Back Ground Information
The Shimba Hills were gazetted as a National
Forest in 1903, grassland areas were
incorporated in 1924 and several subsequent
extensions took place to bring the Reserve
to its present size. In 1968 most of the
Reserve was double gazetted as the Shimba
Hills National Reserve. Two smaller areas to
the west adjoining the reserve and almost
entirely forested remain as Forest Reserves;
Mkongani North and
Mkongani West Forest Reserve.
A fenced elephant corridor connects the
Shimba Hills with Mwaluganje Forest Reserve
to the North.
The Shimba hills are a dissected plateau
that ascends steeply from the coastal
plains, 30 km south west of Mombasa and just
south of Kwale town. The surrounding
escarpment rises from around 120m to 300m
across the bulk of the plateau and as high
as 450m at Marare and Pengo hills.
The underlying rocks are the Triassic Shimba
Grits and in the north central part near
Kwale town Pliecone Magarini sands. Rivers
flowing from the hills supply fresh water to
Mombasa and the Diani/Ukunda area.
The reserve is approximately 33 km South of
Mombasa, in Kwale district of Coast
The climate is hot and moist but is cooler
than that at the coast with strong sea
breezes and frequent mist and cloud in the
early morning. Annual rainfall is
855mm-1682mm. Mean annual temperatures is
24.2 degrees Centigrade.
How To Get There
The reserve's main access is via Diani. - 56
kms from Mombasa.
The reserve has one airstrip.
Inside the Reserve is a 153 km road network.
Main gate, Kivumoni Gate, Kidongo Gate,
Scenic landscape comprising of hills and
valleys extending beyond the reserve
boundaries, Sheldricks Falls, Sable
antelope, Coastal rainforest , Potential for
bird-shooting outside the Reserve.
Shimba Hills Lodge; KWS Bandas; 2 campsites
The Shimba Hills hold one of the largest
areas of coastal rain forest in East Africa
after Arabuko Sokoke. The vegetation
consists of forested scarp slopes and
undulating grasslands interspersed with
woodland clumps and ribbons of riverine
forest in the steeply cut valleys.