People oriented community based and park centered ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. These programmes are conducted by locals who are responsible for the surveillance. By taking tourists along they not only interpret the values of Periyar and enhance the visitor experience but also add to the protection of the park and earn a livelihood out of it. Hence, when a visitor joins in all these programmes is directly contributing to the cause of conservation and community welfare.
It is an interpretive sandal protection trekking programme offering excellent opportunity of watching birds, butterflies and other wildlife through a range of habitats during the 4-5 km 3-hours walk. These programme are offered between 7 am to 3 pm in different nature trails inside the Park. A maximum of 5 persons can go for trekking at a time along each trail accompanied by a trained tribal guide. It is a programme where one can feel nature’s whispers and her sighs!
This is a regular night patrolling programme in the fringes of the ecodevelopment zone of the Tiger Reserve in the company of armed guards between 7 pm and 4 am. This programme injects excitement into the experience while keeping smugglers at bay. One really feels like a cop protecting the precious forest wealth. Of course, this best suits younger visitors fit and disciplined enough to walk in the silence of the night.
It is day-long range hiking programme along the borders of Periyar Tiger Reserve. The route passes through undulating terrains and altitudinal ranges of 900 m to 1300 m where the trekkers can glimpse the lofty escarpments bordering the park, watersheds and the vast stretches of Cumbam Valley below. Gaur, sloth bear, elephants are often sighted apart from birds and butterflies. A maximum of 10 tourists can take part in the programme in 2 different groups. The trekkers along with two guides and an armed forest guard participate in the programme which starts at 8 am and ends in the evening.
This is the dust to dawn hiking and rafting programme through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve. It starts at 8 am through a mosaic of habitats and forest rich in bird life, arboreal animals like Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri langur, herds of elephants and gaurs. The rafting is of about 3 hours duration where one gets a panoramic view of the forest clad hills reflected on the lake. Five tourists accompanied by 2 guides and an armed guard par taking the programme. This programme caters to a maximum of 10 tourists per day.