Goa’s only bird sanctuary, the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Goa is named after the famous Indian ornithologist Dr Salim Ali.
On the western tip of Chorao Island along the River Mandovi, mangrove swamps that cover this bird-watchers’ paradise provide refuge and sanctuary to a wide variety of local and migratory birds on the island. Apart from a rich variety of coastal birds, you can even see flying foxes, jackals and the razor sharp teeth of the odd crocodile as he simply sits there, lazing in the sun with his mouth open.
The Mangrove eco system on Chorao Island also has another very important role to play. The Mangrove eco system also provides the ideal breeding grounds for several varieties of fish and insects which form part of the food chain for these rare species of birds.
The Sanctuary is criss-crossed with a network of water channels. Thus, if you travel by boat, you can only visit during high tide. During low tide, the creeks are only accessible by canoe.
A watch-tower has also been erected in the Sanctuary for better viewing of the birds. Apart from the several resident birds, the Sanctuary also plays host to winter visitors such as coots and pintails.
The scenic and serene atmosphere of the Sanctuary make it a highly rejuvenating place for couples to unwind, reconnect and fall in love again.
The Ribandar Ferry Wharf is only a short ride from my Mitaroy Goa Hotel in Panjim. From the Ribandar ferry wharf, you take the ferry across the Mandovi river to the island of Chorao. The Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is then a short walk from the ferry wharf on Chorao Island.
Open throughout the year, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary can only be visited with the permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden.