Frequently Asked Questions


About the Birds

  • What is the best time for birdwatching?
  • What are the different species of birds that I could potentially see?

  • General Info

  • What is the significance of this place?
  • Where is the sanctuary located?
  • How to get to the sanctuary?
  • What is the cost of visiting the sanctuary?
  • What are the opening hours of the sanctuary office?
  • Is there a tour company who offers a day tour to the sanctuary?
  • What are the facilities like at the sanctuary?
  • Can I stay at the sanctuary?
  • Are there restaurants within the sanctuary?

  • More Useful Info

  • Why does it say 'Designed & Donated by Cyberplex software'?
  • Who provided the content for this website?
  • Related Links


    Eurasian Curlew


  • What is the best time for birdwatching?
  • September to May: Best to time the visit at least two hours before peak high tide in order to see the largest concentration of birds in small areas.

    To enquire about peak high tide schedule, contact the warden / guide at the sanctuary by phone or sending an SMS message. Refer to Contact Us page for their mobile numbers.

  • What are the different species of birds that I could potentially see?
  • Recorded Birds in the sanctuary include: Chinese Egret, Little Egret, Little Heron, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand-Plover, Far Eastern Curlew, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone, Asian Dowitcher, Great Knot, Rufous-necked Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Common Kingfisher, White-collared Kingfisher, Barn Swallor, Pacific Swallor, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Golden-bellied Flyeater, Pied Fantail, Brown Shrike, Olive-backed Sunbird

    During peak migration(Nov-Feb), approximately 40,000 migratory birds visit Olango.

  • What is the significance of this place?
  • Olango is the Philippines first wetland of international importance for waterfowl. Wetlands provide vital habitat for waterbirds, fish, frogs, invertebrates as well as mangrove forests and seagrass beds. Wetlands prevent flooding by holding water much like a sponge. It helps keep river levels normal and filter the water that passes through them. Hence, wetlands are vital to humans, plants, animals and to the environment.

    Around the year of 1987, approximately 10,000 migratory birds was discovered in Olango Island. Around 1992, then Philippine President Corazon Aquino signed a law that declared Olango a protected area.

    The significance of this sanctuary becomes more apparent with the presence of vulnerable and near threatened species such as the Chinese Egret and Asian Dowitcher.

  • Where is the sanctuary located?
  • Olango Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. It is approximately 4km away from the Mactan Island of Cebu. It is approximately 15km east of Cebu City.

  • How to get to the sanctuary?
  • If you are from outside Philippines, first you have to fly into the country. Cebu City would be the ideal city to land into. The international airport of Cebu is called Mactan International Airport. The total distance from the airport to the sanctuary is approximately 16-20km.

    1. From Cebu City take a taxi to Punta Engano Pier, near Hilton Hotel.
    Taxi drivers tend to charge a flat rate of Php300 most especially to foreigners on the excuse that they will have difficulty picking up passengers on their way back. Do not fall for this excuse, insist on having the meter switch on. If the taxi driver does agree to use the taxi meter, it is common for them to request an additional Php50 on top of the final fare in the meter. A metered ride with the Php50 add-on should cost between Php200-220.

    It is possible to take local jeepney from Cebu city all the way to Punta Engano Pier. However, the jeepney option is not straightforward. The authors of this site have yet to include the detailed step-by-step instruction for the jeepney.

    2. From Punta Engano Pier, take a local outrigger pumpboat to Sta. Rosa pier
    Go to the small port authority office. As of 2010, the price per person one way is Php15, with additional Php2 for terminal fee. The boat leaves the pier every hour or so.
    The pier is shared by public and private boats. After buying your ticket, it is advisable to ask a port staff to point you to the boat you will be docking (it is not exactly the most organized pier). The boat ride will take about 15minutes.

