The Other side of North Goa

A Wildlife Photography Blog

Trip Info

How and when did we plan the trip? & Why did we choose Natures nest resort?

The execution of plan started a month prior to the trip, however the actual planning started much before. It all started with a thought of capturing some interesting birds found in Western-ghats around Goa. We started checking out some beach side resorts to start with. As we planned for a 6 day trip, we thought it would be boring to stay in a single place for 6 days, so we started looking out for some options far away from beaches and near to Western-ghats. Natures-nest resort was one of the option that popped up on Google maps. I started reading the reviews and checked out their website(, they offer birding and other different kinds of nature trails which caught my attention. Bio-luminescent fungi trial was an interesting one in their activities list and they offer so many other interesting activities, so we finalized this resort for our entire trip thinking that we will go to the beaches if we really find it boring to stay in this resort although we were confident that we will have enough subjects to capture around the resort property, so we contacted resort guys, started bookings a month prior and that's how it all started.

My Gear: iphone7 - Canon 6D camera - Canon 100mm macro lens - Tamron 150-600mm lens - Samyang 14mm lens - Yongnuo Flash with diffuser - Remote shutter controller - Sirui tripod - Rain cover for camera and lens - TANK UV light - Voroly solar torch light - Gum boots - Umbrella

What did we expect and what was unexpected?

Our plan was to capture some birds and do some macro photography during our stay. We are sure that we will get enough subjects for macro while birding was little doubtful. I like capturing snakes because they are dangerous and I fear them, however I do like their patterns and texture after capturing in the photograph, Snakes was never on our list though before the trip. We expected Bio luminescence to be huge, covering most part of the forest during night.

To our surprise we found a red scorpion on the first day in our dining area and that's when we decided that this trip is going to be more exciting than we expected. We have taken two herping trails to capture snakes which was never on our list before. Bio luminescence fungi was almost faded away as it is end of the season, we managed to get some decent photographs though. We saw huge variety of spiders and butterflies. Taste of food was beyond our expectations, we never got bored of food during our stay.

Gum boots and Umbrella are very useful during monsoons in Goa as it can rain anytime all of a sudden.

Hyderabad to Goa (entered Goa via Mollem)

Route in Bhimghad Wildlife Sanctuary

Route Details

Hyderabad to Bagalkot (Kanthi Resorts) - Started at 6AM (15-Sep) and reached by 4:30 PM.

Breakfast was at Gulbarga in Citrus hotel and lunch was in Dominos at Vijayapura.

Route Details: Need to travel 100+ kilometers on NH65 before taking a diversion to NH 50. NH 50 is a fun to ride road with smooth curves and amazing landscape views. however be watchful for some unmarked speed breaker humps and few rash drivers.

On the way from Gulbarga to Vijayapura, we took a diversion as suggested by google maps (Via Gangapura), but better continue on NH-50 till Vijayapura.

On the way to Bagalkot from Vijayapura on NH-50, we noticed River Krishna flowing to it’s full glory, so we took a tiny deviation(40 km before Bagalkot) of 2KM which led us to the river bank.

We reached Kanthi resorts by 4:30 PM on 15th-Sep.

Click here for our review of Kanthi Resorts

After breakfast (9:30AM 16-Sep) we resumed our trip to Goa from Kanthi Resorts and reached our destination by 2PM.

Route through Bhimghad Wildlife Sanctuary was terrible and the route is open from 6AM to 6PM only, so you need to plan accordingly if you enter this route. Chorla ghat route was much better and no time restrictions. Enter Goa via Chorla Ghat rather Mollem check post.

There was a lenient checking for Vaccine/RTPCR certificate at the Borders, nothing much to worry, better to carry a copy of certificate to avoid any hassles.

While returning back to Hyderabad via Chorla Ghat, there were three checking points, Two for alcohol and one for RTPCR/Vacination certificate. it was raining continuously during our return journey. Driving in rain during day was fine. Unfortunately we reached our destination Citris Hotel, Gulbarga by 8:30PM, night drive was worst during rains as NH50 is just a double road and the visibility will be very poor due to the opposite vehicles and speed breaker humps without marking are the real problem.

Click here for our review of Citrus Hotel

Stay and dinner at Citrus hotel was excellent and it was an idle place to rest after a long tiring drive.

However we should have planned our pit-stop at Vijayapura to avoid the night drive. Next day morning we had our breakfast and reached Hyderabad by 1PM in 3.5 hours.

Goa to Hyderabad (exited Goa via Chorla)

Chorla Ghat Road

Our Stay

Natures Nest Goa, North Goa Surla, Sancordem, Goa 403406

16-Sep-2021 to 21-Sep-2021

If you are looking for a place in Goa far from happenings and near to nature with lots of green and lush, this is the right place for you. You will wake up for the calls of peacocks in the morning followed by the chirping of Sun-birds and other common birds. In the evening you get to hear Malabar parakeets and the night starts with the sounds of crickets and with the sounds of frog calls. On the whole you feel like you are in the middle of nature.

