You won’t find this small, endearing shrew – about the size of a rabbit – anywhere else on earth. But you will here at the Arabuko Sokoke Reserve, the last and largest tropical forest that used to cover much of East Africa. Located just minutes from the Indian Ocean beaches of Watamu, the reserve is a world away from the coastal resort scene. Here, you’ll be treated to displays of butterflies, birds and monkeys playing through the forest canopy. Here too, you’ll find other rare and endangered woodland creatures like the Sokoke bushy-tailed mongoose and Ader’s duiker. Adding to the charm of this forest glade is the Amani sunbird, Clarke’s weaver and Sokoke scops owl – the smallest owl in Africa. But the wildlife isn’t all small scale in this reserve – you may also come upon the resident herd of full size elephants as they tromp to the nearby Sabaki river bordering the forest. And buffalo are found in these enchanting woodlands.
For those who like their nature up close, Arabuko Sokoke is a hiker’s paradise with well-marked paths, a 4 km (2.5 mi) nature trail and expert local guides who will point out the rare animals, like the golden-rumped elephant shrew. Located throughout the woodland are its various pools – the Kararacha Pool alive with birds and amphibians, and the Whistling Duck Pool, a favorite of open-billed storks, grebes and yes, whistling ducks. A wonderful vantage point for viewing the elephants and the dense forest below are two tree platforms which visitors can ascend. Another dramatic lookout point is the Nyari Cliff. Coming upon this place, the land suddenly drops 80 m/260 ft and offers stunning views of the forest and beyond to the ocean.
Hot and dry except for the two wet seasons – April through June (the long rains) and November – December (short rains).
Main outdoor activities include:
Nature Walk, Bike Riding, Camping, Bird Watching & Running