Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Dhow Day!

Last Wednesday we had the pleasure of joining the tourist dhow Kauthar on a full day trip into the Kisite Marine Park. Our aim for the day was to survey the tourists, tour guiding, behaviours of the tourist boats and find out whether the day on the boat was what the visitors were expecting.
-- We introduced ourselves and GVI to the tourist group --

Firstly, we introduced ourselves to the guests on the boat and told them a little about why we are here and what GVI are doing on the Kenyan coast. They also got to find out what exciting things were going to happen on the trip, which was well explained by the tour guide. Within a few minutes of departure we had found a pod of Bottlenose dolphins just outside the Wasini channel and the boat stayed with the group for longer than the code of conduct permits…naughty... totalling over one hour. As we are now in Kenya's peak season for tourism, the demand on tours such as these is higher and everyone wants their tourists to have the best experience.

-- The tourists were excited to see dolphins for the first time --

The tourists got very excited and there seemed to be cameras all over the place trying to get a snap of the dolphins! Once they were satisfied with the photos they, the captain took us off towards Kisite MPA where we jumped in for a snorkel. Dave and I took the lead and swam for our lives to get away from the over excited, noisy tourists who were hoping to Find Nemo! The hour spent in the water was just enough for us all really enjoy swimming with the fishes, experience what the tour guides are teaching the tourists and even see that the tour guides were hungry for more information on what they had seen, to which GVI have been happy to help and have provided laminated Reef Fish guides for use on the tours.

Jumping back on the boat we then headed for our final destination, Coral Spirit Restaurant. En-route we talked with the guests about their experience to find that over all, they thoroughly enjoyed it apart from a few who where sold the idea that they can swim with dolphin but no…because this is against the code of conduct… It is for attitudes and perceptions like this that we hope to provide education and increase awareness about the importance of low-impact environmental conscientious tourism. In the end, it was a productive and insightful day that we all enjoyed, tourists, guides and volunteers alike!