Sights to See
The vegetation of Satkosia largely comprises to Northern tropical most deciduous forests and most peninsular low level sal. The main trees species are asan, kurum, dasi, piasal, rose wood, kochila, hinjal, sisoo, mahil, gambhar, siris, amala, kindu, karada, patal garuda, etc. Plain lands and gentle slopes have been planted with teak. So far 400 species of plants (126 trees, 98 shrubs, 125 herbs, and 51 climbers) have been recorded in the sanctuary.
Major fauna of the sanctuary include pangolin, mouse deer, barking deer, spotted deer, samber, chousingha, Nilgai, gaur, elephant, wild boar, jackal, wild dog, wolf, leopard, tiger etc. (sizeable population of elephants and tigers are seen in this sanctuary).Varieties of colourful birds such as Malabar pied hornbill, hill myna, shaheen falcon, emerald dove, great stone plover, stork billed kingfisher and the migratory birds (brahminy duck, bar headed geese, pintail, tufled poachard, etc.) are seen in this sanctuary.
Besides there are numerous species of reptiles that include gharial, mugger crocodile, gecko, king cobra, banded krait, rock python, rat snake, etc., amphibians and invertebrate fauna (giant wild spider, butterflies, etc.) Satkosia George of the river Mahanadi is one of the best habitats of the endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) in the country and few such habitats in the entire world. A Research and Conservation Unit was established at Tikarpada, close to the Gorge in 1975 for rear and rehabilitation of Gharials.
So far, 38 species of mammals, 128 species of birds, 27 species of reptiles, four species of amphibians and 183 species of fish have been recorded in this sanctuary.
Tourist can go around Gharial Research and conservation Unit at Tikarpada. They can see the pioneering work done on rehabilitation of endangered Gharials along with mugger. This is the site where wild female mugger namely ‘Basanti’ volunteered captivity in search of a mate in GRACU. A trained educated guide can be employed from Tikarpada fishermen community.
You can visit Kandhaida, Kadalikhola, Kantarsingha where there are watch towers, game tanks and salt licks maintained for wild herbivores.
Sanctuary has tremendous potentiality for organising nature camps involving tourists, students, etc. Nature camps can also be organised by various youth clubs, nature clubs in Labangi, Tulka (Bhimadhar water fall), Majhipada, Binkei Katrang ghat, etc. Camping facilities and camp gears can either be provided by sanctuary management or private sector.