On Sunday, April 20, Day 7 from our trip to Goa, India, we decided to visit the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
We had previously read good reviews about it, plus we like being in nature, so there was no way we were to miss it!
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary located on western tip of the Island of Chorao along the river Mandovi, Goa, inIndia. The sanctuary is named after Salim Ali, the eminent Indian ornithologist. Away from the beaches of Goa this is truly a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers where you can see a variety of species of birds and plants.
The size of the sanctuary is 178 ha (440 acres). The area is covered with a thick layer of mangrove forest. The place is not well maintained but it is habitat with rich species of birds. (source: Wikipedia)
On that day, we didn’t wake up very early. After waking up, we had our morning breakfast, chilled at the hotel, then left a bit late. As usual, we rented motorbikes from the hotel, then drove to old Goa. From the old Goa road we took the Ferry boat to the Chorao Island.
When we reached the island, a man welcomed us and started convincing us to rent a canoe for 900 Rupees claiming that we can only enjoy the sanctuary if we see it from the river side. He added that if we go by foot, the sanctuary is dark, and bireds will get scared from us.
We debated with him and with the guards at the entrance to get a better deal, yet our efforts were not successful.
So eventually we paid the sanctuary entrance fees as well as the canoe rental and followed the canoe owner to reach the river.
It was hot and humid, and no water would quench our thirst, so we bought extra water for our trip.
After various issues with the boat owner who claimed that his canoe was drowning and needed to get another; we went in a canoe made from a mango tree. The man put plastic boxes for us so we could sit on them.
The trip was calm, serene and very relaxing. We felt that we were out of this world and in a land of fairy tales and beautiful creatures!
After our canoe trip, we decided to see the sanctuary by foot to see another scenery and hopefully other birds. The visit by foot was not the best we have experienced since it was full of mosquitoes and it made us feel sticky. It turned out that the canoe owner was right!
We enjoyed seeing the tree roots, two new bird species, as well as two dogs that accompanied us throughout our journey!