Category: KENYA
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Kilifi (E coast)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W 40,200ha (25% primary forest, and 3 vegetation types) 

Protected/registered status

July to September (September-October 2004)

Birding Site Guide

This forest reserve is located about 110km north of Mombasa (and 18km S of Malinbi) on the Kenyan coast. To reach the reserve from Niarobi requires driving the very bad road to the coast. This main road is unpaved, very heavily rutted and with huge potholes, very busy with many lorries and dusty. Do not attempt this road in an ordinary saloon car; even with a 4 wheel-drive do not expect to average more than 25km/hr without wrecking it. There are blinding dust trails left by the lorries, however stopping is not an option as vehicles behind (equally blind) would plough into you; slowing down and hoping the person in front has not stopped is the only option. When it has rained expect delays due to the mud. The train from Nairobi to Mombasa may be a better option.

There are many places to stay of varying price and quality along the coast road. 

Upon reaching the reserve by the paved coastal road, head to the administration and arrange for a guide. There are 2 entrances Southern entrance Kararacha Gate, middle entrance Mida Gate. If a guide is not immediately available get a map and take your vehicle and bird along the sandy tracks through the forest. Later once a guide has been arrange, go with him to locate the speciality birds still needed and most importantly arrange your night visit to see the Sokoke Scops Owl. There are several competent park guides who should be able to locate the owl, but expect to pay a little more for the more experienced ones. Your chances of finding this scarce, tiny owl without a guide and not getting lost in the process are next to nil.

The night’s search will probably involve a possibly long scramble and crawl through dense thorn scrub, wear long sleeved shirts, thick trousers and walking boots. Also useful will be a tape-recorder and a small torch to locate the bird and larger spot light for better views. The diminutive, softly calling owl will probably seem further back than it really is and will not be very high up (1-4m).

Look for Sokoke Pipit along the sides of the tracks especially in lightly grassed areas and clearings. White-winged Apalis may be found (sometimes with small flocks of other birds) in the mid-canopy of larger more open branched trees.

For a very good map of Kenya’s National Parks and National Reserves see Kenyan Safari Guide’s map below, maps are copyright of Kenyalogy. SEE OTHER MAPS ON THIS WEBSITE, ESP MASAI MARA

Species seen. For full bird and mammal species list with scientific names go to KENYA FULL TRIP LIST 

Common Kenyan species some of which were seen here and the rest generally




Author: BSG