Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Arabuko Sokoke National Park

Visit the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve and enjoy the experience of a coastal dry forest which boasts of different rare species of Birds, Mammals, Butterflies, and Plants.
The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve is located on the coast of Kenya, 110 km north of Mombassa and is protected as a national Forest Reserve.
It is the largest stretch of coastal dry forest remaining in Eastern Africa.It is second in africa in birdlife conservation from Congo . The ecosystem comprises of three forest types, Mixed forest, Brachystegia Woodland and Cynometra, each containing different rare species of  Birds, Mammals, Butterflies, and Plants. There are 270 birds, 261 butterflies, 79 amphibians  , 52 mammals  and 600 plants species .
The Clarke’s Weaver is completely endemic to the forest, while the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, east coast akalat, Amani Sunbird and Spotted Ground Thrush are only found in the park and a few in Tanzania. 3 mammals which are endemic species :- Aders duiker, Sokoke Bush Tailed Mongoose, and Golden rumped elephant shrew.
The Arabuko Sokoke National Park is only a small portion of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, a few square kilometres in size and is located on the north-western edge of the forest. The National Park was gazetted only in the late 1980s and in fact straddles the Forest Reserve boundary with about 50% lying outside the boundary. This outer section actually lies outside an electric elephant fence installed in 2006/7 and is now fully inhabited by local communities to the extent that there is no sign on the ground to show where the National Park begins or ends.
The forest contains three forest types, mixed forest, Brachystegia and Cynometra, each of which protects different communities of plants and animals.
WILDLIFE
The Arabuko Sokoke Forest protects many endemic and near endemic species. The Clarke’s Weaver is completely endemic to the forest, while the emonymous Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, and the Amani Sunbird and Spotted Ground Thrush are found only here and in a forest fragment in Tanzania. The park adjoins Mida Creek, a mangrove forest that is an important shorebird wintering ground, protecting species such as the Terek Sandpiper and the Crab Plover.
The endearing Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, an endemic elephant shrew the size of a rabbit, is the most noticeable of the park’s endemic mammals; the Sokoke Bushy-tailed Mongoose and Ader’s Duiker (found only here and in Zanzibar) are more elusive. The forest also has Savannah Elephants, African Civets, as well as sokokes, baboons and Vervet Monkeys. The park is also recognised as an outstanding centre of amphibian diversity.
ACCESS:
It is located 110km north of Mombasa 45km from Kilifi and 20 km south of malindii, you can get there by road, from Mombasa town or by plane through Malindi. Access through Mombasa tarmac road.

  • Access through Malindi.
  • By Air: Malindi and Mombasa Airports.

SIZE / LOCATION:

  • it covers 420sq km
  • It lies a few kilometers inland, between the towns of Kilifi and Malindi, you can get there by road, which is 110 Kms  from mombasa town or by plane through Malindi or Mombasa airports.

CLIMATE:

  • Average annual rainfall ranges from 900mm in the dry and scrubby northwest to 1100mm in the east.

SAFARI CARD REQUIRED?
At present the park does not operate on smart card system. Entry is by cash only (KSH or US$).
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS:

  • Endemic Bird species, Butterflies, Remnant coastal forest.
  • It is the largest existing fragment of the tropical forests along the East African coast and it shelters endemic/endangered birds, insects, butterflies and mammal species.
  • It is also an important monument as remnants of the coastal tropical forests.
  • A couple of reptile species (in addition to other species living here e.g. butterflies, Beetles) are found here among them Boomslang, Green Mamba, Rock Python, Forest Cobra, Sand Lizard and Day Geullo.
  • It is a great reserve for birdwatching and among the bird species includes Sokoke Pipit, Amani Sunbird,Fischers Turaco, Clarkes weaver, Golden Woodpecker and many others
  • Seasonal pools, Tree plat form,  Nyari view point and Nature trails.
  • Three distinct forest habitat

WILDLIFE:

  • Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew, Sokoke bushy-tailed Mongoose, Ader’s Duiker, waterbuck, Bushbuck, African Civet, Blotched Genet, Caracal, syke’s monkeys, several bird species.
  • Prolific birdlife features 230 species.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:

  • Bird Watching
  • Butterfly watching
  • General walk
  • Game drives
  • Camping
  • Cycling
  • Running

WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU:

  • Drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment if you intend to stay overnight. Also useful are: binoculars, camera, hat, sunscream, sunglasses, Note book, guidebooks and local tour guide.