Mai Po Nature Reserve is a 270 hectare protected nature reserve in the territory of Hong Kong in China. Although it is a bit alien to people visiting Hong Kong, the diversity seen here makes it a place worth visiting, especially for bird lovers. The bird diversity in the area is astonishing, about 72% of all bird species found in Hong Kong can be seen in Mai Po. Even some of the most endangered species like black-faced spoonbills are found here.
About Mai Po Nature Reserve
In 1984, only 3 years after being established in the then British territory of Hong Kong, WWF took charge of the conservation of natural resources in Mai Po. To raise funds, WWF took several steps such as organizing school tours, the first major bird race and many other events that attracted public interest. In 1988, WWF began its ambitious project to establish marine parks throughout the territory of Hong Kong.
In 1992 WWF organized the first nature walk, then Discover Mai Po, to raise funds as well as awareness for the conservation of these precious resources. It has been more than 30 years since WWF took over and things have completely changed on the ground in Mai Po. From a nature reserve that needed conservation, it has been transformed into one of the most popular and well-protected nature and biodiversity reserves in the world.
This is a restricted area which comes under WWF, you have to take prior permission before entering the reserve.
Check-in 3-4 days before travel
Please bring your passport and WWF membership on the day of the visit as entry to the reserve is only valid for WWF members.
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Things to do in Mai Po Nature Reserve
1. Visit Gei Wei
The area of Gei Wei is easily accessible by a paved road passing between the shrimp ponds. It is also suitable for people with mobility problems. There is wildlife all along the way around the scope and you can easily spot the wildlife if you are careful enough to look for them. There are mainly 7 birding sites which are also accessible to people sitting in wheelchairs. It is sometimes a bit strange to see the Shenzhen skyline so close against the backdrop of the reserve.
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2. Explore the Mangroves
If you continue on the paved path, you will go deeper into the reserve and see the natural mangrove vegetation of the area. After continuous conservation efforts, these mangroves have eventually become an area with abundant biodiversity and ecology around them.
3. See the mud flats of Deep Bay
If you walk further inside the nature reserve on floating wooden planks and boardwalks, you will find the muddy flatlands of a deep bay. When you arrive at the muddy flatlands, especially if you come during autumn or winter, you will be stunned to see hundreds of thousands of birds flocking to the barren wetlands of one of the most urbanized areas in the world.
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Flora and fauna in Mai Po Nature Reserve
Mai Po Nature Reserve has more than 250 species of plants, both aquatic and terrestrial. This abundance of vegetation allows ecosystems to flourish which creates the conditions for biodiversity to flourish in the area. The flora of Mai Po and the greater Hong Kong area is the reason why Mai Po has such an abundance of different species of animals.
Over 400 species of birds, 49 of which are critically endangered, can be found in the Mai Po Nature Reserve. In addition to birds, there are more than 100 species of butterflies, 250 species of moths, 50 species of dragonflies, 40 species of crabs, 80 species of aquatic invertebrates, 8 amphibian species and more than 20 species of mammals in the Mai Po Nature Reserve and its adjacent marshes. Can be found in. it. Such abundance of this natural treasure is of interest to any nature lover and even non-nature lovers.
Best time to visit Mai Po Nature Reserve
The best time to visit Mai Po Nature Reserve is the autumn and spring season where more than 300 species of birds grace the area and are of great interest to nature lovers.
Spring in Hong Kong lasts from late February to late March and autumn lasts from late October to around Christmas. The reserve is open all year round; You just need to get a permit.
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How to reach Mai Po Nature Reserve?
Already packed? Head to Mai Po Nature Reserve by choosing the most suitable option from those listed. Don’t forget to book your tickets on time.
1. By air
Mai Po Nature Reserve is approximately 50 km from Hong Kong International Airport, making it really accessible as HKI is one of the largest air transport hubs in the world. The taxi ride from Hong Kong Airport to Mai Po will take 50 to 55 minutes.
2. By train
The nature reserve is accessible via Hong Kong’s MTR network. Just get off at Sheung Shui Station and exit Gate C. From there take a 76km bus to Mae Po Station and then walk about 20 minutes to the park entrance.
3. By road
If you wish to travel by road from these major cities, the nature reserve is only 6 km from Shenzhen, just 60 km from Macau and approximately 1200 km from Shanghai.
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where to stay?
You can enjoy a luxury stay at Four Points by Sheraton Shenzhen, Laving Jinjiang Hotel and Asta Hotel Shenzhen, near Mai Po Nature Reserve. Budget accommodation at nominal rates can be availed at Motel 168 on Shenzhen Guihua Road, Nanguo Chain Hotel, Shenzhen Ruichang Hotel and Gangyi Boutique Hotel.
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There isn’t much you can do at Mai Po Nature Reserve other than bird watching and hiking. But if you come in season time then only these two things will take away all your time and believe it or not, it will be one of the best time you spend in the presence of nature in your next trip to Hong Kong.,
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