Famous For Birds, Photography, Nature
Duration of Visit 2 to 3 hours
Fee Detailed Guide Below
Visiting Time 6 AM to 6 PM
Named after the famous Indian ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali Moizzudin Abdul Ali, this sanctuary of Goa is one of the thriving mating spots for birds in India. This is a reclaimed marshland famous for attracting local and migratory birds like sandpiper, mynahs, curlew, cormorant, eagles, and others. It is not just about birds; the geography of this sanctuary also allows numerous other mammals and reptiles to thrive in this region. Are you someone who is not interested in the birded feathery friends? Taking a ride through the mangrove swamps or boat trip on the Mandovi River would be very interesting and mind-refreshing.
This sanctuary is located on the tip of Chorao Island of Goa. This sanctuary was declared as a reserved area in 1988 by the forestry department of Goa. This is the only bird sanctuary located inside Goa.
Also Read : History of Goa
The vegetation of the region is mostly marshland and mangrove swamps. This allows the region to be a prime destination for fishes and insects. The Mapusa and Mandovi river regions provide a fertile environment for the mangrove to thrive. The region closer to the Cumbarjua canal is lush with shrubbery. There are 14 different types of mangrove vegetation on this island. Top animals to spot in this region are jackals, flying foxes, crocodiles, and others. You can find a large variety of unique snakes in this region like mud snake, the dog-faced water snake, marsh snake, and others.
Top bird to spot in this region are coots, egrets, pintails, kingfishers, cormorants, kites, darters, collared kingfishers, storks, and others. Common bird species are woodpecker, swan, hornbills, swallows, bulbul and others.
The sanctuary has numerous hiking trails, which are paved well. If you are not into hiking through the region, you can choose to rent a bicycle to explore the region. If you are planning to hike through the region, it is best to hire a guide to show you the right path.
Boat ride to the sanctuary is an attraction by itself. During winter season, you can find boatmen, who would take you around the island to spot birds from the water. Inside the sanctuary, a water tour is conducted through the channels, which crisscrosses through the sanctuary. Canoes are the most commonly opted water transportation for exploring the sanctuary.
A watchtower is located inside the sanctuary, which will help you spot many birds with an eagle-eye view. This is the best way to spot a few species of birds like pintails, coots, and others.
Chorao Island is not just about birds and animals. You can find villages, which are still living in a traditional lifestyle. Starting from their architecture to the cuisine, everything about them is old-school and untouched by commercialization. You can stroll through the streets of these villages and enjoy their customs and traditions.
If you are ready for some hiking experience, you can try to hike to the top of Christ Hill. You can find a few religious statues along the way. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy a pristine panoramic view and catching the sunset from the top is one of the best experiences.
This is the prime attraction of the region. Spotting birds is best enjoyed during sunrise or sunset. Only an experienced guide can cover important regions where you can spot as many birds as possible.
Also Read : Things to do in Goa
To reach Salim Ali bird sanctuary, you need to take a ferry ride across the River Mandovi to reach the Chorao Island. You can find buses and cabs from various parts of Goa, importantly in Panaji to reach Ribandar ferry wharf. Once you have crossed the river, the sanctuary is just a few meters away from where the ferry would drop you.
If you are traveling from other states of India, you can find trains and buses to Goa, every day. Madgaon Station and Thivim station are the top busiest railway stations of Goa. You can find direct trains to Goa from Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and other destinations. From the railway station, you can find buses and cabs to reach Panaji or directly to the ferry wharf. Goa also has a domestic airport within its boundary. If you are traveling from oversea destinations, you can reach India via Delhi or Mumbai and fly to Goa from these Indian destinations.
If you are preferring road transportation, you can find government and private buses from Mumbai and other destinations to Goa, every day. You can also hire cabs to Goa from other major cities.
Also Read : How to Reach Goa
The best time to visit the sanctuary to spot many birds is early in the morning (6 am to 8am) or, a little before sunset.
October to March is the prime time to visit to spot migratory birds and local birds in this region. This is also a dry season and thus, exploring deeper parts of the region is much easier during this season. July and August are the peak monsoon season. Spotting birds during this season is quite hard. Also, heavy rainy days would block the visibility and many ferry rides will be canceled. Summer is quite easier to spot animals (March to June) but, migratory birds cannot be spotted during summer.
Also Read : Best Time to Visit Goa