Goa is full of diverse sights that stray away from the coastal areas and one of the many trips we offer is the Crocodile and Birdwatching Safari. Here you will get a chance to explore a different facet of Goa by taking a trip down the backwaters of the Cumbarjua canal. Not only will you see crocodiles but you will also see a variety of birds you wouldn’t see along the seaside.
About the Trip
This two and a half hour trip begins at 9:00 a.m. where you will meet at the Old Goa Jetty (GSIDC Jetty) to be transported via boat to the Cortalim jetty in the south. The South pick up is at 10:00 a.m. This boat will take you through the Zuari River upwards to the Cumbarjua canal.
The Zuari River is the largest river in the small state of Goa. It originates at Hemad-Barshem in the Western Ghats and flows in a south-west direction through the talukas of Tiswadi, Ponda, Marmagoa, Salcette, Sanguem, and Quepem. It is 92 kilometres long and connects to all the other rivers and canals. Cumbarjua is one of them.
The Cumbarjua Canal connects the Zuari river with the Mandovi River. As you cruise down the canal you will see fishermen in their little boats, some in coracles, some of them crabbing.
Mangroves line the banks of the Cumbarjua Canal and adds to the beauty of the estuary. Out of 59 mangrove species across India, 45 species can be found in Goa. These mangroves prevent the erosion of soil and protects the land from tidal surges. This area is home to a variety of fish, crabs, and mollusk. The wood of mangroves are not easily prone to rotting thus making it ideal for building, and fuel. These mangroves are essential for fisheries too.
The Cumbarjua is home to the mugger crocodile (crocodylus palustris) a broad-snouted marsh crocodile that can grow as large as 4-5 meters (13-16 feet) in length. Its the main crocodile station in Goa. The males are heavier and longer than the females. They are not known to attack humans even though they are skilled predators. They have a third membrane in their eyes enabling them to see and keep the water out of their eyes. The females dig holes in the banks and lay their eggs there. The sex of the crocodile is determined by the temperature of the nest. If the temperature is around 32.5 Celsius then the crocodiles will be be male. If the temperature is between 28-31 Celsius then the crocodiles will be females.
According to legend, the Portuguese brought the Muggers from Mozambique to Old Goa during the 16th century. It is believed that they dissuaded intruders from entering Old Goa and protected the area. It is also believed that the Portuguese kept crocodiles in the moat of Fort Aguada to prevent the prisoners from escaping.
Often one can see the muggers basking in the morning sun with their snouts open. They cannot breathe underwater but they can stay below the surface for two hours.
Apart from the beautiful scenery of the backwaters, you will be able to spot a variety of birds which include the drongo, the pied-kingfisher, the white breasted kingfisher, the black capped kingfisher, stork bellied kingfishers, the white bellied sea eagle, ospreys, pariah kites, brahminy kites, the common sandpiper, egrets, terns, and cormorants. If you are an ornithologist or you love ornithology as a hobby then you will find this trip elating.
Bird Watching Trip
This is a two hour trip that costs 1599 INR per pax. The price includes mineral water, soft drink, beer, and snacks. This is a pleasant trip for all ages. Children will love the boat ride. It’s a great family outing. It’s definitely an experience one should make a point to experience. It is a different side of Goa which is something any nature lover would enjoy.
If you choose to go on the crocodile and birdwatching safari, please wear shoes or sandals that have a good grip. Wear light clothes because it gets quite hot towards midday. Wear sunblock and a cap or hat.
This Crocodile & Birdwatching tour happens from November to May. We suggest that you book in advance if you are keen to go on the crocodile and birdwatching safari.
Tour Timing Slots
Timing: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm - 9:00 am Old Goa Jetty (North Goa) - https://goo.gl/maps/aqPFbULviju - 10:00 am Cortalim Jetty (South Goa) - https://goo.gl/maps/EYUGNzVr96F2
Trip Includes :
You will report at 9:00 a.m. at the Old Goa Jetty (GSIDC Jetty) and 10:00 am at Cortalim Jetty.
The safari begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 12.30 pm. It is a two and a half hour trip.
There is never a guarantee but there is a high probability that you will see crocodiles especially during low tide.
You can see a variety of birds namely drongo, the pied-kingfisher, the white breasted kingfisher, the black capped kingfisher, stork bellied kingfishers, the white bellied sea eagle, ospreys, pariah kites, brahminy kites, the common sandpiper, egrets, terns, and cormorants. You will also see fishermen in their rowboats or corocles, some will be fishing and crabbing from the banks. You will see the mangrove forests.
Yes. Your safety is our priority.
Your camera and a pair of binoculars if you wish to see all the sights better.
Considering that it will be hot towards midday we advise you to wear light comfortable clothes, sandals or shoes with a good grip, and sunblock. Please carry a hat or cap.
Yes, our boat has a roof to provide shade since you will be out in the sun for two and a half hours.
Of course you can. This is an exciting trip for children.
You will get a bottle of mineral water, a soft drink, beer, and snacks. The price is inclusive of all taxes.
This is a daily trip that is conducted from November to May.
Preferably yes, this is a popular trip and it would be best to book in advance to avoid disappointment and to ensure that you get to go on this safari.
You can make the payment through our website using a debit or credit card.
The trip costs 1599 INR per pax.
Please check our booking and cancellation policy.
If the trip is cancelled from our end then you will get a full refund within 7-10 working days.
Yes, of course you can but please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Yes we do and if you feel you need one you can always ask our team to give you one.
Muggers are not known to attack humans so you have nothing to worry about. We do not get off the boat nor do we approach the crocodiles.
Yes the backwaters are calm.
Not likely but if you do suffer from motion sickness then take a tablet before you leave for the trip or wear your band.