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Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safari

The ultimate guide to your next Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safari

Home > Destinations > Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

An Overview about Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

Kenya Safari Tours Diani

Exodus Safaris proudly presents an immersive journey into the enchanting Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve through its Arabuko Sokoke Safaris. Located along the Kenyan coast, Arabuko Sokoke is a biodiversity hotspot renowned for its unique blend of coastal and inland ecosystems. With its towering trees, dense undergrowth, and diverse wildlife, the forest offers an unparalleled opportunity for travelers to delve into the wonders of East Africa’s natural heritage.

Led by experienced guides with a deep understanding of the forest’s ecology, Arabuko Sokoke Safaris by Exodus Safaris provide guests with unforgettable wildlife encounters. From rare bird species like the Sokoke scops owl and the Clarke’s weaver to elusive mammals such as the golden-rumped elephant shrew and the Ader’s duiker, the forest is teeming with biodiversity waiting to be discovered.

Travelers can explore the reserve’s network of trails, embark on birdwatching excursions, and even participate in conservation activities aimed at preserving this precious ecosystem. With a commitment to sustainable tourism, Exodus Safaris ensures that each safari experience not only enriches the lives of travelers but also contributes to the long-term conservation and protection of Arabuko Sokoke for future generations to enjoy.

Why Go on Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safari

What to Do on Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safari

Guided Nature Walks

Aarabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Guided Nature Walk Safaris

Joining a guided nature walk is one of the best ways to explore the forest’s diverse ecosystems, identify wildlife and plant species, and learn about the conservation efforts in the area. Experienced guides can help you spot rare and elusive creatures.

Birdwatching

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Bird Watching Safari

Arabuko Sokoke is a haven for bird enthusiasts. With over 270 bird species, including endemics like the Sokoke Scops Owl, the forest is a prime spot for birdwatching. Don’t forget your binoculars and a field guide!

Hiking and Trekking

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Hiking and Trekking Safari

Explore the forest’s trails and hiking routes, ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks. These trails provide opportunities to discover hidden waterfalls, encounter wildlife, and appreciate the forest’s serene beauty.

Butterfly Watching

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Butterfly Watching Safari

 

The forest is home to a wide variety of butterfly species. Bring a camera and try to capture the vibrant colors and intricate patterns of these beautiful insects.

Visit the Butterfly Farm

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Visit the Butterfly Farm Safari

Adjacent to the reserve is the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Visitor and Information Center, which houses a butterfly farm. Here, you can see various butterfly species up close and learn about their life cycles.

Photography

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Photography Safari

The lush greenery, unique wildlife, and pristine landscapes provide excellent subjects for photographers. Capture the beauty of the forest and its inhabitants while respecting the natural environment.

Visit the Local Communities

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Visit the Local Communities Safari

Interact with the indigenous communities living around the forest. You can learn about their traditional customs, visit local markets, and purchase handcrafted souvenirs.

Night Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Night Safaris

Take a night safari to witness nocturnal creatures that are active after dark, such as owls, bushbabies, and chameleons. The forest takes on a completely different ambiance at night.

Picnicking and Relaxation

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Picnicking and Relaxation Safari

Enjoy a picnic in the forest. Many designated areas provide opportunities to relax, enjoy the surroundings, and have a meal amidst nature.

Support Conservation

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Support Conservation Safari

Learn about the conservation initiatives in place to protect the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve. Your visit helps fund these efforts, so consider contributing to the conservation cause.

Cultural Performances

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Cultural Perfomances Safari

Some guided tours may include cultural performances and storytelling by local communities, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich culture of the region.

Stay in Eco-Friendly Accommodations

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Stay in Eco-Friendly Accomodations Safari

If you plan to spend more than a day in the area, consider staying in eco-friendly lodges or camps that promote sustainable tourism and offer a unique wilderness experience.

Book Your Safari With Exodus Safaris

Benefit from our team's 25+ years of experience as we guide you in
selecting the perfect Arabuko Sokoke Safari for you

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When is the best month to travel to Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve?

