Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Welcome to the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Goa's lush greenery. This breathtaking sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a tranquil escape into Goa's natural wonders. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the sanctuary's rich biodiversity, its significance in ornithology, and provide you with essential information on how to reach this ecological paradise.

The Marvels of Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Location and Overview: The Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located in the western part of Goa, near the town of Chorão. Covering an area of approximately 1.8 square kilometers, it is one of the smallest bird sanctuaries in India but is teeming with avian life. The sanctuary is named after the renowned Indian ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali, who played a pivotal role in the conservation of birds and their habitats.

Biodiversity and Bird Watching: The sanctuary is a mosaic of mangrove forests, tidal rivers, and wetlands, making it a crucial habitat for various species of birds. It's home to over 400 bird species, including both resident and migratory birds. Some of the prominent bird species you can spot here include the white egret, common myna, and black-capped kingfisher.
The best time to visit for bird watching is during the winter months, from November to March when migratory birds from Europe and other parts of Asia make their temporary home here. Keep your binoculars and cameras ready, as you might be lucky enough to capture some of these exotic birds in action.

Flora and Fauna: Besides its avian residents, the sanctuary also hosts a variety of mangrove species, mudskippers, crabs, and small mammals like the flying fox. The mangrove ecosystem here is of immense ecological importance, as it acts as a breeding ground for many marine species, helping to maintain the delicate balance of the coastal ecosystem.

Boardwalks and Trails: To explore the sanctuary comfortably, there are well-maintained boardwalks and trails. These paths wind their way through the mangroves, giving visitors an up-close and personal view of the vibrant ecosystem without causing any harm to the fragile environment.

Educational Center: For those looking to delve deeper into the world of avian and marine life, the sanctuary houses an educational center. Here, you can find informative displays, exhibitions, and interactive sessions that provide insights into the sanctuary's biodiversity and the importance of conservation efforts.

Entry Fees and Timings

  • Entry Fee: The entry fee for the sanctuary is nominal, making it accessible to all nature enthusiasts.
  • Timings: The sanctuary is open to visitors from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, allowing you to spend a full day exploring its natural beauty.

Guided Tours

While you can explore the sanctuary on your own, guided tours are available for those who want a more informative experience. Local guides are knowledgeable about the sanctuary's flora and fauna, and they can help you spot and identify the various bird species.

Tips for Visitors

  • Wear comfortable and breathable clothing suitable for the tropical climate.
  • Carry sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the elements.
  • Keep noise to a minimum to avoid disturbing the birds and other wildlife.
  • Do not litter; maintain the sanctuary's cleanliness and natural beauty.

How to Reach:

Now that you're excited to embark on this nature-filled journey, let's explore how you can reach Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary conveniently.

  • By Air: The nearest airport to the sanctuary is the Goa International Airport (Dabolim Airport), which is approximately 33 kilometers away. After arriving at the airport, you can hire a taxi or use a ride-sharing service to reach the sanctuary.
  • By Rail: If you prefer traveling by train, the nearest major railway station is Thivim Railway Station, located approximately 18 kilometers from the sanctuary. From there, you can hire a taxi or use local transportation to reach your destination.
  • By Road: Goa has an extensive road network, and reaching the sanctuary by road is quite convenient. You can rent a car or a scooter, which is a popular mode of transportation in Goa, to reach Chorão Island. From there, you can take a ferry to the sanctuary. The ferry ride itself is an enjoyable experience, as it offers stunning views of the river and mangroves.
  • By Ferry: As mentioned earlier, the final leg of your journey to Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary involves a ferry ride from Chorão Island. The sanctuary is located on the island, and the ferry operates from early morning until late evening. The short ferry ride adds to the overall charm of the experience, providing picturesque views of the river.


Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Goa is a paradise for nature lovers and birdwatching enthusiasts. With its diverse avian population, lush mangrove forests, and serene environment, it offers a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world. Whether you're a seasoned birdwatcher or simply looking for a peaceful retreat in Goa, this sanctuary is a must-visit destination. Plan your trip, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and create lasting memories in this ecological wonderland.

Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

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