Things to Do In Arabuko Sokoke National Park
The Arabuko Sokoke National Park, it a protected forest reserve under the Kenya Forest Service. This stunning home of wildlife is located on the charming coast of Malindi, just 110 kilometers north of the busy town of Mombasa.
Moreover, as something truly unique, the reserve stands at 420 km2 of coastal forest and remains to be the largest and most preserved coastal forest of East Africa. This park is home to many animal species, including 30% of all butterfly species, 20% of the county’s bird species, and 24 rare bird, butterfly, and mammals species.
Arabuko Sokoke National Park was gazetted in the late ’80s. Before this, it was protected as a crowned forest. It is currently managed majorly by the Kenya Forest Service with input from the Kenya Forest Research Institute, plus the National Museums of Kenya.
Arabuko Sokoke is a great tourist and vacation destination. There are lots of things to see, learn, and enjoy. However, our top picks would have to be:
- Bird Watching. Have a taste of serene with a relaxing session of bird watching at the park. Here, you will get to see over 270 species of birds, including rare and endemic species. Prepare to get a glimpse into some of the most beautiful bird species in the world. It is strictly here that you can see the Clarke’s Weaver, along with other globally threatened species such as the East Coast Akalat, Spotted Ground Thrush, Amani Sunbird, Sokoke Pipit, and the Sokoke Scops Owl.
- Game Drives. If you are looking for something a little more thrilling, then a game drive will suit you just fine. Visitors can take exciting drives through the forests and bond with nature. With lots of flora and fauna at your disposal, you will have a great time watching species in their natural habitat. Keep a keen eye, and you are bound to see at least 10 of the 40 recorded mammalian species in the park. If fate smiles on you, you may get to see some of the country’s rarest mammals, including the golden-rumped Elephant-shrew, Sokoke bushy-tailed Mongoose, and Ader’s Duiker.
- Nature Walks. If you are more into bonding with nature at a slower pace, then take advantage of the guided nature walks available to tourists. In this instance, you will be one with nature, setting foot on the very same paths that the majestic animals do almost every day. You stand a chance of coming into close contact with wild animals such as the majestic African elephant, the African civet, Syke’s monkeys, the African buffalo, Yellow baboons, Caracal, and even bush babies. For those who would want a mix of wheels and up-close interaction, cycling paths are available. You can rent a bike and go at your own pace admiring nature at its best.
- Butterfly Watching. For a piece of magical adventure, Arabuko Sokoke National Park offers butterfly watching. It is an activity for everyone who needs a little magical experience for their trip. You will get to see 30% of all butterfly species globally, including those native to the area, such as the Mimetic, Baliochila minima, Charaxes lasti, and the Charaxes blandae. As the hoard of bright colors engulfs you during the watch, you will forever remember this magical experience.
- What better way to rest than with the distant sounds of wild animals creating the perfect ambiance for your evening’s rest. This is precisely when you will get if you decided to visit the camping sites of the park. They are charming areas, and with your camping gear, you get to rough it and enjoy all that the evening air has to offer. If you are going for an authentic experience, sleeping under the stars is as accurate as it gets.
- Lastly, refuse to be boring while you are on your trip by dining with a view. Rather than visit a nearby restaurant, prepare and pack your meals and visit the many picnic sites where you will enjoy a magnificent sight as you enjoy your meal. Picnicking is a great way to relax and take a breather after a long day of exploring and bonding with nature.
What to Expect
As the sun sets on another adventure-filled day, you can close your eyes and take a deep breath of crisp woodland air and make memories of your wonderful trip. This and a lot more is what you can expect from the coastal woodlands of Arabuko Sokoke National Park.
Furthermore, you can enter the park by road from Mombasa along the B8 coastal highway to Malindi. You can also fly into Malindi then approach the park by a one-hour cycle or quick bus ride.
As for the climate, expect long rains between June and April, then short rains in November and December. The rest of the months are hot and dry, with an annual mean temperature of 22 to 34 degrees Celsius.
In addition, visiting the park means lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes, plus accessories to protect yourself from the sun. Strive to get an early start to catch sally, the birds, and animals.