25.Should More Be Done To Protect And Preserve Endangered Animals Shimba Hills

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Shimba Hills

Just forty-five minutes from the hot and humid Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, lies Shimba, located in the Shimba National Reserve. Walk with elephants, buffaloes and the endangered Sable antelope in the cool and refreshing jungle greens of the Shimba Hills rainforest.

Although Shimba is only 48 km from Mombasa, it has a refreshingly cool climate with an extremely cool and fresh wind from the Indian Ocean. It is one of the largest areas of coastal rainforest in East Africa that includes the sacred Kaya forest of the Mijikenda tribe. Shimba Hills Lodge located in the national reserve is beautifully built from indigenous timber where you can wine, dine and relax in the spectacular award-winning tree house overlooking a waterhole. There are also two campsites within the park, but many hotels in Mombasa are close by, so you can visit Shimba on a day trip.

Shimba is home to a variety of species including Elephants, Giraffe, Hyena and Buffalo, as well as the rare Roan and Sable Antelope. The forests are home to a number of unusual species, including Black and White Colobus monkeys, Serval cats, Red Duiker and Suni Antelope. An abundance of birdlife is found among the hills, including honeyguides, turacos, woodpeckers and sunbirds. The sable antelope is considered the most beautiful of the large antelope and the Shimba Hills contain the only population of the endangered species in Kenya. The area also hosts rare plants, including two of the most beautiful species of orchids in Kenya and more than 250 different species of butterflies that live in the rainforest.

There are over five hundred elephants in the reserve and so although the elephant hill is the ideal place to see these magnificent animals, they can be spotted throughout the reserve. A fenced corridor has been built linking Shimba National Reserve with Mwalunganje Forest and its elephant sanctuary.

The reserve has a thick rainforest cover where the animals prefer to cool off during the hot day, but the best views of the animals are from the eastern side of the park, near Giriama Point in the late afternoon, where you can see the animals moving towards rivers to quench thirst. Night drives are also available – you’re sure to hear hyenas and, if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a leopard.

The main attraction of the park is the spectacular 25 meter high Sheldrick Falls. There is a two kilometer marked footpath to the falls where you can safely swim in the pool or have a picnic by the falls. A ranger is available at 10am and 3pm to accompany visitors on this free walk.

Prego Hill is the highest point in the park at 450 km. From here, there is an incredible view of the Tsavo Plains, the Taita Hills and on a really clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Before leaving this beautiful National Reserve, you can buy a unique souvenir at the gates – paper made from elephant dung!

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