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in January

  • Weather: January is typically warm and dry in Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F).
  • Wildlife: This month is an excellent time for birdwatching as many migratory bird species can be spotted. You may also encounter various primates, butterflies, and smaller mammals.
  • Events: No major events, but a walking safari is ideal for this month to explore the forest’s diverse flora and fauna.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in February

  • Weather: Similar to January, February has warm and dry weather, making it a pleasant time to visit with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F).
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching remains a highlight, and you may witness the courtship displays of various bird species. Keep an eye out for the endangered golden-rumped elephant shrew.
  • Events: No major events, but a birdwatching safari is recommended, focusing on the diverse avian life in the reserve.
tanz feb calves

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in March

  • Weather: March is still warm and dry, with temperatures ranging from 20-31°C (68-88°F).
  • Wildlife: This month offers excellent opportunities to observe birdlife, and you may also encounter buffalo, elephants, and various primates. Butterflies are abundant as well.
  • Events: No major events, but a combination safari highlighting birdwatching and wildlife observation is recommended.
tanz mar ngorongoro
Early March tends to be dry, although in some years the rains have been known to return early, so it can

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in April

  • Weather: April marks the transition to the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 21-31°C (70-88°F). It’s advisable to be prepared for occasional rain.
  • Wildlife: The forest comes alive with lush vegetation, and birdwatching remains a highlight. Mammals are still active, and the forest is teeming with life.
  • Events: No major events, but a guided walking safari is recommended to explore the forest’s beauty amid the greenery.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in May

  • Weather: May is part of the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 21-30°C (70-86°F). Expect occasional heavy rainfall.
  • Wildlife: The forest is vibrant with life during the rainy season, and it’s an excellent time for birdwatching. Mammals and amphibians are also more active.
  • Events: No major events, but a birdwatching safari combined with opportunities for amphibian and reptile observation is ideal.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in June

  • Weather: June continues the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 20-29°C (68-84°F). Be prepared for rain, and the forest is at its lushest.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching remains a highlight, and you may also encounter various reptiles and amphibians. The forest is filled with the sounds of nature.
  • Events: No major events, but a birdwatching and herpetology safari (focused on reptiles and amphibians) is recommended.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in July

  • Weather: July is part of the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 19-28°C (66-82°F). Rainfall may be less frequent, but it’s still advisable to be prepared.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching is excellent, and the forest’s flora is in full bloom. You may also spot larger mammals, such as elephants and buffaloes.
  • Events: No major events, but a combination safari with a focus on birdwatching and larger mammals is recommended.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in August

  • Weather: August marks the end of the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 19-28°C (66-82°F). The weather is becoming drier and more comfortable.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching remains a highlight, and larger mammals are more active. This is a good time to spot elephants, buffaloes, and primates.
  • Events: No major events, but a wildlife safari with a focus on birdwatching and larger mammals is recommended.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in September

  • Weather: September is a transitional month, with temperatures ranging from 20-29°C (68-84°F). It’s a mix of dry and wet weather.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching is still rewarding, and the forest is bustling with activity as many species prepare for the breeding season. Larger mammals are active as well.
  • Events: No major events, but a combination safari with a focus on birdwatching and observing the pre-breeding behaviors of various species is recommended.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in October

  • Weather: October is generally dry, with temperatures ranging from 21-30°C (70-86°F). It’s a pleasant time to visit with lower chances of rain.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching remains a highlight, and you may witness breeding behaviors among various species. Larger mammals are active, and the forest is less humid.
  • Events: No major events, but a birdwatching and wildlife safari is ideal, taking advantage of the comfortable weather conditions.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in November

  • Weather: November marks the onset of the short rains, with temperatures ranging from 21-30°C (70-86°F). Be prepared for occasional showers.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching is still rewarding, and you may witness the arrival of migratory bird species. Larger mammals are active, and the forest is rejuvenated.
  • Events: No major events, but a birdwatching and wildlife safari is recommended, with a focus on observing migratory species.
tanz nov waterhole

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve in December

  • Weather: December is part of the short rains season, with temperatures ranging from 21-31°C (70-88°F). It’s advisable to be prepared for occasional showers.
  • Wildlife: Birdwatching remains a highlight, and the forest is teeming with life. Larger mammals are active, and the landscape is lush.
  • Events: No major events, but a combination safari with a focus on birdwatching and observing the forest’s vibrant ecosystem is recommended.
tanz dec ellie

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Why travel with us?

