Vansda National Park, a protected area representing the thick woodlands of the Dangs and southern Gujarat is situated in the Navsari District of Gujarat state, India. Riding on the banks of Ambika river and measuring roughly 24 km² in area, the park lies about 65 km east of the town of Chikhali on the National Highway 8, and about 80 km north-east of the city of Valsad. Vansda, the town from which the name of the park is derived, is an important trading place for the surrounding area where the majority of the population is represented by tribals.
Established in 1979 as a National Park, the deciduous forest area having groves of “Katas” bamboo owes its beauty to no felling of trees since 1952. Nestled in the Western Ghats of Sahyadri range, it has a unique flavor of flora and fauna population. Apart from the Botanical garden, some of the other attractions include local tribes, “Gira Falls”, and the “Conversation center”.
Vansda National Park is home to animals which include the Indian leopard, dhole, rhesus macaque, common palm civet, Hanuman langur, small Indian civet, four-horned antelope, wild boar, Indian porcupine, barking deer, striped hyena, jungle cat, flying squirrel, pangolin, and Indian giant squirrel. Pythons and venomous snakes such as Russell’s viper, cobras, and kraits can also be found.
Vansda National Park’s high diversity of species of forest birds is the main attraction for ecotourism. About 155 species of birds are found including common grey hornbill, grey-fronted green pigeon, yellow-backed sunbird, Malabar trogon, jungle babbler, forest spotted owlet, shama, great Indian black woodpecker, are found. Apart from this, there are a variety of insects, centipedes, millipedes, and snails. There are about 121 species of spiders including the giant wood spider, the largest species of spider in Gujarat.
There are 443 species of flowering plants. This includes teak, sadad, khakhro, kadad, humb, timru, kalam, bamboo, dudhkod, mahudo, behda, umaro, kusum, tanach, asan, shimlo, ambla, sisam, chopadi bondaro, etc. There is a variety of colorful orchids at the Ambika river.
The park remains open all days a week for visitors. Regular safari timings are 8 AM – 6 PM IST. However, the time may change depending on the availability of sunlight. During monsoon months, June to October, the park remains closed.
The nearest airport is Surat, about 100 km away. The nearest Railway station and bus station are at Waghai, which is about 3 km.