Fikirini Three Sister Caves

Fikirini Sister Caves - Three Sister Caves

Useful Information

Location: Fikirini, Kwale County.
From Mombasa A14 south, turn left towards Shimoni, turn right to Fikirini.
(-4.614126, 39.354253)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Fikirini Three Sister Caves, Shimoni, Tel: +254-758-168952.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Fikirini Three Sister Caves are actually three caves, but there are multiple names using the words Fikirini, Three, Sister, Giant, and Caves in all possible combinations. Along the coast there is a quite large area with limestone which was deposited as a coral reef, while this whole area was still below the sea. So the limestone is rather young in geological terms. When the sea was gone the rivers from inland started to create caves in the limestone. The hills are honeycombed by a network of caves. The fact that the rock is actually a coral reef can easily be seen at the walls, there is a great number of fossils, like radial corals, mussels, and oysters.

Mdenyenye Cave is the largest of the three caves. It was used by the villagers of Fikirini as a hideout from slave traders. The natural entrance is a collapse doline, a wooden staircase was built by the locals so visitors can walk down into the cave. Mdenyenye is a word used by the Tswaka community for ascending or descending using a rope or a hanging root. So that explains how they hid in the cave and why they were not found.

Pangani is the second cave, it was used for religious purposes. It is a Kaya of the local Tswaka community. There is a SmileFar Connection Legend with the CaveShimoni Caves which are almost 5 km away as the crow flies. However, in this case it is actually possible that the connection is real, though we do not know if this trip was ever actually made by a caver.

Kisimani Cave has a well that never runs dry. If was essential for the locals as a source of fresh water, and also for the local wildlife. Monkeys and baboons live at the cave, and it is inhabited by bats.

Actually all caves are inhabited by bats, and there is always the pungent smell of bat guano. The caves are home to seven bat species including the Egyptian fruit bats, common bent-wing bats, long-fingered bat, tomb bats and the angle-faced bat. More than 40,000 individuals live here, and it is said to be the largest bat colony in Africa. While there is no danger of bats colliding with visitors, they have ultrasonic radar, and they also do rarely spread diseases. Quite common is the cavers disease though, histoplasmosis, which is similar to an influenza, and might be deadly if not treated medically. To avoid such problems there is a simple solution, wear a face mask, we are used to it since Corona, and you avoid getting an infection quite effectively.

Tswaka village aka Fikrino is a significant place in the history of the Digo people in the coastal region of Kenya. The Digo people at Fikirini have a community-based organization which manages tourist activities. To get a guide you should contact them first. There are no regular open hours, the site is actually accessible without any restrictions, nevertheless we strongly recommend a guide.