    3. From Sta. Rosa pier, negotiate with a tricycle driver.
    After disembarking at Sta. Rosa pier, ask the pier staff the departure schedule of the boat. As of 2010, the boat leaves Sta. Rosa pier for Punta Engano Pier (or sometimes referred to as Hilton wharf/pier) every hour, on the hour.
    The sanctuary is approximately 5-6km from Sta. Rosa pier. The local mode of transportation is a tricycle (a motorcycle with a sidecar). Public tricycles rarely pass by the sanctuary. It is advisable to agree a set roundtrip fare with the tricycle driver. It is tricky to know how long you will spend on the sanctuary. If you envisage staying no more than an hour, a fair roundtrip fare should cost between Php150 – 200.
    If you think you will stay longer than an hour, then it is but fair to pay the tricycle driver a bit more for their time on top of the agreed roundtrip fare. The authors of this site spent a total of two hours at the sanctuary and paid Php250 to the driver.
    It should be noted that the road to the sanctuary are unsealed. Rain also causes the road to be muddy and the presence of big potholes makes it slightly challenging for the driver to maneuver the tricycle.

    4. Returning to Cebu City
    From Punta Engano pier, taxis are not that common. Locals tend to take the jeepneys that are outside the pier. Option 1: Walk to Hotel Hilton and taxis are more likely to be found on that resort. Option 2: Ride two jeepneys all the way to SM Cebu.

    From the pier, take the access road on the side of Hilton Hotel and walk up to Punta Engano Road. From here, take a jeepney with a board infront of it that says ‘Highway’. Ask to be drop off at a shop location called ‘Save More’. Fare for this distance is Php9 per person. When you get off opposite ‘Save More’ shop, there are hordes of jeepneys there with a board infront that says ‘SM Cebu’. Fare is Php13 per person. SM Cebu is located at the center of Cebu City.

  • What is the cost of visiting the sanctuary?
  • Local visitors (i.e. Philippine citizens): Php20
    Foreign visitors: Php100
    *Nature Walk / Trekking: Php20.00 / Group

    *The nature walk / trekking is a highly recommended option because you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. The guide will advise the optimum time for birdwatching. The guide will have with them professional binoculars and long-range telescope in order to effectively spot the birds and identify the specie it belongs to. This activity lasts about an hour.

    Asian Dowitchers

    What are the opening hours of the sanctuary office?

    The sanctuary office is open all days of the week. 9am - 5pm.
    Closed on the following holidays:
    Nov 1, 2
    Dec 24, 25, 31
    Jan 1 Easter weekend (between March-April)

  • Is there a tour company who offers a day tour to the sanctuary?
  • The answer to this question will be posted very soon.


  • What are the facilities like at the sanctuary?
  • Very Basic.
    There is one small bathroom inside the sanctuary office.
    There are no locker facilities. If you have a big bag and don't want to carry it when you go birdwatching, ask the guide and they can store it away for you.
    There is no kiosk or convenience store. However, staff can organize fresh coconut for you should you require a drink.

  • Can I stay at the sanctuary?
  • There are no accommodation facilities within the mangrove reserve. However, there is a campsite area near the sanctuary office. As of 2010, the cost of pitching your own tent is Php40 per person, per night. Maximum of 2 nights.

  • Are there restaurants within the sanctuary?
  • None. However, the sanctuary does sell fresh coconut juice.


    More Useful Info

  • Why does it say 'Designed & Donated by Cyberplex software'?
    The team at Cyberplex Software visited the sanctuary for the first time around Oct 2010. The team had an enjoyable and memorable day (many thanks to our knowledgeable and efficient guide, Socrates).
    One of the key services of Cyberplex Software is website development. Upon learning that the sanctuary did not have its own website, the team made a commitment to create the sanctuary its own exclusive online presence for free.
    OlangoWildLifeSanctuary.org went live around Oct 2010.
    This website was created and currently hosted by Cyberplex software for free.
  • Who provided the content for this website?
    Images used on this website are a combination of Cyberplex own photos and library photos

    Text References:
    Sanctuary office: interviews with staff, available posters, etc.
    Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 1
  • Related Links
    Birdwatching Australia
    ESA


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