Overview – Shimba Hills NR
Shimba Hills protects one of the last large coastal rainforests in East Africa. It is a stronghold for the rare subspecies of sable antelope: Roosevelt's sable. This is not a Big Five reserve, but several of the usual safari animals, as well as some interesting forest animals, can be found here. Shimba Hills Lodge, overlooking a waterhole, is the only place to stay inside the park.
Pros & Cons
- Rare coastal rainforest habitat
- Rare forest wildlife
- Little visited and it never gets busy
- Guided walks available
- Stunning scenery
- Excellent birding with forest specials
- Easy daytrip from Mombasa and beach resorts
- Limited variety of the usual big game animals and few predator sightings
- Only one lodge inside the park
Shimba Hills is a refuge for many forest species. Elephant and buffalo are the only Big Five animals you’re likely to see. Predator sightings are rare, but Masai giraffe has been introduced and many interesting antelope species occur here naturally. Some of the delightful smaller inhabitants include the red-bellied coast squirrel and the Greater galago, both of which have become habituated at Shimba Hills Lodge.
The reserve’s habitat consists of coastal rainforest and grassland interspersed with woodland and coastal bush. Shimba Hills is considered to be one of the most diverse of the forested ecosystems on the Kenyan coast, supporting over 1000 plant species. Sheldrick Falls has a lovely plunge pool, perfect for cooling off.
Weather & Climate
An ever-present breeze tends to take the sting out of Shimba Hills’ heat and humidity, though it never really gets that cool. Even at night it stays warm. You can’t fully escape the rain here, but it’s more pervasive in October and November, and can really pelt down in April and May. Sunny days are typical in the intervening dry periods.
Best Time to Visit
The drier seasons (December to March and June to September) see the animals congregate around local water sources, making them easy to find. You can still track them in the wetter months, but it takes greater effort as they’re more dispersed. You won’t really be bothered by other tourists here at any time of year, as the park doesn’t tend to attract crowds.
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Shimba Hills NR Safari Reviews
- Expert Rating
- Bush Vibe
- User Rating
- Bush Vibe
Most Helpful Expert Review
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
Sables, squirrels and bushbabies
Though it doesn’t compare with Kenya’s finest in terms of overall game viewing, this small hilly reserve offers much to wildlife connoisseurs and it’s also a great overnight add-on ’to a beach holiday, situated less than an hours...
Latest User Review
Again just one day in this park super scenery and wildlife again.