4.9 / 5

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
📍 Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, GoaView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:October to March

⏰ Open Hours:6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

🚁 Distance from Airport:29 KM from Dabolim Airport

🚉 Distance from Railway:12 KM from Karmali Railway Station

📍 Distance from Important Towns:9 KM from Panjim, 37 KM from Calangute, 38 KM from Baga

🏞 Known For:Bird Watching, Mangrove Ecosystem, Variety of Bird Species including Kingfisher, Eagles, and Cuckoos

🎟 Entry Fees:Free

💼 Traveler Types:Nature Lovers, Bird Watchers, Photographers

💸 Budget:No entry fee but boat tour costs around INR 900 per person

🧭 Things to Do:Bird Watching, Nature Walks, Boat Rides, Photography

👝 Facilities:Boat Tours, Guided Tours

📌 Tips:Carry Binoculars for better bird watching, Wear Comfortable Shoes for walking, Best to visit early in the morning for bird watching

🌳 Unique Aspects:Named after the 'Birdman of India', Dr. Salim Ali, One of the smallest bird sanctuaries in India

🚤 Water-Sports Costs:N/A

📜 Rules/Regulations:Littering is prohibited, Disturbing wildlife is not allowed

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Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: Paradise for Bird Lovers in Chorao, Goa

The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, located on Chorao Island along the Mandovi River in Goa, India, is an estuarine mangrove habitat and is home to over 400 bird species, including the striated heron, western reef heron, and mudskippers.

Named after the eminent Indian ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali, this sanctuary covers an area of 178 hectares (440 acres). It boasts a low mangrove forest where visitors can explore the sanctuary via a paved walkway and enjoy boat safaris amidst the serene mangroves. A paradise for bird lovers, this sanctuary celebrates the rich avian diversity of Goa.

Best Time to Visit Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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• Summer is an ideal time to witness abundant bird activity with courtship rituals and plentiful food source. Post-summer, during the monsoon season, is excellent for observing nestlings and juveniles calling out for food.

• Winter is recommended for observing large congregations of birds, especially waterfowl like ducks, geese, storks, and waders during migration.

• The best time of the day to visit the sanctuary is either in the early morning or in the evening, when the birds are most active and visible.

Things to do in Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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Morning Birdwatching: Rise with the sun and armed with binoculars, seek out the elusive Malabar Pied Hornbill, the melodious Asian Koel, and the flamboyant Greater Flamingo.

Kayak Adventures: Explore hidden nooks where egrets wade gracefully and kingfishers dive like azure arrows. The mangroves whisper secrets as you navigate their labyrinthine channels.

Sunset Strolls: As the day mellows, take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk. Watch as Purple Herons strike elegant poses, and White-bellied Sea Eagles soar overhead. The air is thick with anticipation—the sanctuary comes alive at dusk.

Photography Safari: Frame the Crimson-backed Sunbird sipping nectar from a hibiscus, its iridescent plumage a fleeting masterpiece. Zoom in on the intricate patterns of a Mangrove Pitta, a jewel hidden amidst tangled roots.

Boat Safari: Hop aboard a traditional Goan canoe. Keep your eyes peeled for Saltwater Crocodiles basking on mudbanks. Their ancient eyes watch you, unblinking, as if guarding the sanctuary’s secrets.

Guided Tours at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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• Guided tours at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary offer a chance to explore diverse ecosystems and observe rich birdlife with expert guidance.

- Book tours through official website or sanctuary's visitor center.

- Recommended to book in advance, especially during peak seasons.

• Cost varies based on duration and type, generally ranging from INR 200 to INR 500 per person.

- Private or specialized tours may have different pricing.

• Tours usually conducted in early morning or late afternoon, best for bird-watching.

• Explore sanctuary by hiring boat or canoe from local boatmen or forest department.

- Ride takes about 1.5 hours, covers main water channels and birdwatching tower.

- Boatmen are knowledgeable and friendly, can guide and point out birds and animals.

- Cost is around INR 800 to INR 900 per trip.

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Must-See Bird Species in Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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Kingfishers: The sanctuary is home to several species of kingfishers, including the Common Kingfisher and the White-throated Kingfisher, known for their vibrant plumage and fishing skills.

Egrets and Herons: Visitors may spot various species of egrets and herons, such as the Indian Pond Heron and the Little Egret, wading in the sanctuary's wetlands.

Woodpeckers: Keep an eye out for woodpeckers, including the Black-rumped Flameback and the Lesser Goldenback, tapping away at trees in search of insects.

Flycatchers: Species like the Asian Paradise Flycatcher and the Tickell's Blue Flycatcher are often seen flitting about, catching insects on the wing.

