BHUTAN – Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan is the newest and quite an enchanting wildlife sanctuary. It sprawls over an area of 650 square kilometers and is a world of wonder waiting to be explored.
The sanctuary showcases the Himalayas ecosystem in all its pristine glory, adorned with lush rhododendron forests.
This is the habitat of migratory tribes, snow leopards, red pandas, Himalayan red foxes, Himalayan black bears, red pandas, Himalayan squirrels, and the elusive Yeti.
If you’re a bird enthusiast, you can easily spot commonly found species like hoopoes, Assamese long-tailed parrots, monal pheasants, blood pheasants, grey-headed woodpeckers, and many others.
The sanctuary, as of now, remains quite untouched by urbanization and is a perfect escape from concrete jungles. It’s one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries in Bhutan.
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Basic Information about Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
- Location: Trashigang, Bhutan
- Opening Hours: 7 AM
How to Reach Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
By Air: Paro Airport is the nearest airport, from where you can hire local transportation to reach Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary.
By Train: There are no train stations in Bhutan. The nearest railway stations are Hasimara and Phuentsholing, both in India.
By Road: Taxis, buses, and other modes of transportation are readily available in Bhutan. You can book a taxi from Thimphu to the sanctuary.
The weather at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is pleasant throughout the year, but the best time to visit is from mid-March to August.
From March to August, Bhutan usually experiences minimal rainfall. Additionally, this is the season when most migratory birds flock to Bhutan.
Things to Do at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan has a lot to offer to all travelers.
Here are some things you must do at this sanctuary:
Photograph Snow Leopards
One thing you must do when visiting the sanctuary is to try to capture photos or record videos of the magnificent Snow Leopard. These majestic creatures roam freely in the sanctuary and are quite visible during the day.
The sanctuary welcomes rare and exotic migratory bird species from all around the world every year. It’s also the permanent home of some species that are unique to Bhutan. So, if you’re in the sanctuary, make sure to step outside in the early morning and spend time observing these birds and listening to their calls. Joining a guided tour is a great option as Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places for bird-watching in Bhutan.
Collect Cordyceps Leaves
The locals believe that Cordyceps leaves have high medicinal value and are beneficial for our health. So, while trekking in the sanctuary, you can ask your guide to help you collect some of these leaves.
The sanctuary is an excellent place for trekking because the terrain is not overly rugged, even for beginners. However, some areas are off-limits to tourists due to safety reasons or because they are the habitats of migratory tribes.
Accommodation at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
There is a guesthouse called ‘Merak Guesthouse’ within the sanctuary that can be booked in advance. Additionally, there are several hotels and guesthouses in Trashigang and other nearby areas that offer affordable lodging and breakfast services.
If you book a Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary tour, all arrangements for accommodations and transportation will be managed by the tour operator.
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit when planning a trip to Bhutan. The experience is sure to leave any nature enthusiast feeling invigorated and delighted!
Is there an option for camping at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary?
There is a camping site near Joenkhar for bird-watching and another one in the Merak Valley.
How is Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in December?
In December, the weather gets quite cold, so it's not advisable to visit the sanctuary in winter. The days are also shorter, limiting your exploration time.
Are there any hotels at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary?
No, there are no hotels inside the sanctuary. However, there are hotels in Trashigang and other nearby areas.
Are the tribes at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary friendly?
The two migratory tribes within the sanctuary are not very friendly to tourists. It's best not to try to interact with them or enter their living areas.
Learn more: Traveling Experience in Bhutan