Shimba Hills National Reserve – Travel guide at Wikivoyage

Shimba Hills National Reserve is a small national reserve in the Coast Province of Kenya, 33 km (21 mi) from Mombasa and 15 km (9.3 mi) from the coast.

Understand

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Gate Shimba Hills

Elephants at Shimba

Giraffe at Shimba

Shimba Hill

Sheldrick Falls

Sheldrick Falls

Shimba Hills National Reserve is one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa and is known for its beautiful lush green vegetation, forested landscape, sharp slopes and steep valleys. It is not ideal for animal safaris because the African wildlife is difficult to spot in the dense vegetation but it hosts the highest density of African elephant in Kenya. The animals hide in the shade of the forest in order to keep cool until the early evening. However, you may see the rare sable antelope and many birds on your visit.

History

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It was created as a national forest in 1903 and is now one of the largest areas of coastal rainforest in East Africa covering 24,000 hectares of land.

Landscape

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The reserve is an area of coastal rainforest, woodland and grassland.

Flora and fauna

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It is an important area for plant biodiversity – over 50% of the 159 rare plants in Kenya are found in the Shimba Hills, including some endangered species of cycad and orchids. It is also a nationally important site for birds and butterflies. There are estimated to be approximately 700 elephants in the reserve. This population is unsustainably high – it causes significant damage to vegetation, threatening the endangered plant life. Conflict between humans and elephants has also reached critical levels. North of the Reserve, the Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary has been established to provide a route for elephants to leave the park. The remainder of the park boundary is fenced to prevent the elephants from invading farmland. The Kenya Wildlife Service has plans to relocate up to 400 elephants from Shimba to Tsavo East National Park in 2005. Shimba Hills contains Kenya’s only population of Sable Antelope. There are about 100 in the park.

Climate

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The climate in the reserve is hot and moist but is cooler than that at the coast with strong sea breezes and frequent fog in the early morning. The annual rainfall is 855mm – 1682mm and an average temperature of 24.2 degrees Celsius.

Get in

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Fees and permits

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Adults US$25, students and children US$15.

Get around

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See

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Do

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Buy

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Eat

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Drink

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Sleep

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Lodging

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Camping

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Backcountry

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Stay safe

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Go next

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