Wildlife & Animals – Arabuko Sokoke

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Arabuko Sokoke is not primarily a wildlife-viewing destination. Buffalo, elephant and leopard are present, but actual sightings are rare. The endemic Ader’s duiker is the park’s flagship species, but you need to be very lucky to catch a glimpse. Blue, red and common duikers are also present and more likely to be seen. The forest is home to 250 different butterfly species, of which four occur nowhere else in the world. Try Kipepeo Butterfly Farm to see these dazzling creatures.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantVery Rare
HippoNone
BuffaloVery Rare
ZebraNone
LionNone
LeopardRare to none
HyenaNone

Wildlife Highlights

Aside from several birding specials and endemics, the forest is home to three mammal endemics as well. Unfortunately, they are even more difficult to spot than the birding specials. This is the last stronghold of the golden-rumped elephant shrew. The forest is also the only place to see Ader’s duiker and bushy-tailed mongoose.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Arabuko Sokoke can be visited throughout the year, but heavy rains might interfere with drives and forest hikes. There is rain along the coast throughout the year, but the peak of the short rains in November and the long rains in April and May are the wettest times of year.

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