The Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve System (DMRS) is a group of marine wildlife reserves in Tanzania, situated off the coast of Dar es Salaam Region. The reserve system consists of Seven (7) islands of Bongoyo, Mbudya, Pangavini, Fungu Yasini, Makatobe, Sinda and Kendwa. It provides protection for several important tropical ecosystems; coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds. These reserves are managed by Marine Parks and Reserves Unit (MPRU) through the Marine Parks and Reserves Act No. 29 of 1994.
Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve
Bongoyo Island lies close to Msasani Peninsula in dare s Salaam city, about 30 minute by boat ride from the city mainland. The place of departure for most visitors who wants to visit the Bongoyo Island is the ‘Slipway’mall complex on the western side of the Msasani Peninsula in Dar es Salaam.
Location: Bongoyo Island is located about 2.5km north of the Dar es Salaam city. This island is the most frequently visited islands in the city.
- It is about 30 minutes ride by motorized dhow from Msasani slipway to Bongoyo Island.
- The Msasani slipway has boats, which makes go and return visits to the island 4 times a day. There are a number of visitors who arrives on the island by means of their private own boats or hired boats from beach hotels.
- 10 min by speedboat from Msasani bay.
- Marine species; the main coastal habitats around Bongoyo Island include sand beaches (beach I and II), coral reefs, sea grass beds, rocky shores, lagoons (shark lagoon) and algal beds.
- Plants and animals; Two species of hawksbill (eretmochely imbricata) and green turtles chilonea are reported to occur around Bongoyo and Mbudya islands
- Lagoon Cave & Sharks; Bongoyo Island is a popular destination for those looking to get away from civilization for a while. There are plenty of snorkeling opportunities in places like Shark’s Lagoon Cave that was named after young sharks that swim along the shores hunting for octopies.
- Hiking; Hiking around Bongoyo Island is also popular although many visitors like to simply sit on the beach with a good book or relax with a picnic.
Mbudya Island Marine Reserve
Mbudya Island (simply Mbudya) is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, north of the Country’s capital city, Dar es Salaam and is one of the four island of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve (DMRS).
The Island lies close to the beach resort and fishing Community of Kunduchi and is reachable by means of a 20 minutes motorboat ride crossing from the mainland. It is therefore a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike, serving as a location for a variety of leisure activities, including snorkeling, sunbathing and hiking.
The Island offers fabulous snorkeling and diving opportunities and is a fourable day outing for visitors to the section of Tanzania coast. Mbudya Island is situated about 3km offshore, within easy reach of the hotels on the north coast of Dar es Salaam.
There are hereby sand beaches on the western and eastern sides. On the western side, it is possible to have barbecued fish with chips and drinks. There is plenty of shade under the casuarina trees.
There is a washroom located near the resting beach. On the beach there are bandas where you can rest while enjoying chips with fish and soft drinks.
Mbudya has many to offer and it is such a great way to spend a weekend in Dar es Salaam, Its a home of Crabs, Snorkeling, Diving, hiking and sunbathing. The water & scenery of Mbudya were picture perfect…so relaxing and amazingly beautiful. One is able to snorkel & see some of the colorful fish hiding in the Indian Ocean coral reef.
The Island is covered with dense stands of Palms and Baobabs. The rare Coconut crabs are found on the Island. To get to the Island, one of many local motorized dhow and ngalawa can be hired. The hotels like White Sands, Silver Sands, Kunduchi beach, Beach Comber and Bahari beach are able to provide more modern transport to the Island.
Pangavini Island Marine Reserve
Pangavini Island is an uninhabited island in the Zanzibar Channel in Tanzania, north of the country’s capital city, Dar es Salaam and is one of the nine islands of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve System .
The island is small, only about 250 m long; it has a rocky coastline without beaches.
Pangavini Island is an important breeding, resting and feeding site to a variety of rats, birds and reptiles . There is also an assortment of insects including butterflies.
Fungu Yasini Island Marine Reserve
Fungu Yasini Island (or simply Fungu Yasini) is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, north of the country’s capital city, Dar es Salaam and is one of the four islands of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve (DMRS). It is about three miles offshore in the Indian Ocean (Zanzibar Channel).
Some Tourism attractions found in Dar es salaam Marine Reserves System:
Clean and crystal water
The Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves System are unique due to their good scenic diving and snorkeling sites.
The reserves are breeding ground of the endangered turtle; the common species are green and hawksbill turtles both of them nests in the reserves.
The rare Coconut Crab - the largest land crab on earth - is common on Mbudya Island; as its name suggests this crab feeds on coconut, and is actually able to climb coconut palms, where it is thought to pinch off coconuts with its powerful claws when coconuts are not already available on the ground.
These islands have the splendor of being the home of most of the being the home of most of the birds that hove over Dar es Salaam city during the day. The reserves save as a stopover of migratory birds during their flight from winter and it is also the nesting sanctuary of the birds.
Sea grass beds:
The lucky swimmers can also see the rare sea horse on the sprawling sea grass beds, an indicator that the reserves are pristine and virgin.
DMRs host ruins of a German outpost and a tomb. The tombs have generated myths, and pull visitors who visit them to pay homage and make sacrifices for cleansing and fortune.
There are number of unspoiled beaches to explore and have fun in DMRs.
Over 200 species of hard and soft corals are found in these reserves, these are pristine areas for snorkeling and diving. Also more than 300 species of marine fish are found in the reserves.
Visitors use the Dar Marine Reserve as day light resorts and camping. Facilities available on the islands include shades (bandas), information board and nature trails.
While at the islands, visitors could be serves with bites, drinks and fresh cooked fish served by local community members who are responsible for tour guide, security and first aid.
The community members also play a vital role of being honorary rangers for the Marine Reserves in all activities related to conservation and protection of the environment.
Visitors wishing to visit the scenic island are encouraged to collect electronic tickets at Slip way Hotel, White sands hotel and Marine Parks and Reserves Unit HQ office before touring the island to avoid disturbances. It is illegal to visit the islands without valid ticket!
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