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Shimba Hills National Reserve

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The Shimba Hills National Reserve is a small National Park in the Coast Province of Kenya, 33 km south of Mombasa and 15 km from the coast. The Shimba Hills are a natural and peaceful haven, easily accessed from the beaches of the Kenyan coast and offers beautiful, lush scenery. The reserve is an area of coastal rainforest, woodland and grassland. It is an important area for plant biodiversity; over half of the 159 rare plants in Kenya are found in the Shimba Hills, including some endangered species of cycad and orchids.

Elephant Approaching in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Two of Kenya's most beautiful orchids can be found here. It is also a nationally important site for birds and butterflies. An abundance of birdlife lives is found among the hills, including Honey guides, Turacos, woodpeckers and Sunbirds. During spring migration you may find lesser cuckoos, golden orioles, honey buzzard, European hobby, red-backed shrike, hawk eagles, red-necked spurfowl, guinea fowl, blue quail, crowned hornbill and others.

The Shimba Hills National Reserve is 320 square kilometres in size and many beach hotel vacationers opt for a one-day trip to visit the wildlife at Shimba Hills National Reserve because of its closeness to the local tourist resorts. The Reserve has a variety of species including elephant, giraffe and buffalo as well as the rare roan and sable antelope.

The Indigenous sable antelopes are only found at Shimba Hills National Reserve. The forests are home to a number of unusual species including the black and white colobus, serval cats, red duiker and suni antelope. Other game includes buffalo, elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, bush baby, black faced vervet monkey, sykes' monkey and bushbuck.

The best places to see game 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 a number of short walking trails at Elephant Lookout and Pengo Hill and the falls. Shimba Hills National Reserve also has a large number of insects that create also sorts of unique sounds once the sun goes down.

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