The Haller Park, formerly Bamburi Nature Trail, is a nature park located in Bamburi, Mombasa County. It is located just next to the Bamburi Cement factory and has gained popularity over the years as a work of wonder. The Haller Park is home to dozens of animals and plant species all of which you can have a close encounter with as you go on a guided tour through the facility. The park is open every day 8.00-5.00 p.m, public holidays included.
Haller park seats on what was once a quarry for the Bamburi Cement Factory. In the 1970s the factory sort of ways to reclaim the land and thus employed Rene Haller as a gardening manager in charge of salvaging the wasteland. Due to the harsh climatic conditions of this location and the very high concentration of limestone in the soil, it was a challenge for Rene Haller to find plants that could thrive here. However, after many failed plant introductions, Haller eventually got three tree species that seemed to thrive i.e. the coconut palm, casuarina and damas.
Casuarinas ended up being the most resilient of all and eventually, the species started colonizing the park. The trees were seen to have a life span of close to 20 years after which they began dying. This was linked to the high limestone levels that the plants had to take in. However, by the time the first batch started dying out, the park has already attracted a significant number of birds and animals including the wild bush pig and vervet monkeys. The park also has other plant species including fig and neem trees.
Once Haller and team realized that the animals that came on their own accord were able to fully survive on the leaves, and fruits of the trees and bushed now established, they began to introduce animals into the park. Elands were some of the major introductions. They are a hardy animal that can survive comfortably in the harsh Bamburi climate. They also have very nutritious milk whose bacteria can keep it fresh up to a month without any processing. Other animals introduced include oryx, giraffes, tortoises, hippos and millipedes. The red-legged millipedes were introduced specifically to help with the breakdown of dead leaves into humus.
Later into the existence of the park, aquaculture was also introduced. Here, one can see different types of fish including ornamental species. The tilapia is a common species in the park’s ponds. The Nile Cabbage is also cultivated. Apart from providing food for the fish, it also helps in checking the nutrient levels of the water body thus preventing eutrophication. The park also has a significant number of crocodiles that live within the manmade rivers and streams that flow within the park.
Haller Park has some of the most affordable charges for an establishment that offers as much as it does. Non-Residents are charged KSh 800 per adult and KSh 400 for children. It is however only KSh 250 for Kenyan resident citizens and KSh 100 for children.
What to do at Haller Park
The nature trail is different from other animal parks in that the whole experience is done on foot. You can, therefore, get to pet the Aldobra tortoises, feed the giraffes after 3 pm, take photos of the numerous bird species and simply enjoy the serenity of the park.
Haller Park also offers night walk occasionally where one can view the nocturnal animals such as bushbabies and owls.
The Park has a conference area that can hold up to 100 individuals making it a suitable place for team building activities and even weddings.
There is a bar and restaurant within the park where one can enjoy a nice meal after visiting the beautiful animals and vegetation in the park.