Massai Mara I Amboseli I Tsavo I Tsavo Ost I Tsavo West I Shimba Hills
SHIMBA HILLS NATIONAL RESERVE
Floating a misty-cool 400 meters above the palm-fringed reaches of Kenya’s glittering coastline, the Shimba Hills National Reserve offers a unique blend of wood-cloaked downs, wandering elephant, breeze-fanned hills, plunging waterfalls, liana-strung jungle and the primeval stillness of one of the last remaining coastal rainforests on earth. Famed as the only Kenyan habitat of the rare and magnificent sable antelope, the reserve is within thirty minutes drive of the beach, commands panoramic vistas over the Indian Ocean and plays host to one of the most enchanting tree hotels in Kenya. What to see in Shimba Hills Home to some of the oldest plants on earth In the cool glades of the ancient coastal rainforests many of the massively buttressed trees are centuries old. Older still, in origin, are the fern-like cycads that grow in the depths of the jungle, the last survivors of a species that first flourished on earth some 200 million years ago. A unique elephant habitat For those who have enjoyed the spectacle of Kenya’s elephant against the mire usual backdrop of rolling savannah, Shimba provides a uniquely alternative opportunity to view them amongst the almost European scenery of gentle, green downs and leafy woodlands. Where to find them: the elephant hers can be found all over the Reserve but Elephant Hill is a particularly good place to start. The only habitat in Kenya of the sable antelope. The Reserve offers sanctuary to the last breeding herd of indigenous sable antelope in Kenya. Considered the most beautiful of the large antelopes, the hard-to-spot, solitary, territorial males have a satin-smooth, jet-black coat and majestic sweeping horns while the reddish-brown females congregate in groups and are thus more easily spotted. Where to find them: the sable antelope are most easily seen on the central grasslands (Buffalo Ridge) and around the old airstrip.
Enjoy an adventure walk to the spectacular Sheldrick Fall’s For the more energetic, the trail leading down through the lush woodlands to the spectacular torrents of Sheldrick Falls offers a scenic walk, a plunge in the pool and a picnic by the cascades. Allow 30 minutes t descend to the fall and 45 minutes to return. Note: this walk must be accompanied by a KWS Ranger. The pick of the picnic sites Discover the range of panoramic picnic sites, situated at the main Makadara picnic site, Ocean view, Giriama Point, Pengo Hill or Elephant Lookout.
Make a circuit of the reserve
The reserve is pleasurable to drive round with easy to follow topography, good roads and clear signposting.Visit the Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary A community venture between the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Eden Wildlife Trust, this informative elephant haven is several kilometers from the Reserve’s main gate and provides a working illustration of how best to minimize conflict between local farmers and potentially destructive elephant. Where to stay The Shimba Hills Rainforest Lodge, situated near the main Gate, is one of the most atmospheric and magical tree hotels in Kenya, offering luxury facilities and unique game viewing. Self-catering accommodation Sable Banda’s (3 Km from the main gate). Compromising 4 self catering banda´s (simple circular chalets) each with one bedroom (2 single beds with bedding, mosquito nets and kerosene lamps), bathroom (towels, cold shower and WC) and covered veranda with dining area. Facilities also include a caretaker and fully equipped communal kitchen with gas stoves and BBQ area.
The public campsite offers a forested camping area with excellent views. A pit latrine is available but there is no water on site. An additional special or private campsite is available and offers a broad grassy area with magnificent views, water, latrines and a seating area. The special campsite must be booked in advance on an exclusive use basis When to go The Shimba Hills National Reserve is accessible by 2 WD vehicles, and also by air, all year round. What to take with you Drinking Water, picnic items and camping equipment it you intend to stay overnight. Also useful are: binoculars, camera, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and guidebooks.
FACT FILE SHIMBA HILLS NATINAL RESERVE
Altitude: 120-450 meters above sea level
Area: 250 sq. km
Location: South-west of Mombasa on the Kenyan Coast
Distance from Mombasa: 35 KM to the Main Gate
Climate: The normally hot and humid coastal climate is cooled by strong
Breezes and morning mist and cloud. Average temperature around 24 C. Rainfall approximately 1150 mm per annum.
Vegetation: Coastal rainforest and grasslands interspersed with woodlands And coastal bush.
Fauna: Include sable antelope, buffalo, waterbuck, bushbuck, hyena, warthog,
Giraffe, elephant, leopard, baboon, Sykes, vervet and colobus monkey, Serval, duiker, suni and bush pig. Introduced species include Maasai Giraffe and ostrich
Birds: The prolific bird life features 111 bird species of which 22 are Coastal endemic.
Roads: Good all-weather roads
Open: Daily 06.00 am – 07.00 pm Note: no entry is allowed on foot and Visitors will not be allowed into the park after 06.15 pm.
We are happy to answer all your questions concerning your trip to Africa!