Arabuko Sokoke National Park is one of the most beautiful protected areas that you should consider a must to include in your bucket list. It covers an area of 420 square kilometres and situated next to Malindi and Watamu National Park and Reserve. The Arabuko Sokoke National Park/reserve is forms part of the biggest remaining dry coastal forest in eastern and southern Africa with a rare habitat that offers refuge to a variety of floral and faunal species.
This park is situated about 110 kilometres north of Mombasa and stands at altitude 210 meters. The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve offers refuge to about 600 bird species, wildlife, insects, butterflies, coastal forest and many more. Its vegetation consists of the mixed forest, Brachystegia woodland and Cynometra forest.
The wildlife species include ader’s duikers, golden rumped elephant shrew, coastal races of the bush baby, African civet, blotched genet, water and bushbuck, Sokoke tailed mongoose, Fischer’s Turaco, Sokoke pitpit, Amani sunbird, Clarke’s weaver, Sokoke scops owl, east coast akalat and golden woodpecker.
Activities to do in Arabuko Sokoke National Park
This forest reserve presents 2 major walking trails which begin from a small clearing approximately one kilometre south of the visitor reception centre and meander via a 1 kilometre and 1.5-kilometre forest respectively. A driving trail that also makes the best walking or biking trail and enters through the forest from the tarmac route about six kilometres south of Gedi Forest station and stretches up to 30 kilometres prior rejoining the tarmac 15 kilometres further south at Kararacha.
Halfway on this forest trail, there is a Nyari viewpoint that is set on one of the few steep cliffs which plunge from 50 to 80 meters deep within the forest and reward visitors with spectacular views over the forest canopy, Mida creek and the Indian Ocean. The Nyari cliff can be best visited while on longer safari in Arabuko Sokoke Forest as it is possible for visitors to camp at the sight. The set forest trails allow visitors to spot out most of the wildlife species in this reserve most of which include the reptiles, mammals, insects and many more. For visitors who intend to pay a visit to this protected area, you are advised to go with one of the well-trained guides from the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Guide Association as they know the location where most of the park’s wildlife can be spotted.
This protected area was gazetted in 1943 and the Kararacha extension to the southeast was annexed in 1968. Its climate is humid with a mean annual temperature which ranges from 22 to 34 degrees Celsius and rainfall of about 500 mm each year. This park is open to travellers throughout the year and nature walks are ideal during the cool hours of the day, early morning and late afternoon.
How to get to Arabuko Sokoke National Park
Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve/National Park can be visited at any time of the year through Mombasa about 75 kilometres on tarmac route. You can rent a 4×4 in Mombasa and enjoy your self-drive safari to Arabuko Sokoke National Park and other coastal destinations in Kenya, and for travellers who may opt to take a flight, you can use Malindi and Mombasa airports. The visitor centre at this forest reserve station is always open from 6 am and 4 pm each day local time.
In conclusion, Arabuko Sokoke National Park features among the very few most spectacular protected with a variety of unique attractions that are worth exploring while you are on safari in Kenya. If you are interested in exploring most of the forest natural wonders then Arabuko Sokoke National Park is the best safari destination that you can think about in life for you to have life-time experiences.