The Solila - Special Botanical and Animal Reserve
The Solila is a special botanical and animal reserve, situated in the swamp area of the coastal part of the Bay of Tivat. Due to its importance for the survival of flora which can rarely be found in the area of 800 km long East Adriatic coast, as well as due to the fact that it is a habitat for endangered species of amphibians, reptiles and birds - Solila is the first area in Montenegro to be put under this level of protection. It is the first protected coastal area after 1986. when numerous beaches were protected. The Solila is the emerald habitat of the Bern Convention and the International Important Area for birds (Important Bird Area) in Montenegro - IBA.
The Solila is divided into two parts by a 2 metres high causeway. One part is filled with sea water, while the other consists of pools and channels rich in marsh vegetation. A walk along this causeway and its ten little bridges are a true enjoyment: a vegetation which grows in salt water on one side and freshwater vegetation on the other side. Even the birds choose their side of this realm.
The most interesting fact for tourists and birdwatchers is that this area is home to very rare bird species, such as flamingos or small cormorants. They all find their shelter here, in the Solila. 111 bird species live in this area of 150 ha, 49 of which are related only to aquatic/water habitats. Some of the attractive bird species that can be seen here are ibises, cranes, auks, large curlews, godwits, lapwings etc.
The Solila is an attractive place to visit throughout the year. However, spring bird migration is recommended for passionate birdwatchers - a period from February to the end of April. Bird migration is their annual flight from their breeding ground to their winter habitat and back. Montenegro is a part of the Adriatic migration corridor and represents a significant resting point for the birds during their flight towards the South.
The number of birdwatchers is not limited, but birds seek peace and quite, so you will also feel pleased and rested while you enjoy watching these magnificent creatures. To fully enjoy, you only need binoculars or a field glass and you are ready to be amazed while watching their flight and life in general.
Significant dates for ornithologists which are related to protection of birds and birdwatching, and are celebrated all over the world as well as in Montenegro, are:
- World Wetlands Day - February 2nd
- World Migratory Bird Day - The second weekend in May
- Eurobirdwatch - The first weekend in October.
Be smart and curious, organise your trip to Solila while in Montenegro! Contact us for any further information, tours and reservations.
The text was written by Tourism Organisation of the City of Tivat.
Photos by Mihael Djuricic