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Tudor Creek, Mombasa, Kenya

The mangroves of Tudor Creek are unique because of their peri-urban setting so close to the settlements of Kisauni, Mikindani, and Mombasa’s Old Town. As you’re wandering through the tree line, you will spot the high rises of Mombasa in the distance. This sets the project apart from other mangrove restoration projects in Kenya which happen in more ‘conventional’ settings and which subsequently attract most of the media attention and thus funding.

What makes the site unique is therefore the manner in which the restoration work is deeply entwined with the local, urban community. School children often help us out with planting activities, the camp’s office is in the nearby village of Junda (where the camp coordinator is a respected member of the community), and the camp has key support from the community elders. Many restoration projects located so close to urban settlements tend to lead to ongoing conflict, whereas Mombasa Mangrove Forest is successfully bridging the gap with awareness campaigns and proactive outreach.

The camp members currently doing the active restoration work are both the hardest workers, and the most successful ambassadors. They are all volunteers from nearby villages, mostly female, many of whom are single mothers. Local fishermen, who depend on the mangroves for healthy fish stocks, are also actively supporting the work.

Despite being so close to the city, the mangroves are teeming with a kaleidoscope of blue, red and yellow fiddler crabs, darting water salamanders, a broad variety of colourful bird species, and beautiful (but harmless!) golden orb weaver spiders. 

All the key ingredients are therefore in place for the camp to exponentially scale up their restoration activities – they just need you!

Camper Opportunities

Given that the land where the restoration work is being done is government owned, the camp is unable to build physical structures for campers on site. However, there are still a myriad of ways to get involved!

What to Expect

Despite the lack of physical structures, the warm welcome and sense of community you will experience is second to none. Regardless of the manner of accommodation that you opt for in Mombasa, your daily work with the community is guaranteed to result in deep belly laughs, strong social bonds, and lots of physical work rummaging through the mud to plant seedlings and create nurseries.

Do note that southern Kenya, and Mombasa in particular, is hot all year round. The work therefore only happens from the morning hours until noon, at which point the temperatures make it too hot to work outdoors. This is typically when campers sit back and relax in the shade of the mangroves, with a soft drink or juice box, and plan their next move!

Who is needed

Camp Mombasa Mangrove Forest is currently at the early stages of developing a camp, but are already very advanced when it comes to having built a community. Their aim is therefore to become financially self-sustaining as quickly as possible. 

Apart from volunteers to do the physical work in the mangroves, they are therefore also on the lookout for people who can:

Help catalyse secondary businesses such as beekeeping and honey production. This means anyone who has experience running a honey or beekeeping business, or alternatively, someone keen to throw themselves at the challenge! This could be management consultants, branding and marketing experts, accountants, business developers, and more. The more experience you have working in Kenya, the better.

They pride themselves on their recent uptake of digital tools to help track the planting work, and subsequent accounting. They’re therefore always keen to speak to software engineers or solutions architects willing to donate their time to help them improve on this work!

Finance, carbon credit or offsetting experts, who can help mature alternative revenue streams for the “blue carbon” work that they’re doing.

A key piece of equipment to bring for working in the mud and mangroves is adequate shoes, such as scuba diving shoes, surfer ‘booties’, or conventional water shoes. You will also need ample SPF 50 sunscreen, a broad brimmed hat and oral rehydration tablets.

Achievements to date

The existing mangrove treeline consists of approximately 215 hectares of mangroves, of which we have actively restored approximately 12. The plan is to fully restore the remaining 1400 hectares of mud flats, which, up until a few decades ago, contained a thriving ecosystem of mangrove trees. 

We therefore start our work from where it makes sense- outwards from the existing treeline adjacent to Junda village, to maximise the survival rate of newly planted seedlings.

Vision and Socio-economic-ecological context​

The camp’s vision is to fully restore the mangroves of Tudor Creek Delta, just a few miles north of the Old Town of Mombasa, Kenya.

This delta once contained a lush thicket of mangrove trees that provided a wide range of ecosystem services to the community. Unfortunately, due to rapid population growth, the need for firewood and charcoal for cooking, and poverty, much of the mangrove treeline has now been cut down. Due to a number of factors, such as the government banning the export of mangrove wood in 1982, as well as a concerted effort by governmental and NGO actors to put mangroves firmly on the climate agenda, the camp is  now well on its way to restoring the treeline to where it was more than half a century ago.

Mangroves are considered by most in the conservation sector to be the ‘gold standard’ of trees. They sequester between 2-4x as much carbon dioxide as tropical rainforests, are a key spawning ground for fish that then swim off to the open ocean, and constitute some of the most effective forms of coastal erosion protection.

The camp team has been working in the community for more than a decade, and they look forward to fulfilling their goal of restoring the 1400 remaining hectares which are currently degraded.

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 Established Camp

Organising Partners

Brain Youth Group
The project has also received support or permissions from a number of key government agencies and NGOs including Kenya Wildlife ServiceKenya Coastal Development AuthorityKenya Forest ServiceKenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, the World Bank and UNDP.

Restoration Activities

Tree planting Soil restoration Regenerative entrepreneurialism Community building Erosion prevention Restoration of livelihoods Encouraging biodiversity

Latest Camp News
What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

Contact us:

Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Joppelaan 77
7215 AD Joppe
The Netherlands

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