+256 704347452 info@paradiseadventurevacations.com
+256 704347452 info@paradiseadventurevacations.com

Shimba Hills National Reserve

Shimba Hills National Reserve is one of the largest forest reserves located in the coastal area of East Africa about 33km away from Mombasa Coast in the South. Established in 1968 and it is one of the other Kenya National Reserves with quite a number of wildlife species. With just 300sqkm, the reserve is richer with both flora and fauna hosting the highest number of Forest Elephants not only in Kenya but in the entire Africa.

Other mammal species for instancehe giraffes, leopards, genet, bushy tailed mongoose, fruit baits, hyenas, waterbuck, bush pig, civet cat,  buffalo, African bushy baby, bushbuck, blue duiker, serval cat, bush duiker, red duiker, red shrew and many others. Primate species such as the coastal black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkey, skyes monkey, smaller-eared galago, tiny Zanzibar galago, yellow baboon, greater galago and the Angolan colobus monkeys are also found in the forests around the park. The reserve is also a habitant for reptiles such as cobras, pythons, Lizards as well as geckos.

Landscape of Shimba Hills National Reserve

Shimba Hills National Reserve is mostly dominated by woodlands, Coastal rainforests and grasslands and it is considered one of the key areas for plant biodiversity with over 50% of rare plants. It has more than 159 tree species for example; orchids, Cycad among others. The reserve is also home to several forest and open savannah grassland birds which are about 200 species for example; the Red-necked-spur fowl, Zanzibar red Bishops, croaking cisticola, brown breasted barbet, eastern violet-backed sunbird, crested guinea fowl, African palm swift, green tinker bird,  crowned hornbill, green barbet, mottled swift, plain-backed sunbird, narina trogon, pangani long claw, spotted ground thrush, sokokoe pipit, trumpeter hornbill, yellow-throated long claw among others.

Shimba hills national reserve consists of the Shimba hills which are a dissected plateau, ascending steeply from the coastal plains about 30km southwest of Mombasa and south of Kwale town. These Hills are surrounded by escarpments rising from 120m to 300m across the plateau which rises as high as 450m at marare and pengo hills. Thus the most scenic part of the reserve are the Sheldrick falls and the dense Mwalugaje forest.


Activities in Shimba Hills National Reserve

There are quite a number of activities Tourists can engage in during their stay in Shimba Hills National Reserve and they include;

Game Drive

You will have excellent game viewing experiences in Shimba Hills National Reserve since it is a remarkable home to a number of wildlife species. During your game drive, you will view mammals like elephants, bushy tailed mongoose, fruit baits, sable antelopes, giraffes, leopards, genet, hyenas, waterbuck, civet cat, bush pig, buffalo, bushbuck, blue duiker, bush duiker, African bushy baby, red duiker, serval cat and red shrew among others. These game drives can either be done in morning, afternoon or full day game viewing.


Bird watching

Shimba Hills National Reserve is among the excellent bird watching destinations in Kenya as it is a remarkable home to approximately 200 bird species among which include 20 endemic species. Meanwhile, the reserve’s weather conditions which consist of warm and cold conditions make it a great breeding place for the birds and a great opportunity for spotting bird species such as the red-necked spur fowl, crested guinea fowl, Zanzibar red bishop, African palm swift, croaking cisticola, brown breasted barbet, crowned hornbill, eastern violet-backed sunbird, green barbet, mottled swift, narina trogon, green tinker bird and many others.



Shimba Hills consists of flat landscapes, valleys and hilly topography. These hills where hiking is done are covered by thick forests with Shimba hills as the most famous hills in the reserve. These hikes consists of passing through trails which run through the forests and as you proceed to the top of the hills, you get to spot forest animals such as elephants and many forest birds such as brown breasted barbet, crested guinea fowl, African palm swift, crowned hornbill, green tinker bird, mottled swift, eastern violet-backed sunbird, green barbet, plain-backed sunbird, pangani long claw, sokokoe pipit, narina trogon and many others.


Sheldrick falls walk/ nature walk

Shimba Hills National Reserve is a naturally magnificent destination covered by a wide range of vegetation cover and attractions such as the stunning Sheldrick fall which are about 21m high and it takes about 2km walk from the Sheldrick falls ranger post to reach.


When to Visit

The Best time to visit Shimba Hills National Reserve is in the months of June to September and also December to March.


How to Get to Shimba Hills National Park

Shimba Hills  reached by both Road and Air transport means and they include;

By Road

This 300sqkm Reserve is possible from Mombasa’s coastline region and it’s about an hour by car on a decent asphalt road from Mombasa or Diani Beach. It takes about 9 to 10 hours to travel over Mombasa Road from Nairobi.

By air

One can alternatively catch a flight from Wilson or Jomo Kenyatta International Airports to Mombasa where you will drive for about an hour to the reserve and because of the long drive, this is the most practical option.


Shimba Hills Entry Gates

Shimba Hills accessed through the following Entry gates;

Main gate

Kidongo Gate

Kivumoni Gate

Shimba Gate


Accommodations in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Shimba Hills National Reserves’ Accommodations range from Luxury and Mid-Range to Budget and they include;

Luxury Accommodations

Amani Tiwi beach resort

Ocean village

Sonrisa Villas Diani

Baobab Beach Resort and Spa

The Sands at Nomad

Shimba Hills Green Lodge


Mid-Range Accommodations

Apple Mango apartments

Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa

Kinondo Kwetu Hotel

Diani Backpackers

Shamba La Salama


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