The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest sanctuary in Karnataka and is located on the banks of River Kali in Uttara Kannada. It lies at a distance of 57 kms from Dharwad which is the closest location to reach the sanctuary and covers an area of 334. 52 square miles. Dandeli is said to be the mythical 'Dandakaranya' referred to in the Mahabharata. It is surrounded by thick forests and hills.
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich diversity of the plants and animals in and around the sanctuary. The forests in Dandeli are a mixture of dense deciduous trees interspersed with bamboo and teak plantations. Visitors can get a glimpse of the barking deer, bison, Indian Mongolian, black panther, sambhar, tiger, leopard, elephant, flying squirrel and the Malabar giant squirrel. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers with more than 200 species of birds. Some of the birds which inhabit the area are Blue throated Barbet, Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Peregrine falcon. Crocodiles are a major wildlife attraction in this sanctuary.
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary has a moderate elevation and excellent forest cover, which contributes to the pleasant climate throughout the year. The region receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season (July - September). October to April will be an ideal time to visit the place; December to February being the best. October and November are the best months for bird watching and for carrying out activities like trekking as the hills look very pristine after the rains.
Adventurous activities are also partaken the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. The activities of adventure include rappelling, coracle ride, trekking and caving.
Park opens for visitors from 1st October till 30th June and from 1st July till 30th September. The sanctuary is open during timings: 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Entry Fee is INR 40 per person (Indians) and INR 80 per person (foreigners). For jeep Safari INR 450 per person. Safari Timings – 06:00 AM to 09:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Best time to visit is from March to October.