Monday, 14 July 2014

Shimba Hills National Reserve - The Sable Antelope's In Kenya

A small family of Sable Antelope in Shimba Hills

The tropical rain forest of Shimba Hills is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kenya. Reaching a height of 500m above sea level and only a 40 minute drive from the white sandy beaches of Diani / Tiwi, the Shimba Hills Reserve makes for a refreshing scenic day excursion. The flora and fauna such as Elephant, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Warthog and even Leopard found here are the bonus element to this beautiful untamed forest. New species of plants and insects are still being discovered in this reserve and it is the only place in Kenya that the Sable Antelope can be found. 

The population of Sable Antelope is at a critically endangered level in the wild, with approximately 60 individuals left in the whole of Kenya. Their decline can be linked most likely to loss of habitat, bush meat trade and nutritional deficiency in the soil. Some old timers who live along the park boundaries, tell me stories about the good-old days when these graceful antelope would walk all the way down the hills to Msambweni Beach for the prized salt-licks. 

The Kenya Wildlife Service has a Sable Recovery Strategy in place which we hope will help keep the numbers on the upward trend. 

The adult male Sable Antelope is bigger than the female and can easily be identified by its thick dark black coat and large crescent shaped horns. The female on the other hand has smaller horns and is more of a tanned brown colour. The herds range in sizes of 10 to 20 animals and the young males are ousted from the main herd usually from the age of three. These bachelors then form their own little herd.

No comments:

Post a Comment