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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tour Trail in Shimoni Forest!

Last weekend was a special and momentous one. Five volunteers from our Community Project in Mombasa ventured down to the South Coast to enjoy a slightly wild and different experience.

One of GVI’s Project Partners, Friends of Shimoni Forest has been collaborating with GVI in working towards community based conservation. This is done in a number of ways and one of the large focuses in recent times has been to establish an eco-tourist trail in Shimoni Forest to help create community awareness about the importance of the forest, and realizing there is economic value in protecting rather than destroying the forest. We essentially had a real ‘tour group’ of 5 people which were led by two professional FSF Tour Guides through the tourist trail showing them important tree species including the mangroves, spotting Colobus and Sykes Monkeys, various bird species and even spotted a red bellied coastal squirrel!

- Guides Hassan and Hamisi with the GVI 'tour guests'-

Another highlight was also the cultural aspect of going on the tourist trail. There are cultural heritage sites located deep in the forest called ‘Kayas’. Each Kaya tells a different story and it was amazing to be some of the first people other than members of the villages surrounding Shimoni Forest to listen and learn about the history, along with the old and current traditions of local culture.

The day was a huge accomplishment for FSF and GVI and we look forward to further developing the work program, educating and helping to promote conservation of Shimoni Forest.