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.
Things to do and see
Forest walk– The shaded canopy of the forest lends itself to hiking and guided nature walks. As mentioned, trained guides are available to get a more in-depth exploration of the reserve.
Bird watching – You’ll discover over 270 species of avian life here, among them the threatened Sokoke pipit and spotted ground thrush.
Milda Creek – This is a picturesque inlet near the entrance that attracts greater flamingos, sandpipers and crab-plovers. Take the boardwalk and use the bird hide here to get closer to these migrant birds.
Camping – You’ll find 3 excellent campsites in the reserve – at the official campsite, up on the tall tree platforms, or at the Nyari Cliff, taking in a spectacular sunrise.
Cycling & Picnicking – The forest’s shady spaces, many trails and relaxed ambiance are a prescription for an easy bike ride or picnic.
Arabuko Sokoke Forest Highlights
Visit The Arabuko Sokoke With Us