- Trail difficulty: 1
- Reserve hours: none
- Entrance fee: none
Jimaní is the capital and the second largest city of the Dominican province of Independencia. As a border town, it serves as one of the primary thoroughfares to Haiti, and is an important marketplace for agricultural goods and other commodities. Although the town suffered a crippling flash flood in May 2004 when half of the town was completely washed away, killing many of the citizens during the night, the town is in the process of rebuilding. But the town has been further altered by the flood of refugees and aid-related activities following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The birdwatching attraction in Jimaní is the brackish lagoon that lies between Lago Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic (Site B8: Lago Enriquillo) and Saumatre (also known as Lago Azuei) in Haiti. This lagoon, like Lago Enriquillo and the Cabral Lagoon, is part of a series of lakes and lagoons that are remnants of an open marine channel that up to 12,000 years ago divided the present-day island of Hispaniola into two.
The primary attraction at Jimaní is large numbers of the regional endemic Caribbean Coot, which is not easily seen elsewhere and particularly not in these numbers. Stopping at the wetland at Jimaní is a good extension of any trip to Lago Enriquillo (Site B8). The lagoon at Jimaní also attracts numbers of waders and terns.
Jimaní lies about 45 min on the primary roads from either La Descubierta on the north side of Lago Enriquillo, or from Duverge on the south. Once in Jimaní, follow traffic towards the Haitian border crossing. But prior to arrival at the crossing look for an unmarked dirt track that leads across a flat, empty area down to the lagoon on your right. This is an abandoned airfield so you can generally drive down onto the flats. Be aware to keep your vehicle out of the mud, but park where it is dry and walk in.
Pied- billed Grebe, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Common Moorhen, Caribbean Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Hispaniolan Palm Crow
From your parking site on the abandoned airfield, walk down to the lagoon. Look for ducks and egrets, as well as the target species, the Caribbean Coot. It is often possible to see as many as 100 of these hard to find birds. There are no developed trails to take you further into the lagoon, but feel free to explore the adjoining dry thorn scrub habitat.