Mangroves are any member of a wide variety of species of shrub that are able to grow in salt water and survive where no other plants can. Large forests of these mangroves stretch out from the many estuaries in Kilwa District.
It has been estimated around 20,000 Ha of mangroves exist in Kilwa District, making it one of the most densely populated areas on the whole eastern seabord of Africa.
Mangrove forests shelter the young of many marine species and allow them to grow to maturity in a protected environment. The number of species found within a set area of mangrove is comparable to that found within a rainforest.
The mangrove poles have been harvested for centuries as they provide straight, insect proof poles suitable for all kinds of construction and some species are farmed within the district.
We offer guided walks nearby these forests, however due to the high bacteria content of the soil we don’t recommend walking among the mangroves.
It is possible to go on a small boat to see the mangroves and this also gives the opportunity to admire the amazing bird life of the area.
No research has been undertaken on the bird life in Kilwa District and it is this along with mangrove protection that we are trying to encourage with our partners at the KIYODEA research centre.
We often combine a visit to the mangroves with a tour around the salt pans; showing how seasalt is made using the power of the sun alone.