Shimba Hills National Reserve

For a contrasting excursion from the Coast, Shimba Hills National Reserve is an easy drive and offers beautiful, lush scenery. It has a unique and botanically rich coastal rainforest.

Two of Kenya's most beautiful orchids can be found here.

Another rare species, unique to the Reserve, is the Sable Antelope with its handsome near-black coat.

Buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards and several primates are found here.

While at the coast it is a wonderful place to visit and to experience the dry red-soil of Kenya and perhaps go on a safari to explore the animals; especially the elephants in the reserve.

The roads are in good shape all through the year and with signpost everywhere, easily to navigate. It is a well managed park and small enough for a day trip, if this is all the time you have.

There are a few accommodations should you feel like spending the night and enjoying the wonderful forest full of elephants and to enjoy a sun-downer in the evening.

The best places to see wildlife are on the flat grasslands near the spectacular Sheldrick's Falls and on the Lango Plains near Giriama Point with a tremendous view over rolling park land to the escarpment, from where you can look out to the Indian Ocean.

There are number of short walking trails at Elephant Lookout and Pengo Fill and the falls.

The distance from Mombasa to Shimba Hills is about 33 km. You will need to take the ferry at Likoni heading to Diani and Tiwi beach. Take the main A14 coast road for about 10 km south until you get to the main crossroad. The road will climb up to Kwale road where the main gate is located about 1 km from the C106 road and about 3 km from Kwale.

Shimba Hills National Reserve Facts

  • Area 321 sq. km
  • Distance from Mombasa 56 km
  • Opened September 1968
  • Easy excursion from coast
  • Rich coastal rainforest
  • Gameviewing: buffalo, lion, elephant, giraffe, leopard
  • Unique sable antelope
  • Sheldrick's Falls

Reference: Kenya Wildlife Services

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