Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park
Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park is a large marine protected area that was established in 2000. It is the second marine park in Tanzania formed under the Marine Parks and Reserves Act, 1994 and is located adjacent to the Mozambican border in southern Tanzania, to the south of Mtwara town.
There are three islands inside the park, namely Namponda, Membelwa (or Mongo) and Kisiwa Kidogo, and there are numerous small rocky islets. According to the WWF and other, the area is also considered to have globally significant marine biodiversity. It covers 650 square kilometres is a unique marine park This is because it has an unusually large ratio of dry land (33% of the park is on land).
Besides the three islands and rocky islets, the environment within the park consists of mangroves, rocky and sandy shoreline, mudflats, salt pans, fringing coral reefs, lagoonal patch reef, seagrass beds.
The park provides nesting habitat for green and hawksbill sea turtles and humpback whales can be seen on their migration to southern Africa between July and December. In addition, Indopacific Humpback dolphin have also been seen the area, while the large population of crab plovers led to Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park being designated an Important Bird Area in 2001.