Located in Mombasa on Kenya’s coastline, Haller Park was a chance foundation that started when Dr. Rene Haller noticed some millipedes feeding on dry casuarina needles in a quarry area. He decided to introduce hundreds of these red legged millipedes with the idea that they may re-engineer the forest.
Haller Park now provides homes for a variety of animals and plants, but also functions as a relaxation destination for visitors. It took around 10 years before significant changes occurred and after 20 years the humus layer had a depth of 10 cm.
The animals that seem to have taken particularly well in the newly reformed habitat and have been playing important roles in succession are different birds, insects, and vervet monkeys. Some larger mammals were then introduced by Haller to provide different functions, such as eland and oryx.
The park is a fantastic place to visit for a glimpse at the potential of conservation and restoration, but also is popular with animal lovers in its own right. The park is now home to giraffes, hippos, Cape buffalo, zebra, and over 160 different birds. The park reached fame thanks to a 130 year old tortoise named Mzee adopting an orphaned hippopotamus named Owen.
The birds in the park include pelicans, cranes, and weaver birds. There are areas to ride your bicycle and walking trails that wind through the different gardens, reptile park, crocodile pens, and butterfly house.