Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Kiunga Marine National Reserve is an enchanted underwater paradise, located along the indian ocean coast of lamu districts in the province of Kenya. The reserve has a pristine ecosystem which incorporates a chain about 50 islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago. Tourrists who visits this marine park can enjoy great view of teeming sea life in the coral reefs,sea grass as well as extensive mangrove forests which are shelter for sea turtles and dugongs.The reserve offers remarkable opportunities for wind surfing,diving ,snorkeling ,water skiing and sunbathing.
Kiunga Marine national reserve was established in 1979 ,covering an area of about 250 square kilometers and it’s managed by Kenya wildlife Service .However ,the reserve extends more than 37 miles parallel to the shoreline and borders with other two terrestrial reserves that is Boni and Dodori National Reserve.
The reserve sits on the coastal that experiences humid with a mean annual temperature varying from 22-24 degrees centigrade. Rainfall is around 500melimeter per year.
Attractions in Kiunga Marine National Reserve
The reserve inhabits reptiles/fish such as Sea Turtle,Reef fish,Olive Ridley,Leatherback and Turtles.Marine life include rubberfish ,butterflyfish ,zebrafish,and scorpianfish shimmer in the clear waters while hunting sharks,turtles ,rays and starfish prowl the reef in search for food.The moray eels likes hiding in holes while small crabs ,wrasses like spinny-finned fish and sharks lurk in the caves ,‘’sea urchins,brittle stars ,sea cucumbers and notable species of mollusk feed on algae alongside shifting clouds of tiny demoiselle fish.
Insects found in the reserve include Lobsters ,Sea urchins ,Sea star,Mosquito ,crabs.
The reserve is characterized by microscopic marine plants,coastal scrubland,dugong grass and mangrove swamps.
The reserve is a home to magnificent seabirds in large nesting colonies and globally significant numbers of crab plovers. Nesting species include roseate tern, sooty gull ,white-cheeked tern ,brown node and bridled tern.
The Lamu Archipelago
The national reserve is also part of the Lamu Archipelago,a cluster of hot low-lying desert islands that run for some other 60 kilomters parallel to the coastaline of northern Kenya.The Lamu has survived for over one thousand year old civilization,it was found by the Arabs in the seventh century for trade and therafter in ivory,horn ,rhino and slaves.For today it acts as a unique showcase for the traditional Swahili culture ,bustling historic town and as attractive pristine beaches in Africa.
Reefs,the rainforests of the sea
The coral reefs are among the most outstanding ecosystems on earth,sheltering close to one million different types of unique marine life.Habiting only in warm sea and are made by battalions of tiny polyps,,miniscule sea anemone such creatures live together in colonie.Some can create a hard skeleton outside their bodies and it is for this reason why it eventually forms into stony coral.Coral are composed in many shapes,size and colours such as the open-branched stag’s horn coral,the pincushion looks like acropora coral,the wavy-branched as well as plate like the massively solid favia coral and convoluted brain coral.
Islands in the Stream
The national reserve is made up a chain of 50 coral island lying away 2kilomters offshore,but inshore of the fringing reef.They extends to the mainlands of Dodori and Boni National Reserves.According to in its size,the islands are comprised of the old,eroded coral and refuge to lesser kuddu ,monkeys,bushbuck,porcupine and wild pig.
Activities done in Kiunga Marine National Reserve
The reserve is renowned for its beautiful scenery and marine water that shelters unique water species and amazing activities can be done along this marine park as follows; Water Skiing ,Snorkeling ,Diving ,Sun Bathing , Wind Surfing ,fishing and Birding.
This is activity is full of excitement as you get ready in right gear to enter under water and get to enjoy swimming in clear water and the view for marine life is rewarding.
The park has remarkable diving sites for traveler to enjoy this thrilled activity.The equipments for diving can be hired at the park.
Travelers can do sunbathing along sand beaches of marine park which is quite amazing experience.
What to carry with you?
They include ;footwear ,snorkel ,mask ,fins ,sunscreen ,camera ,fin ,T-shirt and Mineral water bottles.
Best Time to Visit
Kiunga marine national reserve is all year visited safari destination because Kenya’s coastal waters are ever warm ,so diving without a wet suit is also impressive.
Lodges /Camping in Kiunga marine national reserve
While at the reserve you can do camping ,there is available stunning place for your camping.You can come with your camping requirement or else you camp with Munira Island camp.Lodges you can sleep in on your visit include Kiwayu Safari Village.
By Road: Kiunga Marine National Reserve lies in remote areas, unspoilt village on the mainland of about 150 kilometers east of Lamu.
By Air: Travelers can fly using domestic charter flight from Wilson Airport and flies you to the nearby reserve ‘’Dodori National Reserve. Then there you can be picked up by our tour guide and drives you to Marine park.
By sea: Another option, you can travel by sea from Lamu where you can get to Kiwayu Island by speedboat or dhow.
Experience the underwater world of unbelievable color,marine life as well as discovering a pristine string of rugged coral reefs as you explore Kenya Marine Safaris.