Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is an elephant conservation area in Kenya. It is 45 kilometres southwest of Mombasa and borders the Shimba Hills National Reserve. The sanctuary was established in the early 1990s as a collaborative project between the people of the surrounding Mwaluganje community to create a wildlife corridor for elephant movement between Mwaluganje Forest Reserve to the north and Shimba Hills National Reserve to the south. Elephants use this migratory passageway, which covers 60,000 acres, to access important foliage areas within their natural domain at various times of the year.
The area is significant on an international, national, and local scale. It protects threatened lowland coastal forest, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including several rare and endemic species. It is one of only three coastal elephant sanctuaries in Kenya, as well as an important water catchment area for wildlife and local communities.
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary spans 60,000 acres of cliffs, forested hills, and bushland. Its terrain varies from dry baobab bushland to moist deciduous forest hills and river rainforest along the streams. It truly provides a stunning backdrop for a plethora of wildlife. The Sanctuary is well-known for its elephants, but there are numerous other attractions. Many other animals can be found at the Sanctuary, including zebras, warthogs, bushbuck, waterbuck, baboons, sykes and the endangered colobus monkeys. You might see leopards, porcupines, mongooses, bush babies, elephant shrews, or honey badgers if you're really lucky.
As a result of the diverse habitats, the Sanctuary is home to a variety of butterflies. Along the Manolo River, you will see savannah and semi-arid country species coexisting with rainforest species. The Sanctuary is a birdwatcher's paradise, home to some of the most amazing birds of prey ever seen, including the monkey-eating crowned eagle and palm nut vulture.
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is best visited during the dry months of June to September and December to March. Although the reserve is open all year, visiting during the rains is more difficult. The vegetation thickens during the wet months, making animal spotting more challenging.
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary offers a wealth of experiences for safari and nature enthusiasts. The main attraction at the sanctuary is, of course, the 150 elephants that reside there. Guests visiting can opt for a game drive where they’ll spot a variety of wildlife, or head out on a guided walking safari. The biodiversity of Mwaluganje is incredible. Dinosaur Cycads, which are fan-like plants that evolved around 300 million years ago, can be seen while driving or walking across the Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary. Additionally, visitors can opt for an educational and cultural experience, learning about the sanctuary and the 200 families that are involved.
There are various accommodation options around Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, including staying in Shimba Hills National Reserve.