Call of the Wild – Road Trips from Chennai

Chennai is often associated with its booming IT and business sector and cultural landmarks. The city is also well-connected to some of the most treasured natural habitats in the world. One can easily book self driving car (rentals) and depending on the time available, explore a host of beautiful destinations. Here are some recommendations for those who seek a wildlife-themed getaway from Chennai.

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Located just 40 kms from Chennai city, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park is perfect for a day trip. Apart from housing rare species like tigers, blackbucks, and barking deer, visitors can also see exotic species like cassowaries from Australia and jaguars from South America.

Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Taking its name from one of the loftiest peaks south of the Himalayas, Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary boasts several distinctive eco-systems – from the tropical river basins to the alpine heights at close to 3000 metres above sea level. A heartwarming experience awaits at the Kozhikamudi Elephant Camp, where one can interact with gentle pachyderms. Apart from tigers and elephants, this sanctuary is also home to the increasingly rare dhole or Indian wild dog. Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is 600 kms away from Chennai – an engaging road trip through the heartland of Tamil Nadu and into the misty Nilgiris.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Bird lovers in Chennai rank Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary as a favourite. It is a short 90-km trip south and during the migratory season, this sanctuary is home to more than 40,000 birds of various species. Painted storks, grey pelicans, and teals are just some of the winter visitors. The Vedanthangal Lake is the centrepiece of this habitat and photographers also love coming in the early mornings to capture the verdant scenery as the birds stir to action. Egrets, cormorants, herons, and darters are some of the endemic species that can be seen all year round.

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary

A seven-hour drive from Chennai, Point Calimere Sanctuary was originally created to protect the endangered blackbuck antelope and it is also a hub for lesser flamingoes. Its location on the tip of the sub-continent skirting the Palk Strait resulted in this area also being rich in marine wildlife. Sightings of the bottlenose dolphin are quite common while the beaches here provide nesting grounds for the Olive Ridley turtle. The best time to visit is from October onwards as migratory birds from the north make it their winter stop.

Advantages of Rentals

Road trips like these should be done with complete freedom and privacy. With app-based platforms like Zoomcar, registered users can book self drive cars in Chennai in a few minutes. Impromptu plans can be made and travellers can choose from a wide range of the latest hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs. 24/7 on-road support adds an extra assurance, especially for the longer trips.

From crispy mountain-tops to sweltering mangroves, Southern India’s wilderness areas welcome those who respect and are curious about nature. Book a car, hit the road and have an unforgettable experience.

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