Adventure out and kayak the peaceful mangroves in Abu Dhabi. Paddle along and discover the natural beauty of the mangroves while you enjoy the clear water and clearer sky. It is easily doable in less than 2 hours and ideal for solo travelers, families or couples. It will be fun and a great alternative to the overly marketed shopping that is often associated with this region.
Touring companies are all around (we used www.divemahara.com) and you can easily book online. Although you do not have to be a super athlete, general fitness in required. Your guide will show you how to paddle and get comfortable on your sit-on-top kayak.
Mangrove forests prevent the coastline erosion caused by waves and ocean currents and play an important role in reducing carbon emissions, thereby contributing to lessening the impacts of climate change. In the past in the UAE, mangrove wood was a major source of food and fuel, and was also used for building houses and ships because of its durability and high resistance to rot and termites.
You will be accompanied by an experienced guide and tours include:
- a guide
- a sit-on-top kayak including paddle
- use of a PFD (personal floatation device – a life jacket)
What you would need to pack and wear
- Water is provided, but pack a small snack if you think you might get hungry
- Sun hat and sunglasses
- Comfortable clothes (shorts and t-shirts will work fine, no need for swimwear)
- Closed shoes
- Waterproof bag (although this can be provided by the company)
We opted for the “white” service which allowed us the use the golf club bathrooms and showers afterwards.
What you can expect to see:
We encountered some indigenous wildlife right on the waters’ edge including Egrets, Herons, Crab Plovers, and Sandpipers.
Abu Dhabi Skyline is pretty gorgeous set against the mangroves and open water.
A bit more about the mangroves:
Abu Dhabi hosts approximately 110 km2 of both natural and planted mangroves which, provide a rich natural habitat and safe breeding ground for several fish species, sea snakes, turtles and commercially important shrimp, snapper, grunt fish and sea bream. This is according to (https://www.abudhabi.ae) Sea birds also find safe nesting and egg laying areas in the vast mangrove forests.
MANGROVES = another functional desert plant. Sadly they are being cut down, so sea snakes, turtles, fish and birds are displaced. It does sound like there is a massive program to replant and rehabilitate where possible. Our 1.5h trip included bird watching and sunburn.
A few facts:
🍃 The area hosts approximately 110 km in both natural and planted mangroves.
🍃 Another functional desert plant – super adaptable to overcome salinity and frequent tidal inundation.
🍃 Average height of trees in Abu Dhabi is 3-5meters
🍃 Mangrove forests also serves as Carbon sinks (and doing a Pretty Good job of it) 🍃 Some 60 bird species can be found in the Mangrove National Park – crab plovers, Grey heron, sandpipers, Night Heron… To name a few.
*** This is a perfect activity if you are not keen on malls and shopping and all that jazz ***