Latest Feedback from Adventurers Who Organized and Reserved their Arabuko Sokoke
Expeditions through Exodus Safaris

FAQ about Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safaris

  • You can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife, including monkeys, elephants, birds, and various plant species. The forest is also home to rare and endemic species like the Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew.
  • Yes, guided tours are available and recommended. Knowledgeable guides can help you spot wildlife, explain the ecosystem, and ensure a safe and educational experience.

  • Activities include guided nature walks, birdwatching, hiking, butterfly watching, night safaris, and cultural interactions with local communities.
  • Yes, the reserve is generally safe for tourists. However, it's essential to follow safety guidelines, respect the environment, and adhere to the guidance of your guides.
  • Entrance fees and eco-tourism activities often contribute to the conservation and protection of the reserve, helping preserve this unique ecosystem.
  • Pack lightweight, breathable clothing, comfortable hiking shoes, insect repellent, a good camera for wildlife and nature photography, and binoculars for birdwatching.

5 Best Accommodations While On Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Turtle Bay Beach Club

  • Description: Turtle Bay Beach Club is a beachfront resort located in Watamu, close to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. The resort offers comfortable rooms and cottages surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking the Indian Ocean. Guests can enjoy a range of activities, including guided nature walks in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, birdwatching, and water sports.
  •  Approximate Price: $100 – $200 per person per night (approximate, depending on the season and chosen package).

Hemingways Watamu

  • Description: Hemingways Watamu is a luxury beachfront hotel situated near Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites with modern amenities and panoramic views of the ocean. Guests can relax on the white sandy beaches, indulge in spa treatments, or embark on guided excursions to explore the nearby forest reserve.
  • Approximate Price: $300 – $600 per person per night (approximate, depending on the season and chosen package).

Watamu Treehouse

  • Description: Watamu Treehouse is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Watamu, offering easy access to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. The hotel features stylish treehouse-style rooms nestled within a tropical garden setting. Guests can enjoy guided nature walks in the forest, birdwatching, and cultural tours to nearby attractions.
  • Approximate Price: $80 – $150 per person per night (approximate, depending on the season and chosen package).

Turtle Bay Village

  • Description: Turtle Bay Village is a family-friendly resort located near Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. The resort offers spacious villas and cottages surrounded by lush vegetation and just steps away from the beach. Guests can explore the forest reserve on guided hikes, go birdwatching, or relax by the pool.
  • Approximate Price: $80 – $150 per person per night (approximate, depending on the season and chosen package).

The Charming Lonno Lodge

  • Description: The Charming Lonno Lodge is an intimate boutique hotel situated in Watamu, close to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. The lodge features beautifully appointed rooms with ocean views and personalized service. Guests can enjoy guided tours to explore the forest reserve, relax by the infinity pool, or savor delicious meals at the on-site restaurant.
  • Approximate Price: $150 – $300 per person per night (approximate, depending on the season and chosen package).

Types of Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safaris

Nature Walks

 

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Nature Walk Safari Package

Guided nature walks allow you to explore the forest on foot. Knowledgeable guides help you spot wildlife, identify plant species, and share insights about the ecosystem.

Birdwatching Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Bird Watching Safari Package

Arabuko Sokoke is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Specialized birdwatching safaris focus on spotting and identifying the diverse bird species, including rare and endemic ones.

Hiking and Trekking

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Hiking and Trekking Safari Package

The reserve has a network of trails suitable for hiking and trekking. You can choose from easy walks to more challenging hikes, often led by experienced guides.

Butterfly Watching

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Butterfly Watching Safari Package

Explore the butterfly farm at the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Visitor and Information Center to observe and learn about the colorful butterfly species in the region.

