Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, named after one of India’s most renowned ornithologists, is situated on the Chorao Island just a few kilometers from Panaji. The tiny bird sanctuary, housing over 400 different species of charming birds is spread over just 1.8 sq km.
A watch tower erected at the centre of the sanctuary is ideal for a bird’s eye view of the region. The park authorities also conduct guided tours through the river bodies where you will get a chance to witness a wide variety of birds.
How to reach Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
To reach the sanctuary, take a bus or taxi to travel to the Ribandar ferry wharf from Panaji. From there, a short ferry ride will take you across the river Mandovi to the island of Chorao. The bird sanctuary is located near the Chorao island ferry wharf.
Wildlife attractions in Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is an absolute treat for bird lovers with hundreds of species of rare birds besides other wide variety of land and aquatic animals. Apart from a large number of migratory birds such as coots and pintails that descend here every year during the winters, the park boasts of such attractions as flying foxes, crocodiles and jackals. The vegetation consists of large mangrove swamps that provide ideal breeding ground for the sanctuary’s aquatic wildlife. The region is criss crossed by the Mapusa and Mandovi rivers, keeping it well watered.
Best time to visit Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is open throughout the year but it is better to avoid the summer and rainy months from April to September when it can get really hot and humid. For entry to the park prior permission is required from the Chief Wild Life Warden in Panaji. Boats and canoes are the best ways to travel inside the park which make it easy to navigate even during low tide.