History

 

Haller Park History


Much of the Kenya coast was covered by coastal forests up to around 300 years ago. The forests were cut down, and only few patches remain. Those East African coastal forests have high biodiversity value, and are classified as one of the 21 global biodiversity hotspots.

1971 was the turning point; Dr. Rene Haller started the first of the rehabilitation process experimenting with the extensive open quarries, marked by planting 3,000 trees in the hard coral. This marked the start of Haller Park began by the development of the forest area and roads and pathways used by the employees working on the propagation of trees, fish ponds and the wildlife sanctuary.

Soon the rehabilitated area attracted the interest of people. Due to the littering problem from visitors, Dr Haller realised that some sort of order was needed. Hence the idea of the Nature Trail was born. The rehabilitated quarries have become a green recreation space for Mombasa residents and an attraction for visiting tourists. The Nature Trails were open to the public in January 1984 receiving over 20,000 visitors in its first year.

 

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About Dr. Rene Haller

In 1959, Dr. Haller was employed by the Bamburi Cement Company to produce food and vegetables for the employees of the cement company. In 1970, he persuaded them to extend his remit by rehabilitating the cement quarries along the Mombasa coastline which had been left barren by years of excavations – a formidable task. He went on to plant over 1 million trees in the quarry and after ten years a new balanced micro-climate had allowed new plants to flourish. Haller Park, to much of his credit, now contain a wide species of local wild animals as well as a very diverse selection of plants and trees.

Dr. Rene Haller

Dr. Rene Haller is a naturalist, trained in Horticulture, Landscaping and Tropical Agronomy. Today, he has transformed much of the seven square kilometre Bamburi site from a barren and dusty lunar landscape to an ecological haven.