If you are planning to have a vacation in the midst of nature and want to spend some time with naturalists, this is the right place for you

Natural bubble spring is one of the attraction in the resort.

We have stayed during monsoons, I am not sure of the other seasons. We have experienced scorching Sun on one of the day during our stay and most of the days were either cloudy or it was raining. Overall, it was like a typical coastal weather.

Activities we participated in - during our stay

Herping and Night walk

Indirana Frog Species

F8 - ISO 200 - SS 1/180

Bio Luminescence Trail

Bio Luminescence Fungi

F2.8 - ISO 200 - SS 300Sec

Birding and Nature walk

Vernal Hanging Parrot

F 6.3 - ISO 6400 - SS 1/400

Moments and Photographs

16-Sep-2021 - Day1

Woke up at 7AM at Kanthi resorts, Bagalkot and went out for a morning walk within the property and spotted few birds during the walk(White-eye, Tailor bird, Common Iora, Spotted Dove, Black Collared dove, Red vented Bulbul, Purple rumped Sunbird, Babblers, Black shouldered kite, Bee-eater, Sparrows, Robin). Soon after our breakfast we started towards Goa and we reached our destination at 2PM. It was very relaxing and satisfying to view the environment around us in the Naturesnest resort. It was also drizzling and we entered into a green lush property, we found our way to the reception and checked-in. Ram (cook) was sensible enough to offer our lunch as we were already starving after the drive. We took rest in our cottage till evening post lunch. It was drizzling and raining whole day till evening. After having our tea at late evening, we started roaming around the property to shoot some macro subjects in the dark. We had a tasty dinner and spotted a scorpion while having our dinner, we immediately grabbed our UV torch from cottage in the middle of dinner, just to capture it under UV light, with that we ended our day.

Cricket F11 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Grasshopper F11 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Netting spider was one of the interesting subject, it was waiting patiently with a net to drop on its pray once it comes below to the spider

Netting Spider F11 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Amboli Bush frog was the noisiest during our photography session, we thought of capturing this frog and went into the bushes at night just for this shot.

Amboli Bush Frog F11 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

17-Sep-2021 - Day2

Viril(Naturalist in the resort) has invited me for a birding walk in the morning while I was having morning tea, I immediately grabbed an umbrella and camera and went on the walk along with him. We spotted few birds(Black hooded oriole, Treepie, Magpie Robin, Hornbills, peacocks and other tiny birds like Tailor bird and Sun-bird) during our walk, but most of the birds are far away and couldn't get a decent shot of any. After completing our breakfast we started capturing the Macro subjects within the property during the morning. and we kept on bugging Viril and Angarica (naturalists in the resort) to identify the species of whatever we captured.

Weaver Ants F11 - ISO 250 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Tortoise Beetle F8 - ISO 400 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Tamil Lacewing F11 - ISO 320 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Purple Sunbird (male) F11 - ISO 2500 - SS 1/800 - 600mm

Jumping Spider F8 - ISO 250 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Indirana Species Frog F8 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Bio-Luminescent was one of our major interest in this trip, Angarica was our guide during this trail at night, she has been spotting few other subjects like frogs, lizards and a whip scorpion during our walk way of the Bio-Luminescence. As soon as we reached the spot we switched off all our torches and there it is, the bark of the tree and some other wooden pieces on the forest floor started glowing in the dark, slide through the below pictures to know better. This was a very satisfying end of the day as it was better than we expected. We started liking this trip more and more after this trail.

Bio-Luminescent fungi F5.6 - ISO 1600 - SS 150 - 100mm macro lens and 14mm lens

Whip Scorpion F5.6 - ISO 1000 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Lavender Snail F8 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

18-Sep-2021 - Day3

After a good sleep, I woke up early to capture the bird activity in the resort, I realized that lens is fogging up and so I couldn't capture many shots, however managed to capture a Vernal Hanging Parrot and a black-hooded oriole. After our breakfast we asked Angarica and Viril if they can show us how to setup the camera traps, after discussing with their seniors they agreed and Angarica has helped us to setup one during the evening. As per our schedule, we went to Herping with Viril and spotted a Malabar gliding frog and few other frog species and a Goan day gecko. We couldn't spot any snakes today and that's when we decided to go on herping for one more time.

Vernal Hanging Parrot F6.3 - ISO 6400 - SS 1/400 - 600mm lens

Black hooded Oriole F 6.3 - ISO 10000 - SS 1/400

Malabar gliding frog F5.6 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens more details

Lighting: Flash light with a diffuser

Found it on the tree top near a water body in Mahaveer wildlife Sanctuary. As it was sitting on top of a tree, we attached our camera to a mono pod, lifted the camera as high as possible and operated it with the remote to capture the shots in the link.

