Coastal Kenya is a marvel beyond comparison. It is said that visiting the coast of Kenya is easy but leaving is an uphill task. Well, there are many solid reasons to back this claim. First of all, the white sandy beaches are to die for. Green palm trees gracing the coastal shores give much-needed shade from the hot sun and also provide a rich aesthetic touch. Watamu is a top tourist destination famous for its diverse ecosystem and beautiful sandy beaches. Mida Creek in Watamu is a phenomenal tourist destination.
Location of Mida Creek in Watamu
Malindi in Kilifi County is a classic tourist destination. Known for its massive historical contribution and as an eco-tourism hub, Malindi is one of Kenya’s top tourism marvels. Mida Creek is found approximately six kilometers from Gedi Town in Malindi and 5 kilometers south of Watamu town. This natural beauty is a sight to behold. Mida Creek is a tidal inlet covering 32 square kilometers. The broad water creek is lined with a rich mangrove ecosystem, beautiful palm trees, mudflats, and sand.
Economic and bio-significance of Mida Creek
Mida Creek is highly significant to the livelihoods of Watamu residents. The mangrove trees provide timber, firewood, medicinal extracts and tannin. Moreover, by making the place conducive for fish and crab farming, the residents derive food for domestic and commercial use.
Due to a possible threat of overexploitation, the Watamu Marine Association began an active campaign of planting mangrove trees. This move was driven by the desire to conserve the flora and fauna of the region thereby preserving the area’s unique natural beauty.
UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve in Watamu
Mida Creek is renowned for having the largest mangrove ecosystem and the Arabuko Sokoke forest. Other areas with mangrove ecosystems in the region include the Kirepwe Island, Sudi, Mkangagani, Mida-Magangani-Dabaso, Badari ya Shaka and Majaoni-Maweni.
Inside the mangrove forest, the waters provide a fertile breeding ground for crabs, turtles and rare fish species. The rich seagrass in the creek provides much-needed food for fish and other small sea creatures. The fauna at Mida Creek consists of 11 species of seagrass that help tap the sand and mud. There are nine mangrove species and 33 species of seaweeds.
About 65 aquatic bird species thrive in the region. Common birds that you are likely to spot include pink flamingoes, egret, whimbrel, sanderling, storks, curlew sandpiper, tern, herons, sand plovers, waders, kingfishers and fish eagles. Immigrant bird species are attracted to the creek’s diverse ecosystem. Birds from Asia and Europe make nests at the creek as they rest before shifting to other regions. As such, Mida Creek is a world-known protected area for diverse birdlife.
Within the mangrove channels are conducive breeding grounds for fish species such as Rabbitfish, Barracuda, Emperors, Jack, Snappers, Parrotfish and Groupers.
Main activities at Mida Creek
The main activities at Mida Creek include waterskiing, waterboarding, bird watching, wildlife photography and kayaking. Guided waterboarding at the central boardwalk is possible using a stand-up paddleboard.
The small water channels snaking through the mangrove forest are perfect for a kayaking spree. The gentle waters allow one to experience the magical view of blue-green waters, birdlife and sea-life at its most tranquil state.
The Mida Creek Conservation Community is an active grouping that helps to preserve the delicate Mida ecosystem. Close to Dabaso village, the community runs a crab and fish restaurant that employs many people both directly and indirectly. Tourists can access the Crab Shack via a boardwalk that is 200 meters long. Leisurely walks with your loved one on this deck is a classic scene in a romantic bucket list. The panoramic view of the adjacent Kirepwe Island and the beautiful lagoon waters are unmatched.
The crab farm along the mangrove shores provide a healthy supply of fresh crab meat while local fishermen deliver fresh fish from the ocean. Lots of crab samosas are binged at the restaurants
Beautiful sunsets of Watamu
Explore the Mida Creek by boat on evenings and watch the beautiful sunsets plus the golden ocean waters with a cheer from birds flying above. Strolling on the boardwalk above the mangrove gives a perfect view of the waters and birds.
Watamu- the place to be
Malindi has abundant sights that one can explore. Aside from Mida Creek, one can visit the Watamu National Marine Park, the Gedi Ruins, and Arabuko Sokoke National Park. Explore the International Bird Area at Mida Creek with your most trusted tour company. Zunguka Africa Safaris offers you the best travel packages to the coast of Kenya.