What are the Tribes in Shimba Hills? : Shimba hills national reserve is located in the Southeastern region of Kenya in Kwale County and it situated near the coat and Mombasa. This reserve is known to be an area of coastal rainforest, grasslands, and woodlands covering a total surface area of about 300 square kilometers. Shimba hills national reserve was officially established in 1968 and it is famously known as one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa after Arabuko-Sokoke forest hosting the highest density of African elephants in the country. It also a rich biodiversity in flora and fauna. And for tourists to access in this reserve are always required to pay the entrance fees for example; the adults who are non-residents pay a fee of about USD 22 whereby the adult citizens pay 300 KSH and the non-resident children pay USD 13 and citizens pay 125 KSH. Shimba hills national reserve is also well known for its cultural diversity and several ethnic groups that have historical and cultural ties within this region. And each of these groups contribute a lot towards the rich tapestry of traditions, customs, languages which make this area to be considered as one of the Kenya’s culturally diverse and fascinating destination to visit while on your cultural safaris. In addition, some of these tribes include the following below;
Tribes in Shimba Hills National Reserve.
The orma people are considered to be one the tribes and a group of people who have their stay around the shimba hills. In addition, these Orma people are famously known for their nomadic lifestyle and cattle herding hence ranking them to be good pastoralists.
The coastal region together with the shimba hills both have a significant Swahili population and this Swahili culture is a fusion of African, Indian influences, and Arabs. Therefore, the Swahili people are known for their distinct language and their traditional coastal cuisine, which includes pilau and biryani, which are seen as their favorite food.
The Mijikenda is known to be a term that is a collective to over nine distinct ethnic groups such as; the Digo, the Chonyi, Giriama, Duruma people and all these have a presence in the shimba hills region. However, the unique thing about these is that each group has its own customs and traditions, have a strong sense of cultural identity and only share the Bantu heritage.
The Kauma people are famously known for their unique language, which is known as “Kauma” and because of their unique cultural practices. More so, the Kauma people are considered one of the smaller ethnic groups found around this area and they base on farming and small-scale trade to earn a living.
The Digo people are considered the largest ethnic group that are found in Shimba hills and they are primarily inhabit around the coastal areas of Kenya without excluding shimba hills. More so, the digo people are well known for their vibrant culture, intricate woodcarvings, and traditional music for example; they always entertain their visitors with the traditional dance performances and sing their folk songs, which are always exciting to watch and listen. The digo people participate mostly into farming and fishing, which act as essentials for their livelihoods. In addition, it is noted that the social structure of these Digo people is organized around clans.
The Chonyi people are found around the Northern part of Shimba hills and they are famously known for their traditional healing practices, which makes them have a strong sense of community and social cohesion. More so, the chonyi people are also usually primarily engaged in the subsistence agriculture.
In addition, apart from the above-mentioned tribes, there are many more other tribes that can be found in Shimba hills and interacting with these local people of different tribes is always a great experience. Therefore, some of these other tribes include; the Duruma people who are agriculturists and grow crops like; millet, cassava and maize, the Rabai people who are well known for their good skills in pottery and basket weaving the Giriama people, the Kamba and many others.
Contact our trusted tour operators for more information about which tribes are found in Shimba hills and then book with our tours and travel companies such as; Focus East Africa tours who offer the best tour packages while on your safari in Kenya.