“Conservation Pays with Love”
Crab samosas?Anyone? In Kenya the only samosas I have ever tasted are those stuffed with beef or the fake ones filled with green grams or potatoes. My taste buds had been living a samosa lie for over 20 years until we visited crack Shack Dabaso in Watamu.
Crab Shack Dabasao is a community owned and operated restaurant and board walk in Mida Creek, Watamu, Kenya. The restaurant and board walk is an initiative of the Mida Creek Conservation Community, community members who came together to protect their environment by making dollar sense out of it by engaging in low impact tourism and sustainable crab farming. It is one of hidden success stories of community based tourism models in Kenya.
Why it stands out
The menu…Crab Shack Dabaso stands out because its shows how, with the right approach, community driven tourism initiatives can work for the good of the people and the environment.
How To Get There
Crab Shack Dabaso is located in Mida, Creek, Watamu,Kenya. The restaurant and board walk can be directly accessed from Gede Watamu Road via the access road through Timoboni Market.
Crab Shack Dabaso also offer taxi services that can take you to the place.
Where to stay
What To do and See
On our way to Crab Shack Dabaso, we opted to walk through Dabaso Village from the Eco World Center by Watamu Marine Association where marine debris are turned into cash (see Eco World Center review). Dabaso village, although sparely populated was lively as the people went about doing their businesses. Children were running here and there playfully while the adults, mostly the women clad in their swahili lesos, were busy preparing meals for their families in outdoor traditional kitchens. Have you ever read those words written on the swahili lesos and started thinking about your life? Anyway the villagers of Dabaso were friendly and polite, we never missed a greeting or a smile.
The board walk
Crab Shack Dababaso has several board walks that lead to the restaurant. The board walks are raised platforms made entirely of wood from mangrove trees. Underneath the platforms is part of the Indian ocean and its waters. Surrounding the platforms are mangrove trees, one of the most important marine vegetation that sustain both terrestrial and aquatic marine life,besides stabilizing shorelines and preventing erosion. Science in action…..
Walking the board walks is an experience on its own, and you will be charged for it, that is if you have only come for the view and not to fill your belly with craaaaab samosas. This is not the only dish on the menu by the way.
The crab farm
We passed by the crab farm where the community sustainably farms the crabs required by the restaurant to do business. The farm is a series of several floating cages.
Finally the “floating restaurant” which overlooks the ocean. Although resembling a “kibanda” and nothing even close to the word star, we were surprised that one section of the restaurant was full and we were lucky. Because this is the only “kibanda” where people make advance bookings to get food or a table. The restaurant is that popular among tourists.
The menu was mainly sea food but had other many entries for the non-sea-food eater. Of course the mouth watering samosas were there. Being city folk, we opted for fish and chips as our main dish, the fish being the king fish and the chips being the potatoes.
The king fish and potatoes
Romantic people, the sunset!
My Tourism Product Experience Rating
We stayed at Crab Shack Dabaso for nearly four hours. This shows how engaging our experience was. The board walk, restaurant and the ocean view stimulated different emotions and reactions, mostly excitement. Rating. 10/10
Management and responsibility
“Look Conservation Farming Pays”. The initiative was meant to be low negative impact to the environment, but high positive impacts on the community and clients. This is what Crab Shack Dabaso is trying to live up to and we were not disappointed. We raised an issue about transport services and one week later it was sorted. This means they take guest feedback seriously. Rating 10/10
Overall Rating. 10/10
Six words “Take me back to Crab Shack” where love for the environment, love from the people and love from and for the crabs is in abundance.
Visit Crab Shack Dabaso with Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel. Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel is a Travelife Partner and an eco award winning tour operator.
Reviewed by Job Odhiambo