After spending a day at the beach we felt that we want to see more of wild Africa. We discussed with the tourist office agent and decided that Shimba Hills might be the attraction, which suits our needs – it is close, can be visited in one day from our hotel, it will be safari and there is a rainforest.
The van picked us up in the morning and we drove 30 km south to the small hilly plateau Shimba Hills. We passed Kwale town and just next to it we were at the gates of national reserve. We passed the trees. Our guide said that we should be very alert because it would be possible to see giraffes already here. We did not see any giraffes this time.
First animals we saw were buffaloes, known also as one of the “big five” in Africa. We saw cattle of buffaloes from 50 meters. We noticed that every buffalo had it’s own bird. These birds are perching on a buffalo and eating insects which lodge in animal skin.
Driving further we made several stops and enjoyed splendid views of the hilly and forested countryside. During the safari we met giraffes, elephants, zebras and other animals. Different from the safari in Tsavo East, here all animals were much closer. We saw giraffe and elephant from five meters.
With the elephant it was very interesting – we stopped the car to take pictures. He (we are very sure that it was HE) stood just five meters and cleaned himself with the sand. At on point he came towards us and made a noise. The driver started to worry and started the engine. For us it was interesting experience, and also we enjoyed the pictures and video taken there.
As a end of the tour we had a lunch at Shimba Hills lodge. This cleverly constructed lodge is set deep in the heart of an ancient tropical rainforest and it truly fits to the beautiful forest vegetation. The lunch was good, but the environment was much better – the air, the noises and smells. I believe that it could be great vacation there. May be next time …