Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, in the Kwale District of Kenya's Coastal Province, was created in 1933 to preserve a large corridor along an ancient elephant migration route. The aim was to protect the African elephants from poachers. It was opened to the public in 1995 by then Director of Kenya Wildlife Services, Dr. David Western. Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary conserves the serene surroundings, rare and endangered African elephants, the moist deciduous forest, riparian vegetation, and other special attractions including a rare cycad forest. Dinosaur Cycads are fan-like plants that evolved around 300 million years ago, and can be sighted while driving across the terrain. The ecosystem in Mwaluganje has rolling hills, steep ridges, cliffs and winding water shades, and a watering hole. It is a forested area of approximately 23,736 hectares, comprised of Shimba forest, Mkongani West, Mkongani North, and Mwaluganje forest that surrounds it.
The Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary Foundation for sustainable development is a community-based organization that works to alleviate human-wildlife conflicts arising from the large population of elephants and the conflicting land use practices of local farmers. Mwaluganje Sanctuary is currently receiving support from Eden Wildlife Trust, Born Free Foundation, East African Wildlife Society and Pact, Inc to build the community's capacity to run the sanctuary sustainable for the benefit of present and future generations.
The most adventurous and interesting part of visiting the sanctuary is camping in the heart of it. In the Mwaluganje Travelers Tented Camp one can find comfortable lodgings a 45 km drive from Mombassa, Kenya's seaport and coastal center. The twenty twin-bedded tents (with provision for one extra bed) are fully furnished along with a verandah, showers with hot and cold water, toilets and wash hand basins and with a private power supply of 220/240 Volts. It is the thrill of a lifetime living in the heart of a rain forest with comfortable accommodations in well-appointed luxury tents. And you can round off the day with a superbly cooked meal at the traditional evening campfire under the stars, with the background music of the rainforest - the hoot of an owl, the yelp of a jackal, the trumpeting of an elephant and occasionally the cough of a distant leopard.
The ecological attractions in Mwaluganje are diverse with scenic beauty such as the great natural forests, awe-inspiring cliffs, and the warm blue Indian Ocean. The beautiful hills roll up to Tsavo National Parks to the east and are marked by striking features like the Golini Cliffs, Kitanze Falls, and Manolo River, which consists of riverine vegetation and meandering rivers. The bird life is prolific and amazingly varied and birdwatchers will find the camp area and sanctuary full of interest. Yet elephants are the main attraction of the sanctuary; Mwaluganje is a historical bull area where independent elephant bulls grow in preparation for the demanding life of breeding males. Mwaluganje offers unrivalled opportunities to observe them at close quarters. The sanctuary is close to the south coast beach resorts and offers virtually guaranteed sightings of large numbers of elephants in perfect safety.
For information on visa requirements to Kenya, the climate in varied seasons, parks and reserves managed by Kenya Wildlife Service, guesthouses and camps managed by KWS, etc… contact:
Kenya Wildlife Service.
P.O. Box 40241 - 00100
Tel: +254 (20) 6000800,
+254 (20) 6002345
Fax: +254 (20) 607024
A message to all concerned: please don't ever buy artifacts, small or large, of 'ivory'. Save an elephant and make your money work for them. If you travel to exotic places, either in Asia or Africa, or even at your shopping mall near where you live, never buy anything that looks like ivory, as it probably is. Make your voice count with your purchasing power and say 'NO' to goods made of 'Ivory', and you will help conserve rare and endangered African elephants.
"Conserving elephants then becomes much more than an issue about how to protect a single species. It is about protecting one of the forces that shapes ecosystems and helps sustain the wealth of wildlife found in much of the continent of Africa. It is about saving the creative power of nature." Douglas Chadwick in his book 'The Fate of the Elephant'.
©Norman A. Rubin
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary Foundation
Mwaluganje Travelers Tented Camp
Kenya Wildlife Service
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