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Venture to Myanmar Wildlife Sanctuary

Venture to Myanmar Wildlife Sanctuary

As one of the Ramsar Sites in Myanmar, Meinmahla Island (literally Island of Belles) is a remote wildlife sanctuary in pristine conditions  – a must for wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers. The sanctuary is an ideal location to see wild estuarine crocodiles and explore mangrove forests, mudflats, and turtle nestling beaches. Abundant in flora and fauna, this island is indeed  a fitting holiday destination as well as suitable for excursions and learning experience.

Meinmahla Island hails from the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, covered by thick canopies of mangrove forests along its banks. Mangrove species such as Thayaw , Kanazo and Thinbaung are endemic. Visitors won’t be disappointed in the island’s local flora and fauna comprising 11 species of orchid, 18 species of mammals (dolphins included) , 59 species of fish, 10 species of crab, 12 shrimp species, 35 butterfly species and 26 snake species are bring protected in the sanctuary.

Meinmahla island is most famous for its crocodiles. There are several species of saltwater crocodiles – the largest reptiles on the planet which can easily be sought out and watched by means of searchlights from the safety of a sturdy boat during nocturnal boat trips. However, these creatures can be found any time – day or night. Be thrilled by a visit to crocodile nests during their breeding season and find banks and undergrowth crawling with crocodile hatchlings.

Latest records have identified 117 species of birds populating this tropical paradise. The best time to visit is February to November when migratory bird species are present. Luxuriant reef-grass grows abundantly in low-lying areas with water ever-present in the sanctuary. Feast your eyes on emerald-hued luxuriant reef-grasslands – the most suitable breeding ground for water birds and observe migratory birds in action, enjoying a most rewarding tropical bird watching experience.

Also be thrilled by the sights of dolphins in their natural habitats. Ayeyarwaddy Dolphins, unique to Myanmar, with distinctive characters – marked by a blunt nose and forehead –  which distinguish them from other species. One of five species of dolphins endemic in inland water bodies, rivers in particular,  and Ayeyarwaddy dolphins have a lifespan of approximately 50 years. These are protected species and local fishermen keep their hands off the dolphins so visitors can observe the truce between two species of mammal – men and dolphins.

Prominent among the native species to this area are turtles 7 miles away to south of the sanctuary on the Turtle Island. If you come at the right time in the breeding season, you will be treated to the scenes of births and struggles to survive, nature as it is.

There is however a tug-of-war between local fishing folks and attempts at conserving the areas along with its natural resources. Questionable fishing methods have poisoned fish and shrimp stocks and there are constant deforestation of mangroves and other tree species have been felled to make charcoal. Your visit will certainly contribute to sustainable ecotourism, helping local people earn their livelihoods while assisting in the conservation of valuable natural resources. There are no luxury accommodations and foods on the way because Meinmahla Island is a very natural place. But for those who love to explore wildlife and adventure it will bring the complacent for sure.

About the Author

Sky Bird Travels & Tours, founded in 2012, your One-Stop Travel Partner in Myanmar, provides bespoke travel and tour services to individual travelers and groups from Myanmar and all over the world. Sky Bird is the initiative of two women entrepreneurs with backgrounds in tourism and development sector. Myanmar is our home and we want you to experience the wonders of our serene culture, our friendly people, our beautiful landscapes and our religious heritage.

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