Wildlife & Animals – Arabuko Sokoke
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 sightings are rare. Blue, red and common duikers can sometimes be spotted. 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.
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 Sokoke 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.