Shimba Hills National Reserve
Shimba Hills National Reserve is a small park that is found in the Coast Province, Kenya. Shimba Hill National Reserve is about 33 kilometers from Mombasa and 15 kilometers from the coast. Shimba Hill National Reserve is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service. Shimba Hill national Reserve is about 300 above sea level. Shimba Hills National Reserve was established in 1968 to protect various animal species.
Shimba Hills National Reserve was mainly developed to protect the sable antelopes in Kenya. Shimba Hills National reserve is the only park in Kenya that has Sable antelope. There are almost 100 sable antelopes in the park. The reserve acts as tourist attraction site. Tourists visiting the coastal region can visit Shimba Hill National Reserve. The reserve is made up of rolling hills that serve as tourist attraction places.
Shimba Hill National Reserve consists of costal rainforests, grasslands and woodland. The reserve is a crucial area for plant biodiversity. Shimba Hills National Reserve has more than 50% of 159 plants that are found in Kenya. It is home to some of endangered plant species like cycad and orchids. Hence, this makes it easy for tourists to see a wide range of forests like rainforests. It also enables tourists learn more about woodland and grassland.
Additionally, Shimba Hills National Reserve is home to a vast range of wild animals in the country. Shimba Hills National Reserve has more than 700 elephants. The number of elephants in the reserve is high compared to number of elephants in other reserves in the country. The high number of elephants in the reserve has had a negative impact on plants.
The elephants have caused damage to the vegetation in Shimba Hills National Reserve as they feed on the vegetation. The woodlands and grassland provide shelter and food for the elephants. This has in turn endangered the plant species in the reserve. In addition, conflict between people living near Shimba hills National Park and the elephants in the park has become a major issue. This has forced the management to develop Mwalunganje elephant sanctuary to offer route for elephants leaving the national reserve.
The rest of the national reserve has been fenced to prevent the elephants from invading farms in the area. The Kenya Wildlife Service moved more than half of the elephants from Shimba Hills National reserve to other parks in the country like Tsavo National Park so as to avoid further destruction of the vegetation and farms.
Apart from elephants, there are other animals that are found in Shimba Hills National reserves. Tourists visiting Shimba Hills National Park can see other animals like lions, buffaloes, leopards and red duiker. In addition, thy can see bushbuck, bush duiker and suni. Other animals found in the reserve are blue monkeys, black colobus, and white colobus and serval cats. Moreover, Shimba Hills National Reserve is an outstanding place for birding. Shimba Hills National Reserve has various birds like hawk, eagle and crested guinea fowl. Also, the reserve has hornbill, Turacos and barbet. Other bird species found in the reserve include honey guide, woodpecker, flycatchers, orioles, shrikes and sunbirds.
The birds have attracted tourists taking birding safari in Kenya to the coastal region. Further, tourists visiting Shimba Hills National reserve are able to view various mountains inside Kenya and other countries like Tanzania. For instance, tourists visiting Kenya are able to see Usambara Mountains, Pare Mountains in Tanzania from Shimba Hills National Reserve.