Owls: While more elusive, the sanctuary is home to owls like the Spotted Owlet and the Brown Fish Owl, which can sometimes be spotted during guided night tours.

Migratory Birds: During the winter months, the sanctuary welcomes a variety of migratory birds, including ducks, geese, and waders, adding to the diversity of bird species to be observed.

Other Species: Visitors may also encounter birds such as the Oriental Magpie-Robin, the Purple Sunbird, and the White-bellied Sea Eagle, among others, making each tour a unique and rewarding experience for bird enthusiasts.

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Flora and Fauna of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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• The sanctuary boasts a distinctive mangrove scrub vegetation, comprising salt-tolerant plants thriving in brackish water, crucial for ecological balance and providing habitat and sustenance for diverse fish and insects.

• A rich avian population graces the sanctuary, featuring a plethora of local and migratory birds like kingfishers, egrets, herons, cormorants, kites, eagles, woodpeckers, sandpipers, curlews, drongos, mynahs, coots, pintails, and more.

• Rare and exotic bird species also find refuge here including the purple heron, striated heron, black bittern, red knot, pied avocet, greater flamingo, lesser adjutant stork among others.

• Beyond birds, the sanctuary shelters diverse wildlife such as crocodiles, jackals, otters, mudskippers, fiddler crabs visible along water channels or mudflats during low tide.

• The sanctuary is also a haven for various butterflies like the blue tiger, common crow, plain tiger enhancing the allure and splendor of the surroundings.

Timings & Entry Fee of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is open throughout the year from 6 am to 6 pm. The entry fee of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is Rs. 10 per person for Indians and Rs. 100 per person for foreigners. The fee for still camera is Rs. 25 and for video camera is Rs. 150. To visit the sanctuary, one needs to get permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji.

The sanctuary is located on the island of Chorao, which can be reached by ferry from Ribandar, near Panaji. The ferry service operates from 6 am to 10 pm and charges Rs. 10 per person and Rs. 50 per vehicle. The ferry ride takes about 15 minutes and offers a scenic view of the river and the island.

Must read: 10 Bird Sanctuaries In India To Learn The Art Of Birdwatching

Nearby Sanctuaries from Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa

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Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: Located on the Western Ghats, north of Panaji, this sanctuary covers an area of 240 square kilometers. It’s approximately 412.7 kilometers from Goa.

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated in North Goa, the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its lush greenery, deer park, and diverse bird species. It’s approximately 29 kilometers from Dabolim Airport and 12 kilometers from Karmali Railway Stati.

Carambolim Lake Bird Sanctuary: Located near Old Goa, this sanctuary is approximately 20 kilometers from Panjim. It’s a haven for birdwatchers, especially during the winter months.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary: While not exclusively a bird sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa is home to various avian species. It’s approximately 80 kilometers from Dabolim Airport.

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated in South Goa, this sanctuary is approximately 80 kilometers from Dabolim Airport. It offers a mix of wildlife, including birds.

Madei Wildlife Sanctuary: In North Goa, the Madei Wildlife Sanctuary is approximately 70 kilometers from Dabolim Airport. It’s known for its rich biodiversity, including birdlife.

Places to Visit near Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

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Basilica of Bom Jesus: Located on Old Goa Road in Bainguinim, this historic church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier and features stunning Baroque architecture. The church is approximately 13 kilometers from the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

The Nature Trail at Chorao Island: Explore the natural beauty of Chorao Island, where the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is situated. Take a leisurely walk along the island’s trails, enjoy the serene surroundings, and spot various bird species.

Fontainhas: Visit Fontainhas, the charming Latin Quarter of Panjim. Stroll through narrow lanes lined with colorful Portuguese-style houses, art galleries, and quaint cafés. It’s a delightful area to explore and learn about Goa’s colonial heritage.

Reis Magos Fort: Located across the Mandovi River, the Reis Magos Fort offers panoramic views of the river, the Arabian Sea, and the surrounding landscape. Explore the historic fort, which has been beautifully restored, and learn about its significance in Goa’s history. It’s approximately 10 kilometers from the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

How to Reach Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

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To reach the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa, visitors can access Chorao Island from the Ribandar ferry terminal in Panjim. The ferry ride, a highlight of the journey, is free for people and two-wheelers, while cars are charged INR 10 per vehicle. The 10-15 minute ferry ride offers scenic views of the Mandovi River and mangroves, dropping passengers at the tip of Chorao Island where the sanctuary is located.

Tips For Visiting The Sanctuary

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• Carry binoculars, field guide, water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, etc.

• Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can withstand mud and water.

• Do not litter or disturb the wildlife in any way.

• Do not feed or touch any animals or birds.

• Do not make loud noises or play music.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Reviews

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