The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve is the largest surviving coastal dry forest in East Africa with a total area of 420sq km. It is situated near the costal town Malindi. Malindi is 110km northerly from Mombasa which is the largest costal town in Kenya. The park was opened in 1942 as a crown forest and was renamed in 1960 as Arabuko Sokoke national park.
The national park contains the Mida Creek ecosystem, a large flood area covered with mangroves with a enormous number of birds.
Famous is the Arabuko Sokoke National Park also for the various species of butterflies and different species of birds. There are also more than 600 differnt plant species.
Particular animals which can be found in the Arabuko Sokoke forest:
The extremely rare Ader’s Duiker. It is a 30-40cm tall nocturnal antelope and an endangered species.
Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew
The Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, Rhynchocyon chrysopygus, is the largest of all the unique African family, the elephant shrews. It is the size of a small rabbit, and is only found in the coastal Arabuko Sokoke forest. It lives on the forest floor of evergreen forests, rooting through the leaf litter for 80% of the waking day looking for grasshoppers, beetles, spiders and other small invertebrates.
For seaside vacationers, friends of butterflies and birds is this national park a perfect choice.
The Gedi Ruins (Picture: Christian N.)
Not far away from the national park are the Gedi Ruins near Watamu, 15 km southerly from Malindi. The town Gedi was established at the end of the 13th century and is situated in a compact forest of Baobab trees. Gedi was one of the important costal towns and is a perfect exmplar of east african architecture.