Night Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Night Safaris Package

Venture out after dark on a night safari to witness the nocturnal creatures that come to life in the forest, such as owls, bushbabies, and chameleons.

Cultural Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Cultural Safari Package

These safaris may include interactions with local communities living near the reserve. You can learn about their traditions, visit markets, and enjoy cultural performances.

Photography Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Photography Safari Package

Guided photography safaris are tailored for photographers, allowing you to capture the beauty of the forest, wildlife, and landscapes.

Conservation Tours

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Conservation Tours Safari Package

Learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect the reserve and its unique ecosystem. These tours often emphasize the importance of conservation and sustainable practices.

Customized Private Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Customized Private Safaris Package

Some tour operators offer customized private safaris tailored to your specific interests and preferences, allowing you to create a personalized experience.

Educational Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Educational Safari Package

These safaris are designed to educate visitors about the flora, fauna, and conservation challenges of the reserve, making them ideal for schools and educational groups.

Community-Based Tours

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Community-Based Tour Safari Package

Explore the surrounding communities and support local initiatives by participating in community-based tours that provide insights into the local way of life.

Multi-Day Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Multi-Days Safari Package

Extend your stay with multi-day safaris that combine various activities and accommodations within or near the reserve.

Budget Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Budget Safari Package

Budget-conscious travelers can opt for cost-effective safari packages that offer a more affordable way to experience the reserve.

Luxury Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Luxury Safaris Package

For those seeking a higher level of comfort and personalized service, luxury safaris with premium accommodations and amenities are available.

Bird Ringing and Research Safaris

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Bird Watching Safari Package

Some safaris focus on bird ringing and research activities, allowing participants to contribute to ongoing conservation efforts.

Everything About the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Safaris

Location

Location

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve is located on the Kenyan coast, near the towns of Malindi and Watamu.

Ecosystem

Ecosystem

The reserve is known for being one of the last remnants of the coastal forests of East Africa. It encompasses diverse ecosystems, including dense forests, open glades, grasslands, and mangrove swamps.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Arabuko Sokoke is renowned for its rich biodiversity. It’s home to various animal species, including primates (such as colobus monkeys and Sykes’ monkeys), forest elephants, and a wide variety of bird species (over 270 species). It’s also the habitat for numerous plant species, including some endemic and rare ones.

Safari Activities

Safari Activities

  • Guided Nature Walks: Highly recommended, these walks are led by experienced guides who help you spot wildlife, identify plants, and share insights about the forest’s ecology.
  • Birdwatching: The reserve is a hotspot for birdwatching enthusiasts. You can spot unique species like the Sokoke Scops Owl and Amani Sunbird.
  • Hiking and Trekking: Explore the forest on various trails, ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks.
  • Butterfly Watching: Visit the butterfly farm at the visitor center to observe and learn about colorful butterfly species.
  • Night Safaris: Experience the reserve’s nocturnal life on guided night safaris, where you may encounter owls, bushbabies, and other creatures.
  • Cultural Experiences: Interact with local communities, visit markets, and enjoy cultural performances to immerse yourself in the local culture.
  • Photography: The reserve offers fantastic photography opportunities with its lush landscapes and unique wildlife.
  • Conservation Tours: Learn about the conservation efforts in place and understand the importance of preserving the forest.
  • Multi-Day Safaris: Extend your stay with multi-day safari packages that combine various activities and accommodations.

Accommodations

Accomodations

There are a variety of accommodations in and around the reserve, ranging from budget-friendly lodges and campsites to more upscale options. Staying in eco-friendly lodges allows you to enjoy comfortable accommodations while supporting sustainable tourism.

Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve is during the dry seasons, from June to September and December to February, for optimal wildlife viewing and pleasant weather.

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fees

There are entrance fees to the reserve, which typically help support conservation efforts and the local community.

Safety

Safety

While the reserve is generally safe for tourists, it’s essential to follow safety guidelines, respect the environment, and adhere to the guidance of your guides.

Booking

Booking

It’s advisable to book your safari with a reputable tour operator or guide to ensure a well-organized and enjoyable experience.