Destination Guide Shimba Hills National Reserve
If you want to see Sable antelopes, Shimba Hills National Reserve is the only scenically beautiful coastal forest Kenya where you will ever find the sable antelopes.
Shimba national reserve is where you can find a great diversity of plan species some of which are endangered in Kenya. The National Reserve is about 60km away from Mombasa and this makes it more ideal for a day visit. The Reserve does not only host Sable antelope but also many other species including African elephants.
Shimba Hills National Reserve is protected by the Kenya Wildlife service and it covers an area of 300 sq. km. this reserve has for long been famous for inhabiting a big population of Elephants, actually in 2005, the elephants exceeded the carrying capacity of elephants and some of them had to be translocated to Tsavo East National Park. I remember at that time the translocation of these elephants was described as the second largest single translocation of animals after the one for Noah`s ark that Christians read in the bible!
The translation of 150 elephants from Shimba hills National Reserve did not actually affect their number in the reserve. Up to now, this reserve still inhabits a population of over 500 elephants. The only negative part of this is that human wildlife conflicts have become tense in the area. The animals exceed their boundaries and encroach the gardens of neighboring farmers. But Kenya Wildlife Service is also not seated, to provide a solution for Human-wildlife conflict, they established Mwalunganje Elephant Sanctuary just adjacent to the park and they provided a migration corridor for the elephants.
Because it is a forest reserve and boarders the coast, you very well know it must be birders` paradise. Keen birders can search for croaking Cisticola, or Zanzibar Red Bishop. Because the forest is a bit thick, the views of birds are not as clear as those of plain savannahs and also many of the animals spend most of their time in the forest. The good thing with this is that, your encounter with the animals becomes more spectacular.
The ideal time for undertaking game drives in this park is in the late afternoon (Scorching sun) when animals are getting closer to the water to quench their thirst.
David Sheldrick the founder of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust explored the Shimba Hills National Reserve. While he was in a plane flying, he saw a magnificent hidden waterfall within the Reserve and named this water fall after him. So, one of the attractions in Shimba hills is the magnificent Sheldrick waterfall which is about 21 meters high.
How do you get to Shimba Hills National Reserve?
The reserve is about 60km away from Mombasa or Diani Beach. The road from Mombasa to Shimba Hills is in good condition and one hour of drive is enough to reach.
You can fly to Moi International airport in Mombasa and from here, 1-hour drive will make you reach the reserve.
What to see in Shimba Hills National Reserve
- Sable Antelopes are only here in the whole of Kenya
- The Scenically beautiful and magnificent Sheldrick waterfalls. You just need a guided forest nature walk.
- The massive populations of herds of elephants that have even ever exceeded the carrying capacity of this National Reserve.
- Tour the Mwalunganje Elephant Sanctuary which was established to reduce elephant encroachment into the farmers` plantations.
- Scenic viewpoints and five picnic areas
Attractions in Shimba Hills National Reserve.
Don’t miss the guided nature walks to Sheldrick falls, it is not just a walk but rather a rewarding walk where you expect to explore various species of birds in the forest and your heading to the falls. The stronger part of adventure is in the game drives. Animals of Shimba Hills are not easy to spot like those of the Savannahs. So, patience and energy you incur searching for animals is more adventurous and memorable.
Pengo hill is available for you and it has good views of sundown and it faces this sun when its dropping down below the horizon. When you visit this area on a bright day, you can see the Tsavo Plains and Mt Kilimanjaro.
Where to stay
Visiting Shimba Hills National reserve can be done in one day, the best way is to stay in Mombasa or Diani Beach. Diani Beach has good accommodation facilities such as Pinewood Beach, Resort & Spa or Kinondo Kwetu.
Climate of Shimba Hills National Reserve
As Shimba Hills National Reserve is located near the coast, is it a cool area and in the early morning hours, the area is usually covered by mist. Because Kenya is a tropical nation, the climate of the reserve itself is warm and its mean annual temperature is 240C.