Haller Park is a hit with animal lovers. Formerly called Bamburi Nature Trail, this inspirational project began in 1971, when Dr. René Haller transformed the abandoned limestone quarries here into a thriving nature reserve. Dr. Haller increased the mineral content of the soil, planted trees, added a fish farm, and created a wildlife park where each animal has a function within the flourishing ecosystem. Wildlife found here includes giraffes, Cape buffalo, zebras, waterbucks, and hippos. The park was also home to a famous interspecies couple that became an Internet sensation after the 130-year-old tortoise, Mzee, adopted Owen, an orphaned hippo.
Birds are also abundant in the park. More than 160 species have been introduced to the area including weaver birds, cranes, pelicans, and storks. Walking and cycling paths wind through the groves of casuarina, and a reptile park, palm garden, and crocodile pens are other attractions. A highlight is the giraffe feeding, but be sure to check the times before visiting. Nature trails lead to a butterfly pavilion.
About a 15-minute drive from Haller Park, Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary, with giraffes, ostriches, eland, oryx, and many species of birds, offers more wildlife-viewing opportunities. It’s also one of the most popular picnic sites in Mombasa.