Kaya Gandini

Country/territory: Kenya

IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (1999)
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Area: 150 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2021 unfavourable very high negligible
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Site description (2001 baseline)
The Kayas are small, relict patches of forest that once sheltered the fortified villages of the Mijikenda people on the Kenyan coast. They have spiritual and ceremonial significance and are customarily protected by a Council of Elders. Kaya Gandini (also known as Takawa or Duruma, and sacred to the Duruma people) lies c.15 km east-north-east of Mombasa, near the town of Gandini, and overlooking the Mambome river. It is dry deciduous Cynometra–Terminalia forest. Kaya Mtswakara (247 ha), which is similar floristically, is situated c.2 km away across the Mambome river, and is in turn adjacent to Mwache Forest Reserve (c.345 ha), a somewhat wetter forest across the Mwache river. The Kaya was gazetted as a National Monument under the care of the National Museums of Kenya in 1992.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. This is a potentially important site for the threatened Zoothera guttata (a non-breeding visitor from March to October) and the threatened and restricted-range Anthus sokokensis (recently recorded and presumably resident in small numbers). The avifauna is not well studied but is typical of East African coastal forests. Species of regional concern include Pachycoccyx audeberti, Pogoniulus simplex, Campethera mombassica and Prionops scopifrons.

Non-bird biodiversity: The threatened small mammal Rhynchocyon petersi (EN) occurs here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Kaya Gandini. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.