Cool and grassy, this 320-sq-km national reserve makes an easy day trip from Diani Beach. Its lush hills are home to sable antelope, elephants, warthogs, baboons, buffaloes and Masai giraffes, as well as 300 species of butterfly. The sable antelope have made a stunning recovery here after their numbers dropped to less than 120 in 1970.
In 2005 the elephant population reached an amazing 600 – far too many for this tiny space. Instead of culling the herds, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) organised an unprecedented US$3.2 million translocation operation to reduce the pressure on the habitat, capturing no fewer than 400 elephants and moving them to Tsavo East National Park, a wildlife reserve between Mombasa and Nairobi.
There are more than 150km of tracks that criss-cross the reserve.