Photo: Lush.

Mangrove Information Centre (Suwung Kawuh)

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Indonesia is home to one quarter of the world’s mangroves, though unfortunately many are disappearing quicker than you can say “that looks like a good spot to build a hotel”.

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In an area that could otherwise be destroyed by costal development, a protected belt of mangrove forest clings to the shoreline eight kilometres south of Sanur. Established with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Mangrove Information Centre (MIC) covers 100 hectares of forest within the 1,375 hectare Taman Hutan Raya (Tahura) Ngurah Rai area and was developed not only to protect the fragile environment, fundamental as a breeding ground for many ocean critters and critical for preventing erosion, but for recreation and education.

Don’t forget your camera. Photo taken in or around Mangrove Information Centre (Suwung Kawuh), Sanur, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Don’t forget your camera. Photo: Sally Arnold

While we applaud the action and sentiment, the area seems either underfunded or mismanaged, as the amount of rubbish and dangerous lack of maintenance of boardwalks, along with the ridiculous 200,000 rupiah entry fee for foreigners (10,000 rupiah for locals) make it difficult to recommend. However, the staff seem to be trying with what they have and were actively collecting rubbish, and some sections of boardwalk are relatively sturdy. Plenty of locals take advantage of the coastal trek and supporting of environmental programmes by locals and foreigners alike certainly helps to protect areas like this from being reclaimed for highly lucrative real estate. Trash and maintenance issues aside, once you are deep in the mangrove forest, it is rather captivating and a haven for birdwatchers and keen-eyed critter spotters.

Approximately 1.9 kilometres of boardwalk meander along two adjoining loops, one until the edge of the ocean, from where you can see the tolled causeway bridge that links to Nusa Dua, and (for plane-spotters) witness aircraft coming into land at Denpasar airport. You’ll want to be extremely cautious on some sections of the boardwalk, boards were so rotten, both the platform and supporting beams, that we were quite fearful in sections and we wouldn’t recommend taking young kids until it’s ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
The road to the Mangrove Information Centre is signposted on the eastern side of Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai (in Indonesian: Balai Pengelolaan Hutan Mangrove Wilayah 1), you’ll need private transport or it’s about a 40-minute cycle from Sanur.

Mangrove Information Centre (Suwung Kawuh)
8 km south of Sanur, Km 21, Jalan Bypass Ngurah, Suwung Kauh
Mo-Su: 08:00-19:00, last entry 18:00
T: (0361) 726 969
Admission: 200,000 rupiah for foreigners, 10,000 rupiah for Indonesians

Location map for Mangrove Information Centre (Suwung Kawuh)

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