Creek is birdwatchers’ haven
Posted Thursday, June 21 2012 at 19:35
The best place to watch the birds remains the famous Boardwalk situated on the north end of the creek. This is generally a 260m boardwalk suspended on steel ropes through the mangroves.
This boardwalk was built 10 years ago using muhuhu trees confiscated from illegal loggers in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest.
Mida Creek Conservation Community – which manages the creek - runs the operations there.
To cross over, foreigners need about Sh300 while citizens pay Sh100.
The proceeds from this boardwalk go into educating secondary school children from the local community.
At around 3 pm, the tide starts coming in. Actually, sneaking is more like it, because you only see its presence when you watch the seabed start to soak up. This is the best time to go over the boardwalk.
The boardwalk sags and sways as we walk through.
A few women squeal in terror as the bridge swings haphazardly as the tide below completely fills out, flooding the mangroves below us.
The trees there have spectacular looking root systems that thrive on the tidal variations.
There are nine species of mangroves in the world, seven of which can be found below us.
They protect the soft sediment shorelines from erosion and provide a home for crustacean and molluscs and worms during low tide and hundreds of species of fish during high tide.
The boardwalk ends at an open clearing in the sea. Below is a waiting boat that you are free to jump into for a ride through the mangroves.
Back on shore, a few enterprising boys will slice open the tip of a coconut for a refreshing drink of madafu.
There is a rickety reed restaurant, which will serve you a cold soda as you watch the area previously devoid of water now get flooded by the tide.