Shimba Hills National Reserve is a scenically beautiful tourist destination in the Kenyan coast. The 300kmē reserve is located 30km south of Kenya's coastal town of Mombasa. The reserve has sufficient flora and fauna and supports lots of wildlife and birds. Vegetation at the reserve is a mixture of riverine plants, grassland and equatorial forests. It is the second largest coastal forest after Arabuko Sokoke National Reserve.
Wildlife and Birds in Shimba Hills National Reserve
Do not be deceived by the small size of Shimba Hills National Reserve. In Kenya, the reserve has the highest elephant population, and Kenya is known for her high elephant population. It is famous for the 2005 elephant relocation when the reserve was deemed too populated with the African giant. As a result, 150 elephants were relocated to Tsavo East National Park. The reserve is also popular as the home of the Sable antelope. Well, it is important to note that it is the only Kenyan reserve with the sable antelope. Shimba hills is not just about elephants and the rare sable antelope. It is also home to hundreds species mammals, amphibians, insects and reptiles. To support all these lives in a such a small park, there are more than 1,100 plant species. The reserve is endowed with both grassland and forest bird species.
Tourist Attractions in Shimba Hills National Reserve
The rare Sable Antelope is a delight to watch
A small park with hundeds of Elephants
Sheldrick Falls is a spectacular scene
The thick coastal Mwaluganje Forest
Weather and Climate in Shimba Hills National Reserve
The reserve lies 400m above the sea level, so you expect the place to be remarkably hot. Well, it is hot, but you won't feel the heat even during the dry season. The annual average temperature is about 24°C. Thanks to the cool breeze coming from the Indian Ocean, the reserve remains cool most times. The park receives an average annual rainfall of 855mm-1682mm.
Best Time To Visit Shimba Hills National Reserve
Like most Kenyan nature-centric destinations, Shimba Hills experiences two rainy seasons intertwined between two dry seasons. The July to October dry season is the longest and the best time to visit the park. Tourists flock the park at this time because rainfall do not interrupt game drives.
How To Get to Shimba Hills National Reserve
The reserve us located next to Kwale Town but you will have to get to it through the coastal city of Mombasa. From Nairobi, you can either fly to Mombasa International Airport or go by road. The road trip is long but a view of Kenya's countryside is extremely exiting. Take a ferry at Likoni to get to Kenya's southern coastline. It is this coastline that has both Diani and Tiwi beaches. Take the road to Kwale Town. The park is located 3km from Kwale but you take the turn to the main gate before you get to Kwale.
Where To Stay while in Shimba Hills National Reserve
Shimba Hills us a great place for tranquil outdoor vacation. Professional Campsite, Sheldrick Walk Falls Campsite, Ocean View Campsite and Makadara Picnic Campsite are ideal camping places. More deluxe accommodation is available in Shimba Hills Lodge and the nearby Kwale Golden Guest House, Shimba Hills Green Safari Lodge, Jumbo Hilltop Lodge, Kutazama Lodge, Pumzika Tu Guest House and Shimba Breeze Guest House all near the reserve.
Malaria, Vaccinations and Safety in Shimba Hills National Reserve
Malaria is a threat in the park, just as it is in East Africa. While it is a norm to be vaccinated against malaria before you travel to Kenya, you may also need to carry a mosquito repellant and sleep under w well treated mosquito net. The hotels around do a fairly good job in providing the latter.
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