Burrowing frog F5.6 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

Goan day gecko F5.6 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180 - 100mm macro lens

19-Sep-2021 - Day4

It was raining quite often today once again we were busy today capturing macro in the resort and had a plan of herping trail at night, however the trail was postponed as Viril had to accompany another group for Night safari. We are okay with it as we are also tired for the day and we bargained for some extra time during the trail tomorrow for postponing the trail. At evening we went to the camera trap location and found nothing in the recordings so we left it there for another day. As it was a weekend, the resort was crowded and they made awesome looking Kababs for the guests, we asked if we can have some and then realized that it is for those who pre-order it. We had carried enough snacks with us, just in case for a moment like this, so we started having them and shared the snacks along with Viril and Angarica too. By this time we were not acting like a guests any more but one of the naturalists or may be photographers in the resort.

Unknown Fly - F11 - ISO 400 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

Grasshopper F11 - ISO 1600 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

Two tail spider F16 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

20-Sep-2021 - Day5

Today was the last day of our activities and we planned well for this day, during morning we went out for a walk to locate the carnivorous plants along with Angarica and also to check the camera trap and take it back. After coming back, Viril asked us if we would like to join him for a walk as he was accompanying other guests to a natural spring, we happily agreed to it and took some good shots during our walk in the forest, Viril was sensible enough to help us along the way and naming the species that are being captured.

Carnivorous Plant (Drosera Indica) F16 - ISO 400 - SS 1/180 - 100 mm macro lens

Gaint Orange Bee in the middle of Utricularia Reticulata (Carnivorous plant) F11 - ISO 400 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

Jumping Spider F11 - ISO 400 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

Painted Grasshopper F11 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

Indian Forest Glory F10 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180-100mm macro lens

Pink Colored Tree Crab F11 - ISO 400 - SS 1/180

Scientific Name: Ghatiana Splendida

Camera: Canon 6D along with 100mm macro lens

Lighting: Flash light with a diffuser

Location: Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary

We spotted this crab one afternoon while walking in the buffer region of wildlife sanctuary.

We started for Herping at evening 5:45PM along with Viril and started walking towards the plateau of Mahaveer wildlife sanctuary. we were hoping to get at least one snake to shoot. Viril had been searching hard under every rock to spot a saw scaled viper, we first located a skink which was moving super fast and then a crab. After a while we located a scorpion. My brother and I were trying to capture the scorpion under UV and all of a sudden Viril spotted the snake under a rock and shouted for us. We just took one shot of the scorpion and rushed toward Viril as we do not want to miss out the snake. We ran to the spot and started capturing Saw scaled viper (our first venomous snake shot in macro).

Name: Indian Red Scorpion

Scientific Name: Hottentotta tamulus

Camera: Canon 6D along with 100mm macro lens

Shutter Speed: 1/160 - ISO 2000 Exp: -3 Aperture: 4

Lighting source: UV torch

Name: Saw Scaled Viper (Highly Venomous)

Scientific Name: Echis carinatus

Camera: Canon 6D along with 100mm macro lens

Shutter Speed: 1/180

ISO: 1250

Aperture: 8

Lighting: Used a flash with diffuser.

We found it after a long search. we were trying to maintain our distance while photographing this guy as this is one of the four deadly snakes of India.

After locating a Saw scaled viper on the Wildlife sanctuary plateau, we started walking towards woods to find few more snakes and try our luck as today being the last day of our wildlife photography activity. We spotted the Malabar gliding frog again on the way and took some shots with camera attached to the mono-pod.

Beddome's Cat snake F8 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180

Scientific Name: Boiga beddomei

Camera: Canon 6D along with 100mm macro lens

Lighting: Used a flash with diffuser.

Viril was almost stepping on this cat snake as it was lying on the ground like a stick, perfect camouflage act to attract it's food. It is a nocturnal reptile and it got it's name from it's eyes which resemble cat's eye.

Indian Violet Tarantula F8 - ISO 800 - SS 1/180

Scientific Name: Chilobrachys fimbriatus

Camera: Canon 6D along with 100mm macro lens

Shutter Speed: 1/180

ISO: 800

Aperture: 8

Lighting: Used a flash with diffuser.

This is our last subject of the trip and spotted it in the forest while returning back to the resort at night 8:30 PM. This is an endemic species found in India.

Last day of the trip was thrilling and we were very happy that we could capture some snakes and tarantula as a bonus which was never on our list.

Over all the trip was very successful and productive, we learned a lot in this trip about the endemic species and how the conservationists work. The stay was pleasant and people in the resort were very helpful, patient and welcoming.

We started our journey back to Hyderabad on 21-Sep-2021 after our breakfast.

Catch you all in another trip.