Just 20 miles (33 kilometers) south from the island of Mombasa is Shimba Hills National Reserve, a small wilderness that offers spectacular vistas and wondrous waterfalls amidst an equatorial forest, as well as a welcome relief from the warmer temperatures of your Indian Ocean coastal tour in East Africa. The protected status of the reserve dates back to 1903 when the Shimba Hills were gazetted as a National Forest, and in 1924, sections of the surrounding grasslands were added. Over time, other important habitats were added to the protected area creating what is now Shimba Hills National Reserve . The reserve sits over 400 meters above the beaches of Mombasa, yet cooling winds off the ocean keep the temperatures quite comfortable and refreshing.
The highlands landscape is shrouded in mist and clouds during the early morning hours, creating a mesmerizing setting for a superlative African tropical vacation. The highland climate nurtures over 1100 plant species that attract a diversity of wildlife, such as giraffes, elephants, zebras, bushbucks, Harvey's duikers, to name only a handful of the animals that feast upon the vegetation. Within the forests and jungles you may locate Syke's, colobus, vervet monkeys and other tree climbers. While there are no large or iconic predators in the reserve, you may elusively spot serval, genet, civet cats and other smaller carnivorous hunters when staying for a longer period. The list of species continues, as the reserve is home to more than 230 types of avi-fauna, such as African hawks, guinea-fowls, fish eagles, falcons, hornbills and numerous other feathered flyers.
Even the smallest denizens are well-represented, with more than 295 butterflies joining many other insects, from an army of safari ants to the rolling dung beetles. These tiniest of creatures, as well as small mammals, support a healthy population of frogs, geckos, lizards, pythons and other reptiles and amphibians. The most-desirable animal, though, is by far the sable and roan antelope. Shimba Hills National Reserve is home to the last breeding herd of these exquisite animals. Male sables are demanding to locate as they tend to remain isolated from the herd, but females gather in small groups, making them easier to track and observe.
Game drives and nature walks allow you into the secret world of Shimba Hills Reserve's wildlife. Whether you desire large roaming mammals or scampering small creatures, these activities give you insight into the Shimba Hills ecosystem from both a macro and micro viewpoint. The topography of the landscape includes many breathtaking natural features that Global Star Tours highly recommends for your personalized trip to Shimba Hills. One such feature, Sheldrick Falls, is a picturesque setting for picnics and swimming in a natural pool. Cultural attractions for your customized Shimba Hills holiday tour are the local villages of the Digo and Duruma tribes, as well as the sacred kayas that are scattered on the outskirts of the reserve.
Price: From $190.00 per person