What comes to mind when thinking about Abu Dhabi? Heat? Sun? Desert? Dryness? How about endless mangrove forests, home to hundreds of plant and animal species? I wasn't expecting it either but a few miles away from downtown Abu Dhabi we found the Eastern Mangrove Lagoon.
Kayak hire is available to explore the lagoon areas yourselves but we opted for a personal tour of the mangroves. We got lucky with the tide as the water was high enough to go into the mangrove forests themselves. We followed our guide through narrow routes while he explained about the ecosystem around us. The mangroves are a safe habitat for younger fish, shrimps and crabs as they serve as protection from predators. The UAE government use the mangroves as a nursery for these animals until they are big enough to join the sea.
From the tranquil mangroves, the skyline of Abu Dhabi is visible. For a moment it feels like a different world, it was almost silent except for bird calls.
When visiting the mangroves make sure to take any rubbish with you and watch where you step/paddle as there is animal life everywhere.