The Safari Experts
Shimba Hills
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Shimba Hills


... is an upland area centred on a small wildlife reserve just 15km inland from the Diani Beach area of the southern Kenya Coast.

The 300 square kilometres of undulating hills is actually of much greater significance than first meets the eye. But this is the most northerly section of the Eastern Arc Mountains, an ancient range across East Africa which massively pre-dates the relatively young but much better known Rift Valley landscapes. Whilst the climate of the surrounding plains has cycled through wet and dry periods of the millenniums, these mountains have maintained almost constant conditions of humid coastal rainforest and rolling grasslands. This stability has led to an extraordinary amount of endemism, with creatures able to become increasingly specialised into their various niches.

In truth this is less well demonstrated here than in the Udzungwa and Usambara mountains in Tanzania, but the Shimba Hills are still well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

The most obvious highlights of the area are the good populations of elephant and giraffe, although if you go with a good guide you should be able to encounter a good deal of lesser but equally interesting flora and fauna.

The main potential negative is that, being so close to the busy Diani Beach area, there can be significant minibus traffic in core areas.

To be honest we very rarely recommend the Shimba Hills for inclusion in trips, or at least we very rarely include nights here, it is just too peripheral for the majority of people.

Kutazama ... is a relatively high quality lodge set high in the hills, a really interesting retreat, far from the madding crowds down on the coast.

Sable Treehouses ... is much simpler place on a quiet private estate, which can make a good base for anyone interesting in spending some quiet time walking and relaxing in this very pleasant spot.

The Shimba Hills area is easy to visit on a daytrip if you stay down on the coast in the Msambweni, Kinondo , Diani or Tiwi areas.
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Tony Fishlock
Tony Fishlock, Finance Director
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