Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman Islands - Timings, Water Sports, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Port Blair Central Bus Stand): 25 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day

Place Location: Near Wandoor

Transportation Options: Bus / Boat

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 25 km from Port Blair, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, also known as Wandoor National Park, is a national park located near Wandoor in South Andaman district of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This is one of the best places to visit in Andaman Tour and also one of the famous tourist places near Port Blair.

The National Park was established in the year 1983 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 to protect marine life such as the corals and nesting sea turtles prevalent in the area. Sprawling over an area of 281 sq. km, the landscape of the park is dotted with 15 rocky islands and is covered with tropical forest.

The national park is famous for its rich collection of coral reefs, which include leptoseris, tubipora, gorgonians, porites, acropora, fungia, pocillopora and montipora. The marine life of this national park includes starfish, sharks, coral reefs, fishes and turtles. In addition, it also comprises sea anemones, shells, salt water crocodiles and water snakes.

The park is home to birds like white-bellied sea eagle, parakeets, Andaman teal, heron, terns, waders and swifts. There are more than 271 different varieties of birds inhabiting the idyllic landscape of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. The rich flora and fauna of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park makes this park an ideal destination for the nature lovers.

The Park area includes vast stretch of enchanting marine waters, bushy vegetated islands, magnificent coral reefs and sparkling sandy beaches and mangroves. The sandy beaches and crystal clear water offers excellent recreational facilities. Viewing of rare corals and underwater marine life through glass bottom boats, scuba diving and snorkeling are a life time experience. One can also visit Wandoor Beach near Wandoor Jetty. It is known as the gateway to Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park and it attracts hundreds of tourists every day.

Private ferry operators organize tours to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park from Wandoor. One needs to take permit issued by the Forest Department Reception Counter near Wandoor Jetty.

Tourists are allowed to spend two and half hours in Jolly Buoy Island or Red Skin Island as a part of conducted tours. Generally, from December to May tourists are taken to Jolly Buoy Island and from May to November to Red Skin Island. It is advised to take packed lunch and water fillings before proceeding to the Marine National Park. Regular bus services are also available from Port Blair to Wandoor, from where the tours are operated.

Boat Timings: 8.30 AM to 10.30 AM

Park Timings: 9 AM to 3 PM on all days except Monday

Permit cost: Rs. 50 for Indians, Rs. 500 for Foreigners & Rs. 25 for Camera.

Boat Cost: Rs. 300 per person for Red Skin Island & Rs. 650 per person for Jolly Buoy Island