Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve


Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve is a 420 km2 coastal forest managed by Kenya Forest Service. It is one of the largest and most intact coastal forests in East Africa.

Arabuko Sokoke National Park

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve which is situated 110km north of Mombasa, forty-five kilometers from Kilifi, and twenty kilometers south of Malindi is one of the largest existing fragments of the tropical forests stretch of coastal dry forest still enduring in eastern Africa. The reserve is abundant in butterflies, birdlife, mammals, and plants. The reserve is also the second in Africa in birdlife conservation after Congo.

It can be accessed through road from Mombasa town or by plane by landing in Malindi or Mombasa airport and then taking a drive to the reserve. It covers an area of about 420sq km and has an average annual rainfall ranging from 900mm in the dry and scrubby northwest to 1100mm in the east.

The ecosystem which is an important monument as a remnant of the coastal tropical forests is made up of 3 forest types; Brachystegia Woodland, Mixed forest, and Cynometra, each being a natural habitat for diverse rare species of Mammals, Butterflies, Birds, and Plants. The reserve has more than two hundred and seventy birds, two hundred and sixty-one butterflies, seventy-nine amphibians, fifty-two mammals, and more than six hundred plant species.

The Arabuko Sokoke Forest is a haven for various endemic and almost endemic species. The Clarke’s Weaver is entirely endemic to the forest, as well as the emonymous Sokoke Pipit, Sokoke Scops Owl, and the Amani Sunbird, and Spotted Ground Thrush are found only here and in a forest fragment in Tanzania.

The attractive Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, a prevalent elephant shrew the size of a rabbit, is the most evident of the park’s endemic mammals; the Sokoke bushy-tailed Mongoose and Ader’s Duiker are more elusive. The forest boasts Savannah Elephants, African Civets, as well as baboons, sokokes, and Vervet Monkeys. The forest reserve is also known as an exceptional centre of amphibian diversity.

There are no accommodations within the reserve but there are lots of accommodation felicities within the coast to suit all kinds of budgets.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

Attractions in Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve:

  • 3 distinct forest habitat
  • Endangered butterflies, birds, insects, and mammal species.
  • Remnant coastal forest
  • A couple of reptiles.
  • Bird watching.
  • Seasonal pools, Tree platform,
  • Nyari viewpoint
  • Nature trails
  • Wild animals such as waterbuck, Sokoke bushy-tailed mongoose, bushbuck, blotched genet, civet, caracal, and Sykes’ monkey

Activities within the Reserve

  • Nature Walks
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
  • Butterfly watching
  • Running
  • Game drives
  • Cycling

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Animals

Mammals: The forest has 40 recorded mammal species which include the African Elephant, African Civet, African Buffalo, Syke’s Monkeys, Caracal, Yellow Baboons, and Lesser Galago.

Other rarest mammals found in the forest include the okoke Bushy-tailed Mongoose, Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew, S and Ader’s Duiker.

Birds: Over 270 species of birds have been recorded here.

Reptiles and amphibians: The forest has 49 reptiles and 25 amphibian species.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Visiting hours

The visiting hours are from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entry tickets can be purchased at the point of entry. If you are planning to have an early start, you can purchase the ticket the previous night. The best times to visit are early morning or late afternoon as most wildlife will hide from the midday heat.

The best time to watch birds is from dawn to around 9:00 am.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Entrance Fee

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Entrance Fee is as follows: ( Updated 2022)

  Kenya and EAC Citizens (Kshs) Kenyan Residents (Kshs) Non-Residents (Kshs)
Adult per day 200 400 600
Child per day 50 100 150
School party, per person per day 20 50 150

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Tour

A tour to Arabuko Sokoke forest can always be organised.

Other Kenya National Parks

If you are a hiker or Nature Lover and want to support the animals, Arabuko Sokoke National Reserve is the place to visit. It is located just a stone’s throw away from the coastal beaches. It is truly an amazing destination to visit. Arabuko sokoke national park offers the best getaway from your beach holiday.

We also have adventure tours to other national parks. Check out some of our best sections of Kenya safari tours.