FOREST TRAINING SCHOOL , VALPOI
The Bird Festival of Goa takes place in beautiful town valpoi with events and activities in and around Madei Wildlife Sanctuary and Forests of Sattari. The Valpoi area features spectacular habitats that are home to a wide array of resident and migratory bird species. This sanctuary is known for its tall trees, some of which reach 100ft in height. Wildlife enthusiasts can make their way to the watchtower, positioned 80 ft above a watering hole.
This site was named after the river Mhadei (Mandovi) which is considered as the lifeline of Goa. The entire site occupies 43% of the geographical area of Goa State. Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of 20,800 ha is the part of Mhadei river basin. It is considered ecologically rich and pristine. The Mhadei is an interstate river, with its catchment area spread over Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The IBA ( Important Bird & Biodiversity Area) is within the Western Ghats. The forest types range from Moist Deciduous, Semi-evergreen and Secondary Scrub. An annual rainfall of 3,000 mm spread roughly over five months, and high relative humidity between 70% to 80%, make ideal conditions for plant growth and diversity. Thus, thick forests, humid climate and moist soil have contributed to the species richness in this region. This IBA site is of great cultural significance as most of the sacred groves of Goa are located in this region. The sacred grove Nirankarachi is dominated by a unique plant species Myristica malabarica, which is endangered and endemic to the site. IBA trigger species here are: Nilgiri wood-pigeon, Malabar parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, grey-headed bulbul, rufous babbler, white-bellied blue-flycatcher and crimson-backed sunbird. A total of 255 bird species have been recorded in the Sanctuary. Of these, 53 showed direct signs of breeding here
Bird Festival Central
Bird Festival Central is located at the Forest Training School Complex, Valpoi , a 5-acre natural forest reserve on the main road to Valpoi town. At Bird Festival Central, you can register and check-in for field trips, get a festival program, pick-up a birding checklist, and get your questions answered.
How to get there:
From the Dabolim airport or Margao railway station , you can hire taxis to reach the sanctuary. Buses and taxis are available from Margao and Panaji to Valpoi. You can also reach by hired motorcycles easily available in Goa. The Valpoi town can be accessed by the following road routes: Local buses ply between Panaji , Margao and Mapusa, too.
- Panaji – Mapusa – Bicholim – Sankhali – Valpoi
- Panaji – Mapusa – Amona – Sankhali – Valpoi
- Belgaum– Chorla Ghat – Sankhali- Valpoi
- Margao – Ponda – Usgaon – Valpoi
Nearest rail Station : Thivim, Karmali (Konkan Railway) & Collem (South Central Railway)
Nearest airport: Dabolim Airport – Goa
In Kilometres , to Forest Training School , Valpoi from:
- Panaji: 42
- Margao: 50
- Mapusa : 42
- Belgaum: 90
For help planning your route, click “Get Directions” on the interactive map below.
There are plenty of local taxi services in the area to help you on your way to the Bird Festival venue, most of which can be availed from Hotels, Airport , Railway Station & Major Bus stand viz Panaji, Ponda & Mapusa.
Parking is Free at Bird Festival!
Includes parking for cars, some disabled parking and parking for coaches. Bicycle parking is also available. Visitors are strongly encouraged to walk, bike, carpool or use shuttle transportation to and from Bird Festival activities whenever possible.
What to Bring
Expect sunny weather but be prepared for mildly chill mornings and evenings. It is, after all, winter at the foot hills of Western ghats ! Wear sturdy footwear and lightly layered clothing. Binoculars are essential for birding! Spotting scopes, cameras, and bird field guides are optional, but recommended for your enjoyment.
No pets at Bird Festival events, please