Kalba has a special place in my heart. Years ago I used to go up there with a close friend when we were feeling low and needed to escape from our life and Dubai. In those days, there was not much there, but there was this little bridge you could go over onto an island and watch the wildlife, especially turtles swimming around by the mangroves. We used to take some karak chai, chat and watch nature unfold around us. It was blissful.
10 years later, it has all changed. I came up to Kalba to do another workshop for the Sharjah Young Ladies and thought I would explore Kalba whilst here. Unfortunately it was a Sunday so not much was open. However the Conservation Reserve was open and that was where that little bridge is that we used to cross over.
The area is now gated and home to pods for research, conservations, tourists (including a cafe) and children’s activities. To enter you have to pay AED 15 and get a buggy ride over the bridge (which was good in this heat) to get to the entrance to the first pod. It was fascinating seeing the wildlife and to also see how they have managed to grow the reserve. Walking out of the main two pods, you can walk outside and explore the mangroves. I went for a short walk but it was midday and summer so not the best idea. I am sure it is really lovely in the winter and you will see more animals. I didn’t see any turtles which was heartbreaking for me, but there are supposed to be a lot of them now.
In the same grounds of the conservation area, they have built and eco hotel which you can stay at.
I spent an hour walking and viewing the reserve exhibits and land, which was enough for me. There are a lot of activities for children, so will be good to take, especially in the cooler months.
Khor Kalba Conservation Area – Location
Fee – AED 15
Parking – Free next to the ticket office.
I tried to visit Beit Al Sheikh Saeed, but it was closed for renovations as well as the fort. Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation involves hiking which was not going to happen in my outfit in August. Next time.
One more item off my list.
A few more to go.
Let me know if there are any other wonders in Kalba I should visit when I next go there.
Thanks for reading.
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© Photos by Shelina Jokhiya.