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Shimba Hills National Reserve lies approximately 33km south of Mombasa town, in Kwale district of coast province. The coastal ecosystem is comprised of a mixture of habitats including forest, scrub and grassland. The ecosystem holds one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa.

Kenya’s only population of Sable Antelope is found here. Sable are found in wooded savannah south from here through Tanzania, and Central East Africa to the southern end of their range in South Africa’s Kruger Park. In Kenya their population, of no more than about 100, are all found in the Shimba Hills and they can be difficult to locate. Other rare animal species found in the area are  Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, black and rufous elephant shrews, bushy tailed mongoose and other small mammals like fruit bats. There is also a range of large mammal species including buffalo, bushbuck, warthog and a range of duikers. The forest is an important bird area with a wide range of forest birdlife while the grassland holds species like croaking cisticola and Zanzibar red bishop.

As well as normal game viewing activities there are also a number of nature trails available. For the more energetic the trail leading down through the lush forest  to Sheldrick Falls takes about 30 minutes. It is possible to swim in the pool below the falls or have a picnic. Walks are accompanied by an armed KWS ranger as there is a good chance of coming across buffalo and elephant along the way.

Accommodation is at the Kenya Wildlife Service’s Sable Bandas which are located in a cool and shaded forest clearing, high on a bluff with magnificent views over both the rainforest and the distant coastline. There are four bandas (cottages), sleeping a total of eight people, with a shared kitchen and outdoor barbecue area.

Game-Parks Aberdares-1 Amboseli Kakamega Laikipia Maasai-Mara Marsabit Meru Nairobi Ruma Saiwa-Swamp Samburu Shimba-Hills Tsavo-East Tsavo-West