Haller Park is a nature park in Bamburi, Mombasa, on the Kenyan Coast. It is the transformation of a quarry wasteland into an ecological paradise. Haller Park holds a variety of plant and animal species which serve as a recreation hot spot to tourists and locals. Up to March 2007 it held the famous attraction of Owen and Mzee – the friendship of a hippopotamus and a tortoise.
Dr. Rene Haller believed animals should play an equally important role in the forest ecosystem as plants. The introduction of the millipedes into the casuarina forest triggered a chain reaction of colonization by plants and animals. The creation of new habitats attracted a number of birds, insects and mammals. Some larger mammals were introduced while others moved in.
The mammals had a huge impact on the environment. For example, the bush pig which feed on roots, maggots, and insects helped to aerate the trees root system. The female giraffes feed on leaves and dispersed plants seeds while their feces acted as fertilizer. The dung beetles also played an important role by helping bring the manure underground where it is broken down by micro-organisms creating further plant life.
Water was an essential resource for the development of the plant life in the quarry. Water played an important role in the economical and ecological development of the project. The aquaculture system at Haller Park is a commercial viable unit. The unit consists of the fish farm, crocodile area, and the biological water treatment area (Nile cabbage ponds and rice paddy fields). The Nile cabbage is a special plant which removes excess nutrients and impurities form the water body.
The fish farm is a crucial part of Haller Park. In 1971, The fish farming project started alongside the reforestation project. Rene Haller created a fish tank system. The purpose of the tank system was to give the fish a chance to swim in a constant current. A Tilapia farm was also created in 1980 because of the success of the fish tanks. It produced 30-35 tons per year.