After lunch some of us went off to the Wasini Island Coral 'garden'. This is an area close to the village, where the coral stands have been exposed due to changes in sea level. There is a boardwalk that enables the visitor to explore the mangroves where the mud-burrowing fiddler crabs and mudskipper fish can be easily seen. There is an extra fee of 200KSh per person to enter the area but it is run by a Women's eco-project so hopefully the money will find its way into the local community. I was glad to have seen the mangrove at close quarters and to see the crabs go about their daily business.
Punda Shamba, Wasini Island 80100, Kenya
Good for: Couples
This is on the south end of Wasini Island. Nice idea. Shame about the completely irresponsible menu item selection.
When you are sold this trip they dont tell you about the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims who have eaten there before you - and cleaned out local stocks of mud crab in the process. They also dont tell you about the feral cats, the bats in the roof and the rampant damage done in the nearby marine parks.
Its sold as a part of an allegedly "environmentally sensitive" tour.
Avoid it, go to the local restaurants instead. Better sustainable menus, less crowds. Your dollar goes straight to the local community.
From the late 60's hundreds of thousands of smelly tourist feet have trampled the reef structures and waters near or on Wasini Island. It, and especially the used-to-be-so-nice places at Mpunguti and Kisite, are now national park eco disasters. Fortunately there is now a modicum of control exhibited by the Kenya Wildlife Service. But one wonders how good that control really is, whether it is too little, too late.
Given the poverty of the area, one wonders also whether the local people have benefitted, in a real material sense, over the years commercial tourism has existed here.
For an alternative viewpoint, you may find www.wasini-island-kenya.com an interesting if somewhat a poke-in-the-eye viewpoint. Warning - some may find this annoying !
Unique Suggestions: Avoid giving sweets to small children. If you do, give them a dental appointment and pay for it.
Avoid large fatuous claims of "conservation" and "doing the good deed" by supporting the local people. These are all made by companies large enough to employ expats rather that Wasinis. Similarly any claims of "volunteer activism" being good for the area is mere bunkum. The only thing its good for is foreign bank accounts.
Fun Alternatives: There are more professional ethnically owned and operated concerns who will take you to these places. Use them, they need the money.