Welcome to the website for the Coastal Forests of Kenya and Tanzania. The aim of this website is to provide different interest groups with information about the Kenyan and Tanzanian coastal forests; this includes conservation professionals, development partners, researchers, tourists and the general public.
The website provides general information about the coastal forests, the pressures and threats faced and the conservation initiatives conducted in the area. Publications and website links are listed, and access to digital copies of reports is provided where possible. You can also find out about tourism opportunities in the area.
In total 199 forests are listed with detailed forest descriptions, arranged by Region and District in each country, covering 176 forests (58 for Kenya and 118 for Tanzania) which have varying levels of protection and biodiversity values. Information has been collated from various sources and represents the majority of the known knowledge for the major coastal forest fragments in Kenya and Tanzania.
This site also provides information about five coastal forests in Mozambique. These forests are part of the Southern Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal forest mosaic ecoregion and are biologically similar to the more northerly forests of Tanzania and Kenya which are the main focus of this website.
The Coastal Forests of East Africa are a globally recognised area of great biological importance and diversity. Many species are endemic to these forests, for example 44% of plants are endemic to the coastal forests and 40% of plant genera are confined to a single forest patch. Forests only 100 km apart may have an 80% difference in their plant species.
The coastal forests are home to five endemic primates: Tana River red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus, critically endangered), Tana River mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus), Zanzibar red colobus (Procolobus kirkii, endangered), Rondo galago (Galagoides rondoensis, endangered) and the Kenya coastal galago (Galagoides cocos).
The coastal forests support populations of (Red List) threatened flagship mammal species: Black rhino (Diceros bicornis, critically endangered, Savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana, endangered) and Wild dog (Lycaon pictus, endangered).
Musical instruments, such as the clarinet and oboe, are made from one highly valued hardwood species, African blackwood, (Dalbergia melanoxylon) which is found in coastal forests and is threatened by unsustainable harvesting.
Coastal forests together with the Eastern Arc Mountains, are home to the African Violet (Saintpaulia spp) from which 40,000 varieties have been cultivated commercially from 3 species, with a retail trade of $100 million per annum.