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“Excellent Birdwatching from car or by foot”

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
VA
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Excellent Birdwatching from car or by foot”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

As avid birdwatchers, we made sure to take time on our way back from Florida to stop in at the Savannah wildlife refuge for a trip around the 4.5 mile drive. We started by 8:30 AM and the sun was so bright from the east that we could not see any of the birds in that direction. We decided to push through until we made a turn and the sun was beside us - we plannned to go back through to catch any areas we missed. The refuge and the drive are well marked as you leave Savannah, so we had no problem finding it about 10 miles outside the city. The office was located at a differnt entrance, and was closed all day Sunday . Not a problem! The drive is one way - so you have no problems with oncoming traffic, and there is plenty of opportunity to pull over enough to let cars pass by - but it can be a bit tight in places. We were able to enjoy birds close enough to see with binoculars, and we also used our scopea lot to view the large group of ducks present on the water. Ring necks galore, BW and GW teal, Red Heads, Shovelers and scaup to name a few. Every kind of heron and egret were present too, and of course cormorants, coots and moorhens. Kingfishers were plentiful, as were hawks of several varieties. We espacially enjoyed the hammocks where the live oaks form a canopy over the road, and the song birds rustle in the trees. The first hammock had a very short walk, (1/4 mile), that allowed us to get a great look at a red shouldered hawk. We had a picnic on the grass next to the next hammock. Yes, there were alligators - but not so many that we felt we couldn't get out of the car in most places. There are ADA spot-a-pots about 1 mile in on the drive. We used them and they were clean. I highly recommend a visit to the refuge for any birder or natrure enthusiast of any level.

Visited January 2013
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3 Thank b1sally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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329 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A peaceful drive”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

This is a hidden gem for wildlife lovers, a slow drive or bike ride or walk is a great way to spend some time. Ducks, birds, gators, otters, all can be seen if you take some quiet pauses to just look and listen.

Helpful?
Thank SandraVoelker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“A Family Favorite”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We always visit the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge when we visit Savannah or Hilton-Head.  We have always seen alligators and lots of beautiful birds.  I am not an expert but we usually visit in May and have the best alligator sightings on cloudy days.  On our last visit we saw so many alligators that we actually got bored of them.  We saw the most alligators on the last 1/2 of the loop sunning themselves on the banks.  

We have never hiked any of the trails, we just stick to driving the loop.

I am not sure I would go out of my way to visit SNWR, but if you are near the area it's a fun way to spend an hour or two, especially if you or your children have never seen alligators in "the wild".

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank kateincobb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“great birdwatching.”
Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

I spent 90 minutes driving the 4 mile car loop on New Years Day at dawn and was the only person in the refuge I suspect. It was too cloudy and cold for the gators I guess but there were many varieties of birds in the impoundment areas formed by the manmade dikes. Hard to imagine these areas as rice paddies which they once were. Bring insect repellent, take your time in the refuge and enjoy the birds.

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1 Thank CambridgeMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hell, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
827 reviews
307 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 579 helpful votes
“Loved the birds and gators”
Reviewed December 24, 2012

We were here in March on a sunny but windy morning after a big cold front had passed through. We decided to get out exercise and walked which allowed us to see more birds and alligators. The gators were sunning themselves and were docile and slid into the water if we got too close. We didn't see the 1st one and the loud splash it made startled us. We paid closer attention and never felt unsafe. I liked the view of the large cranes for unloading cargo ships that were in the distance.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank trbeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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