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Taita Hills

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The Taita hills comprise three main massifs: Sagalla, Mbololo, and Dawida with the latter two only separated by a steep valley at 900m. Taita Hills Forest is classified as an important bird area due to the presence of bird species with restricted ranges and globally endangered species. The Taita hills  forests are ranked among global conservation priority sites for birds and plants

Taita Hills Birdwatching

The Taita Hills are very old mountains that geologically form the northernmost part of a series of isolated ancient mountains that extend from Eastern Tanzania to southeast Kenya. These mountains were formed by a process of repeated uplifts and faults millions of years ago, causing the rising of the central plateau, also known as the Kenya/Tanzania Highlands. The forests in these mountains have existed for over 20 million years. The Taita Hills Forest is classified as an important bird area due to the presence of bird species with restricted ranges and globally endangered species. The hills are ranked among global conservation priority sites for birds and plants.

The Taita hills comprise three main massifs: Sagalla, Mbololo, and Dawida with the latter two only separated by a steep valley at 900m. Sagalla is quite far from the rest, separated by a long stretch of lowland plains and the Voi River. Dawida is composed of several forest fragments larger than 50 hectares and about seven other small patches. Surprisingly these fragments continue to support incredibly rich biodiversity

Mbololo Forest is the largest of all covering an area of 220 hectares, forming a narrow and long stretch on the hillcrest at 1,799m.  Mbololo has the best preserved and richest flora and flora and is the most important stronghold of the endemic Taita thrush. It is also famed for three plant species and a snake species endemic to this forest. Ngangao Forest is the second largest. It covers an area of 147 hectares at an altitude of 1,952 at the peak. Ngangao forest is located 20 minutes drive from Wundanyi town, about  120 hectares are covered with indigenous forest while the rest is plantation and rock outcrop, The forest is particularly special in that it hosts good populations of all the Taita Hills endemics birds, Taita Thrush, Taita Apalis, and Taita White Eyes as well as many other endemic taxa. Ngangao forest is the most visited by Birdwatchers

Ngangao forest also has huge and tall trees, especially Newtonias which are believed to be the hugest in the entire Taita Hills and have acquired the title of “Mother of –all-trees”

                    Reptiles of Taita Hills

The Taita Hills have 65 reptiles (34 snakes, 28 lizards, 1 terrapin, and 2 tortoises) and 26 amphibian species (24 frogs and 2 caecilians)

Taita Hills Birds

Taita Hills forest is one of the most exciting bird-watching sites in Kenya, because of its unique, endemic, rare, and beautiful bird species. Notable Birds in Taita Hills include; Taita Apalis, Taita Thrush, Taita White-eye

Other interesting bird species to see in Taita Hills: Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Taita Falcon, Grasshopper Buzzard, Madagascar Bee-eater, Lemon Dove, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Orange Ground Thrush, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Yellowbill, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Brown-breasted Barbet, and Black-cheeked Waxbill.

Taita Hills Photos