Shimba Hills National Reserve

With a size of 193 km², the Shimba Hills National Reserve is a smaller protected area close to the coast and is therefore ideal for day trips and short safaris.

Location and arrival at Shimba Hills National Reserve

The Shimba Hills Conservation Area is located in south-eastern Kenya, in the district of the city of Kwale. The distance to Mombasa is about 48 km, to Diani Beach only 30 km. Due to its proximity to the south coast, the Shimba Hills are a popular destination during a holiday in Kenya. A day tour, a short safari with overnight stays or as a supplement to a longer Kenya safari or round trip are suitable for a visit.

Flora and fauna Shimba Hills National Reserve

The Shimba Hills Reserve is a coastal jungle and thus a special feature to the other national parks of Kenya, in which wide savannah plains prevail. The landscape is characterized by densely overgrown hills that rise 150 to 450 meters above sea level. When the visibility is good, you can overlook the south coast of Kenya and see the sea from various vantage points.

Lush green meadows run through the region, where the local animals can best be observed. A peculiarity of the Shimba Hills are the rare sable antelopes, which only exist in this reserve in Kenya. The forests are home to monkeys, warthogs, giraffes, elephants, waterbuck and cape buffalo as well as many species of birds such as eagles, hawks, bee-eaters, woodpeckers and kingfishers.

Best travel time to Shimba Hills Reserve

Despite its short distance from the sea, the climate differs from the coast. Due to the elevations, it is always a bit cooler than on the beach and a light wind is pleasantly refreshing. Fog and clouds can cause poor visibility in the early hours of the morning. Rainfall can be expected throughout the year. The rain showers are usually short and heavy. The annual rainfall is 850 mm to 1650 mm. The average annual temperature is 24 degrees Celsius.

What sightings to expect in the Shimba Hills

Shimba Hills National Park hikers
Shimba Hills National Park hikers

The Shimba Hills are always worth a visit. In addition to game drives, foot stalking is also available in this national reserve. A special experience is the hike to the waterfall Sheldrick Falls. Accompanied by a ranger, you walk to the 15 m high waterfall of the Rongo Mwangandi River. In the small lagoon, where the water collects, you can bathe and take a shower under the masses of water.

Camps and Lodges  in Shimba Hills Reserve

Overnight visitors will find beautiful and unique accommodation in the Shimba Hills Conservation Area. Shimba Hills Lodge is a charming tree lodge with a pre-waterhole that is home to many animals. More luxurious is the Kutazama Lodge, which with its private atmosphere is recommended for special occasions such as honeymoons or birthdays.