Mangroves provide a variety of ecosystem services including supporting a variety of biodiversity for threatened species, timber and medicinal plants. They also help to prevent erosion from wind and waves and sequester and store carbon. In fact, mangrove forests store three to five times more carbon than other types of forests, such as tropical rain forests. The wood and soil in mangrove forests around the world’s coastlines holds 3 billion metric tons of carbon. In order to enjoy these wonderful mangrove forests as a traveler, taking an ecotour is the best way, which conserves the surrounding environment while you are on a tour.
Indonesia has the most mangrove forests in the world, with more than 3.5 million hectares throughout its coastline. Eco mangrove tours in Indonesia can either include walking through boardwalks or kayaking through a mangrove tunnel.
Indonesia also recently started a mangrove school to educate visitors and villagers alike on the importance of these forests and the loss of these living landscapes. The primary goal of mangrove school is to educate school aged children about the importance of protecting these super carbon storing mangrove forests. Some of the best locations to find eco mangrove tours in Indonesia are Java, Bali and Pangandaran.
In 2015, Sri Lanka became the first country in the world to implement a nationwide plan to protect all of its mangrove forests. The country offers several options for eco mangrove tours and even has the first mangrove museum, Seacology-Sudeesa Mangrove Museum in Puttalam.
On a mangrove kayaking tour you’ll explore mangrove tunnels and get to see a wide variety of wildlife and migratory birds. Profits from the tours are used to employ locals and for educational programs to help save the mangrove forests. Some great eco mangrove tours can be found in Negombo, Arugam Bay and Chilaw.
Turks And Caicos
There are a total of 90 sites recognized as mangrove forests on the islands of Turks and Caicos. These islands are overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the West Indies they are located in the Atlantic Ocean and considered part of the Caribbean.There are plenty of options for eco-friendly mangrove tours on many of the islands in the Turks.
Most are either standup paddle boarding or mangrove kayaking tours that help you to explore the beautiful tropical mangrove forests of the islands. Expert guides will share science and nature facts as you paddle through a mangrove tunnel. You’ll encounter a variety of marine life in these mangroves including turtles, baby sharks and stingrays. One of the best places to take eco-friendly mangrove tours in Turks and Caicos is on Grace Bay.
In the Florida Keys you’ll be treated to different varieties of mangroves including black, red and white. There are several options for eco tours in the Keys and most are mangrove kayaking tours. During these tours you’ll learn about the geology of the Florida Keys and what makes them perfect for these beautiful mangrove forests.
As you paddle through a mangrove tunnel you’ll discover the diverse wildlife that calls the mangroves home including jellyfish, crab and seabirds. Some of the best places to take eco mangrove tours in the Florida Keys include Key West, Key Largo and Cedar Key.
Exploring mangrove forests is a great way to understand the importance of these amazing trees. When looking for a tour company make sure that the company is using sustainable practices for mangrove tours, making sure not to cause harm to these carbon storing beauties. Help to protect the mangroves by taking an ecotour and discovering more about the wonderful world of mangrove forests!
Would you like to know more about eco-friendly travel?
To receive inspiration direct to your email inbox, please click here and subscribe to the Ecotourism World newsletter!