08th Aug2011

Arabuko Sokoke and Mida Creek

by Owich

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Bird Watching

Important news for bird lovers is that Arabuko Sokoke and Mida Creek offer great and unmatched resources. The reserves will provide you with bird watching experience that will keep you coming for more.

Arabuko Sokoke and Mida Creek are located in the coastal strip of Kenya in East Africa and contain birds of different species.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest: The Indigenous Birds Beauty.

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Arabuko-Sokoke-Forest

Arabuko Sokoke Forest is one of the indigenous forests left in Africa. The forest is full of intrigue as it is considered the second most important forest for bird conservation in Africa and therefore regarded as an Important Bird Area (I.B.A).  I.B.A are places that are globally significant for protecting endangered bird life.

The spotted ground thrush is a globally endangered species found in the forest and the African Pygmy goose, the world’s smallest goose can be seen in the seasonal pool.

The endemic clarke’s weaver is also found in this forest.  Another still waiting to be discovered, is the nest of the Sokoke Scops Owl, a bird found only in this forest and this is one of the reasons why the forest stands out as a global destination of bird watchers.

Things are looking up for the forest despite the fact that this 420 square kilometer forest is surrounded by a local community who live mostly on subsistence farming.

When driving through the forest along the fence line, you will notice a stark difference between the forest cover and the homesteads clear of any vegetation but dominated by the mango and cashew nut trees.

With the community participation, there are fewer incidences of trees being cut although the occasional muhuhu tree, much favored by the Akamba carvers goes missing.

Another victory of the forest management has been the gazettement of an adjoining tract of forest in the year 2004 called Madunaguni as a forest reserve under the forest act.

Previously under the county council, the forest was being destroyed faster than the trees could grow. The gazettement of the forest has ensured that this important site for bird-watching is protected and preserved hence a sustainable tourism.

For lovers of nature, it is exciting to walk along the path that winds into the forest with chirping birds overhead, squirrels scurrying around and exciting sounds of many other wild animals such as elephants and buffaloes.

It is at times like this that you feel a deep respect for all things natural. You get to reflect on the true meaning of life, you enjoy life’s details and the beauty that nature has brought your way. If you are wondering where to visit for a real encounter with the wild birds, the Arabuko Sokoke forest is the place to be.

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Board walking at Mida Creek

The Mida Creek: Centre for Bird watching

The large mangrove – lined mida creek  is part of Mida Creek Marine Reserve with a spectacular bird life including:Kingfishers, flamingos, curlews, sandpipers, crab plovers, stints and terns.

The mangrove forest protects the soft sediment shoreline from erosion and it also provides a home for birds and worms during low tide.

You can view birds from the bird hide at the North end of the Creek.  The hide access is climaxed by a board walk experience as you walk suspended in the air.  You will definitely enjoy the long leisurely walk along the winding walkway, hoisted several feet high at tree level through the mangroves.

The best time to visit the site is late afternoon as this coincides with the incoming tide.

As you have noticed, the bird life is abundant here and there are lots of activities you can engage in while in Watamu.

Do not hesitate to visit this destination which is a favorite site for bird-watchers.

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Arabuko Sokoke Forest and National Park

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Mida creek Marine National Reserve

How to get to Arabuko Sokoke and Mida Creek

Arabuko is located at approximately 110km north of Mombasa city, 7km from Watamu, 45km Kilifi and Malindi 20km as shown in the first map. The National Park is accessible both by road and by air using the Malindi and Mombasa airports.

The road from Mombasa to Malindi is Tarmacked and therefore no need for any worry. The flights are also pocket friendly, it is advised that you take flights to Malindi as its the nearest though Mombasa is not too far away. The Mida Creek is opposite Arabuko Sokoke and therefore when you get to Arabuko then your not far from the creek.

Accommodation

There are however no hotels or lodgings inside the parks but the Kenyan coastal strip is full of many accommodation options to suite your diverse needs. The Arabuko Sokoke and Mida Creek provide such an indigenous bird watching experience that is un-matched.