Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Kiunga Marine National Reserve is a magical enchanted underwater paradise and a beautiful marine national reserve in Kenya situated along kenya’s spectacular Indian Ocean, the reserve is a pristine ecosystem incorporating a chain of about 50 calcareous islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago. The reserve is located on the Indian coast of Lamu District, Coast Province, the park covers an area of 270 square kilometers.
The 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.
Kiunga Marine national Reserve is situated at the coast experiencing humid with mean annul temperatures ranging from 23-24 degrees centigrade, the reserve also receives a mean annual rainfall of around 500mm per year. Generally Kiunga Marine national reserve receives conducive weather conditions favorable for tourists to visit the reserve and have a great marine Kenya safari experience.
Tourist attractions in Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Kiunga Marine national Reserve hosts various tourist attractions which will blow your mind during your Kenya tour visit, attractions in the reserve include marine life, insects, vegetation, birdlife among others.
The Reserve is an incredible habitat for various species of marine life including reptiles/ fish among others, marine life inhabiting in the reserve include sea turtle reef, fish olive, Ridley Leatherback, turtles, rubber fish, butterfly fish, zebra fish and scorpion fish among others. These beautiful creatures are spotted shimmering in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean.
Some marine species such as butterfly fish, zebra fish and scorpion fish are seen in the water as they hunt for sharks, turtles, rays and starfish prowling the reef in search for food. In the holes of reef, you will find the moray eels which like hiding in them and in the caves there are small crabs, wrasses like spinny-finned fish and sharks lurking around. Marine species found in Kiunga Marine national Reserve include sea urchins, brittle stars, sea cucumbers and other notable species of mollusk feed on algae and the shifting clouds of tiny demoiselle fish.
In Kiunga Marine national reserve, there are several arthropod species such as Lobsters, Sea Urchins, Sea Star, Mosquito and Crabs among others.
Kiunga Marine national Reserve is characterized of fascinating vegetation cover comprised of microscopic marine plants, coastal scrubland, dugong grass and mangrove swamps.
Kiunga Marine national reserve is a haven for seabirds which nest in large colonies, the reserve is a home to a globally significant number of crab plovers and nesting species such as roseate tern, sooty gull, white-cheeked tern, brown node and bridled tern among others.
The Lamu Archipelago
The Lamu Archipelago is a cluster of hot, low-lying desert islands that run from about 60 kilometers parallel to the coastline of the northern Kenya, Kiunga Marine national Reserve makes part of the fascinating Archipelago.
The Lamu Archipelago was founded by the Arabs in the 7th century, the Arabs arrived at the Kenyan coast and the archipelago for trade in ivory horn, rhino horn and slaves and it has survived for over one thousand years of old civilization. The influence of the Arabs on the Lamu Archipelago is witnessed from the traditional Swahili culture which is strikingly similar to that of the Arabs, bustling historic Town and many others.
Lamu Archipelago is dotted with some of the most attractive pristine beaches in Africa.
Reefs,the rainforests of the sea
Coral reefs are one of the most fascinating ecosystems on earth and one of the highlight tourist attractions in Kiunga Marine national Reserve, the coral reefs shelters about one million different types of unique marine life/creatures made up of battalions of tiny polyps, miniscule sea anemone. These creatures inhabit only in warm seas and live together in clonie, some of these creatures can create a hard skeleton outside their bodies and it is for this reason to why it eventually forms into stonu coral.
Corals are composed in many shapes, sizes and colors such as the open-branched stag’s horn coral, the pincushion looking like acropora coral, the wavy branched as well as plate like the massively solid flavia coral and convoluted brain coral.
Islands in the Stream
Kiunga Marine national reserve is made up of a chain of 50 coral island lying about 2 kilometers offshore but inshore of the fringing free, these islands extend to the main lands of Dodori and Boni national reserve and they are comprised of old eroded coral. The islands are a home to lesser kuddus, monkeysm bushbucks, porcupine and wild pig.
SAFARI ACTIVITIES TO DO IN KIUNGA MARINE NATIONAL RESERVE
Kiunga Marine national reserve is a fascinating safari destination well known for its beautiful scenery and marine water sheltering unique water species and amazing activities such as water skiing, snorkeling, diving, sunbathing, wind surfing, fishing and bird watching.
Snorkeling is an exciting water activity to do in the park, this activity offer an opportunity to enjoy exploring the under waters, we doing this activity make sure you have the right gears to help you navigate the underwater. While snorkeling you will enjoy watching various marine life inhabiting in the waters.
Kiunga Marine national reserve is dotted with remarkable diving sites for the thrilling diving experience, this activity offers a chance to explore the reefs and the waters of the reserve, one can hire diving equipments at the park.
Another activity to enjoy at the reserve is sunbathing along the beautiful beaches.
What to carry on your safari to Kiunga Marine National reserve
During your safari to Kiunga Marine national reserve, your packing list should include
- T-shirt and Mineral water bottles.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KIUNGA MARINE NATIONAL Reserve
Kiunga marine national reserve is an all year-round Kenya marine destination, this is because the sea/coastal waters in the park are always warm making it possible to diving all year round without a wet suit which is impressive.
ACCOMMODATION IN KIUNGA MARINE NATIONAL RESERVE
Accommodation and lodging in Kiunga Marine national park such as camping at Munira Island Camp, when camping you are to come with your camping equipments. There are safari lodges such as the Kiwayu Safari Village.
GETTING TO KIUNGA MARINE NATIONAL PARK
Kiunga Marine national park can be accessed by road, by air and sea/water transport.
- By Road – The Reserve is situated in remote areas of unspoilt village on the mainland about 150 kilometers east of Lamu.
- By Air – domestic chartered flights are available from Wilson Airport located in Nairobi city flying to the airstrip found in Dodori National Reserve, then drive to the marine park, our safari guide and the driver will be ready to pick you up.
- By sea: using sea is another experience of its own when getting to the park park, boat rides start from Lamu 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.