst of the Rollapadu Reserve Forest and farms of adjoining villages. Situated at an altitude of about 300 meters above sea level, the sanctuary is a dry scrub forest and has a rocky terrain with small hills, plateaus, and valleys.
The Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary was primarily established to protect the Great Indian Bustard. The sanctuary was originally a hunting ground for the Nizam of Hyderabad, but with the establishment of the sanctuary, hunting was banned. The sanctuary is considered an important breeding ground for the Great Indian Bustard as a very small number of birds now exist in Southern India.
Animals and Birds Species in Sanctuary
Despite its relatively small size, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of animals and birds. The most prominent species is the Great Indian Bustard; however, it was last seen in 2020 here. The sanctuary is also home to the Indian wolf, blackbuck, Indian fox, Indian hare, and pangolin. Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 130 species of birds including the painted sandgrouse, Indian roller, black-winged kite, and white-bellied minivet.
The best way to explore the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is through a jeep safari. The safari takes visitors through the sanctuary, where they can see the various animals and birds in their natural habitat. The safari is usually conducted in the early morning and late evening when the animals are most active. However, the morning safari option is only available to visitors staying at the reserve. Visitors can also take a guided nature walk to explore the sanctuary on foot.
Jeep safaris are preferred by most visitors as they cover a larger area and offer better sightings. The jeep safaris are led by experienced guides who have a deep understanding of the area and its inhabitants.
You can see the video of my stay and safari experience at the sanctuary below:
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is between November and March when the weather is pleasant and the sanctuary is teeming with migratory birds that visit the Indian sub-continent in winter. The sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season, from June to September. The summer months (March to May) can be extremely hot and dry, which can make wildlife sightings difficult.
You should connect with the officers at the sanctuary to make required bookings before visiting to avoid disappointment.
How to Get There
Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh and is easily accessible by road. The nearest airport is Hyderabad International Airport, which is about 245 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is at Kurnool, which is about 50 kilometers away. From Kurnool, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the sanctuary.
Where to Stay
There is a forest guest house within the sanctuary, but visitors can only stay here if they have prior permission from forest officers. The guest house has a caretaker, who can prepare food for you as per your preference. I spent a night at the forest guest house, and my stay here was comfortable and memorable. Staying at the sanctuary gives you access to the sanctuary in the early hours when birds and animals are most active. I would recommend booking the guest house to get a unique experience.
in case accommodation is not available, you can book a hotel in nearby towns such as Kurnool or Adoni. There are a variety of accommodations available, ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts.
Things to Do in and Near Sanctuary
Apart from the safari and nature walks, visitors can also visit nearby attractions such as the Belum Caves, which are about 70 kilometers away. The Kurnool Fort and the Orvakal Rock Garden are also popular tourist destinations in the area. If you are interested in wildlife the sanctuary staff can also take you to nearby lakes and forests, where you can spot flamingoes, owls, and other bird species.
In conclusion, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. The sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to witness a variety of other animals and birds in their natural habitat and is a great option for wildlife lovers staying in Hyderabad. With its stunning landscape and abundant wildlife, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is truly a hidden gem in Andhra Pradesh.
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