The Shimba Hills were gazetted as a National Forest in 1903, grassland areas were incorporated in 1924 and several subsequent extensions took place to bring the Reserves to its present size. In 1968 most of the reserve was double gazetted as the Shimba Hills National Reserve. Two smaller areas to the west adjoining the reserve and almost entirely forested remain as Forest Reserves.
A fenced elephant corridor connects the Shimba Hills with Mwalunganje Forest Reserve to the North.
chameleon (Picture: Christian N.)
The Shimba hills are a dissected plateau that ascends steeply from the
coastal plains, 30 km south west of Mombasa and just south of Kwale
town. The surrounding escarpment rises from around 120m to 300m across
the bulk of the plateau and as high as 450m at Marare and Pengo Hills.
The underlying rocks are the Triassic Shimba Grifts and in the north
central part near Kwale town Pliecone Magarini sands. Rivers flowing
from the hills supply fresh water to Mombasa and the Diani/Ukunda area.