I found a lovely place to visit last weekend, a small wetland in the heart of Sharjah’s Wasit area.Beautifully laid out, it’s a gem of a place to visit for a couple of hours.
Previously a fly-tipping site, the Wasit Wetland Centre, managed by the EPAA, opened to the public in 2015. With over 60 resident and migratory species of birds, the centre is situated at a meeting point between the land and sea, part of a chain of wetlands along the Gulf Coast.
Extensive dunes, mud flats, salty lagoons and freshwater pools support wetland wildlife providing shelter, food and nesting opportunities.
Large aviaries play host to a multitude of bird species and inside the centre’s viewing area there is the opportunity to watch a variety of the birds close-up. Outside the aviary, a lake is a home for several pink-backed Pelicans and a multitude of smaller birds.
After visiting the aviary, a wetland ride is taken around the lake on a buggy to visit the hides scattered along the shore.
It’s probably best to go on the ride before 4.30pm. Ours was taken at high speed, as it was close to 5pm, finishing time for the ride. Walking, it’s a 4.4km path around the lakes.
For bird enthusiasts, it’s a lovely place to visit and is also family-friendly, with well laid out information on the species.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Where: Wasit Wetland Centre is in Wasit Natural Reserve, Ramtha District, near Wasit on the outskirts of Sharjah city, adjacent to Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.
Timing: 9am-6.30pm on weekdays, 2pm-6.30pm on Friday and 11am-6.30pm on Saturday. Closed on Tuesday.
Entry: Children under the age of 12 get in free, whilst adults will pay Dh15.