Shaba National Reserve is found deep in the arid northern part of Kenya, situated across the Great North Road, is which forms part of a trio of reserves quite different from the ones found in Kenya.
Shaba takes its name from Mount Shaba (1525 metres), a volcanic mountain that became extinct around 5,000 years ago and lies on the border of the reserve.
Shaba National Reserve is part of three adjoining savanna national reserves that lay on either side of the Northern Ewaso Ngiro River namely Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve and Shaba National Reserve.
The Northern section of the park includes a 34km stretch of the Ewaso Ngiro River, here and elsewhere in the reserve are numerous springs and swampy areas.
The starkly beautiful landscape is dominated by Shaba Hill to the south, at the foot of which is a rugged area with steep ravines.
The sandy soils are volcanic in origin. The landscape and vegetation in this area is very different to its southern counterparts, mainly scrub desert and open savannah broken by the occasional small, rugged hill.
Shaba National Reserve includes the area where Joy Adamson of ‘Born Free’ fame experimented with the release of hand-reared leopards.
Shaba National Reserve: What Game
- The Ewaso Ngiro River is the life line that supports a wide variety of game including elephants, buffaloes, cheetah, leopards and lions, as well as game rarely seen elsewhere such as Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich and the long necked gerenuk (Somali for ‘camel head’).
Shaba National Reserve: What Activities
- Scenic landscape and riverine forest and 17 permanent springs at which animals congregate during the dry season.
- The Joy Adamson Monument is also found here
- Camel safaris
- Champagne breakfasts, Moonlit dinners in the bush or beside the river
- Bird-watching walks and cultural dances.
Shaba National Reserve: Best time to visit
- All year Round
Shaba National Reserve: Where to stay
- Joy’s Camp and Sarova Shaba Lodge