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Kayaking through the mangrove

Bonaire's mangrove forests are an important food source for life in the Caribbean Sea. A huge variety of animals make their home among the long roots of these trees. The mangroves are located in Lac Bay which is in the southeast corner of the island. Enjoy an athletic adventure and explore this protected nature reserve by kayak.

The mangroves in Lac Bay are over 850 years old and are unique within the Caribbean region. Lac Bay is home to 4 different species of mangroves. These trees are specially adapted to filter the salt from seawater and thus consume fresh water. This is one of the few species of trees to thrive in coastal regions.

Explore the mangrove by kayak
Explore the mangrove by kayak

Bonaire

Deep inside the forest

Mangroves are hard to explore due to their dense vegetation and low water levels; most people only see the edges of these forests. However, with a kayak one can penetrate deep into the mangrove forest – an unforgettable experience. Various companies on Bonaire, including the Mangrove Info Center Bonaire, organise kayak tours through the mangroves of Lac Bay. The Center was founded in 2002 and combines a research and information centre. All kayak tours depart from here, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Enjoy the peace and quiet as you paddle through the vegetation. There are also tours that combine kayaking and snorkelling in the mangroves; a unique opportunity to observe the rich exotic flora and tropical fish. Please note that fins are not allowed while snorkelling as these may damage the mangroves and the ecosystem.

The tranquillity of the mangroves
A flamingo among the mangroves
A red heron

Bird watching

The mangroves are a nesting ground for countless exotic birds. Here you will find waders, avocets and various species of herons. The mangrove cuckoo and Bonaire’s well-known flamingo also make their home here. Birders should bring their binoculars as there will be plenty to see from their kayak.

Photo credits

  • The tranquillity of the mangroves: Tom Jenkins, Flickr
  • A flamingo among the mangroves: Knight725, Flickr
  • A red heron: Matej Novak, Flickr