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Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned park on the edge of Tsavo West National Park. Its green mountain range and open grassy plains filled with wildlife definitely make it worth a visit. Belonging to the beautiful Eastern Arc Mountain Range, Taita Hills is among the oldest mountain ranges in Africa.

The Eastern Arc Mountain Range runs from Kenya and into neighbouring Tanzania. About thirty million years ago, this entire area was a rainforest. About ten million years ago, the lowland forests slowly converted to savannah. This turned the mountain ranges into “islands” where tropical forests continued to flourish. As a result, each has its own variety of endemic animals and plants. Nowadays, the Eastern Arc is one of the world’s top twenty biodiversity hotspots.

Special species

Besides the usual suspects of wildlife, many endemic species populate the 110 square kilometers of Taita Hills. Kenya’s rarest (and most threatened) birds live here: the Taita apalis and Taita thrush. But also the Taita Hills purple-glossed snake, the Taita blade-horned chameleon, the Taita falcon, the Taita white-eye and the Southern banded snake-eagle have their home here. Lovers of larger wildlife can look for African bush elephants, lions, cheetahs, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, giraffes and zebras.

Taita Hills is also home to areas of cloud forests – forests that usually have a layer of clouds hanging above. These forests are home to some very old indigenous trees, that can reach a diameter of ten people holding hands.

Common Animals in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Cape buffalo
  • African bush elephant
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Masai giraffe
  • Zebra
  • Hartebeest
  • Impala
  • Waterbuck
  • Thomson’s gazelle
  • Lesser kudu
  • Dik-dik
  • Hyena
  • Over 300 different species of birds, of which some endemic like the the Taita Falcon, the Taita White-eye and the Southern Banded Snake-eagle

Taita Hills Highlights

  • Several smaller species to spot that only live here
  • Combination of hilly, green forests and open grassland
  • Special location to sleep

Facts about Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Taita Hills is part of the Eastern Arc Mountain Range
  • Home to the African bush elephant
  • Famous for its two special hotels

Activities in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Sleep in the elevated rooms of the Salt Lick lodge, and watch animals drink at nearby waterholes
  • Have a delicious lunch in the beautiful surroundings of Taita Hills Resort & Spa
  • Go bird watching and stand a chance to see endemic species like the Taita White-eye.

How to get there

Taita Hills is a seven hour drive from Kenya’s capital Nairobi. It’s best to combine with a visit to Tsavo West National Park.


Kenya has a cold season from June to November with average temperatures of 20°C during the day. Nights can get cold during this season, so it’s best to take a sweater.

Mid October to November is the short rainy season, after which temperatures rise up to 30°C during the day from December to April. April and May come with showers again as this is the long rainy season. It normally doesn’t rain throughout the day as one sees sunny mornings with rain clouds building up towards the afternoons and evenings.

Best time to visit Taita Hills Wildlife Santuary

We recommend to visit Taita Hills between June and November and in February to March (the dry season).