Shaba National Reserve is a protected area in Isiolo County in the northern Kenya to the east of the Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves, together the three reserves from large protected area. Shaba National Reserve was gazette in 1974. It is administered by the Isiolo county council, the reserve covers an area of 130 square kilometers north of the Ewaso Nyiro River. Shaba National Reserve is in semi desert, dotted with isolated hills and plentiful springs, and the Shaba is smaller than Samburu National Reserve.

The Shaba reserve has dramatic scenery including river- side forests, scattered woodlands, acaci eltior, doum palms and the dry grasslands dominated by the Shaba Hill volcano, the plentiful wildlife relies on waterholes and marshes scattered throughout the reserve. The  Reserve is a home to the endangered Grevy Zebra and the rare William’s lark.

Attractions in Shaba National Reserve.

Bird species.

Shaba National Reserve has got  a variety of bird species within the reserve, that are strikingly numerous and colourful  such as vulture guinea fowl, marabou storks, doves, black- capped social weaver, black faced and among many birds species are also found in the reserve.


Animal species which are found in the Shaba National Reserve are mostly adapted to the semi –arid conditions within the reserve that is the Grevy zebra, reticulated giraffe, lions, beisa oryx, Somali ostrich, gerenuk, hippos, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, and among others these attract tourists in the reserve, the wildlife here mostly are found along the riverine banks.

Shaba National Reserve
Zebra in Shaba National Reserve

Shaba Hill.

This hill gives rewardable view of the park’s scenic landscape as well as the species, and it’s where the reserve got its name ‘’Shaba’’

Activities in Shaba National Reserve.

Game viewing.

In Shaba National Reserve game viewing is done in different phases there is morning, full- day and evening game drives, during the game viewing in the reserve,  morning game drive is the most appropriate one because the animals can be active and present in  large numbers compared to other sessions of the game driving.  During the full- day game drives the animals can be sheltered and hibernate  because of the too much heat, also evening game drives are also conducive because animals can be also seen in the park as they are looking for food and water.  The guests can be able to view the animals in the reserve also the photography of various animal and bird species takes place in the reserve.

Bird Watching.

The reserve offers bird watching to the guests in the reserve that brings them the sighting of the different bird species such as the sand grouse, marabou storks, black-cappehed social weaver, black-faced sand grouse and many others. The bird species in the reserve are adapted to semi-arid nature of climate because it’s the one in the area.

Cultural interactions.

This is the condition where the tourists interact with the local people and finding their way of living, dressing, feeding and cultural ways, here the local people are the Samburu in the community as the tourists are able to interact with them by learning their traditional ways through jewelry making, cattle herding, feeding and among others.

Shaba National Reserve
samburu people

Guided Nature walks.

This is the activity done in the reserve in order to find and discover more about the reserve, as the tourists can be able to find almost features in the reserve and getting nearer to them here most of the features like the bird species, animal species, small specie of amphibians, insects, reptiles, plant species, and flowers can be identified. This activity is led by the tour guides as they are showing and directing the tourists in the reserve.

Where to stay in Shaba National Reserve.

Shaba National Reserve has got various and great accommodation facilities to the guests including the Budget, Mid-range and the Luxury accommodations which are the Sarova Shaba game lodge, Silver beels hotel, Bomen hotel, Sand beach resort, Lions cave camp Samburu, Grande hotel, Camel’s gate lodge and among others.

Entrance fees of Shaba National Reserve.

Category Citizen (KSH) Resident (KSH) Non- Resident(USD)
Adult 1000-2000 1000-2000 80-120
Child 300-1000 300-1000 45-75

Best time to visit Shaba National Reserve.

The months of December through March and July through October are dry, making them by far the best months to visit the Reserve that’s when the wildlife viewing is at its prime.

How to get to Shaba National Reserve.

Shaba National Reserve can be accessed by both the road and the air means to reach the reserve from the  Nairobi city.

By Road Transport.

Shaba is situated 355km/220mi north of Nairobi. If you are in Nairobi or another park, you can drive yourself here if it works in with your itinerary. This takes you around 4hr 33 minutes to reach the reserve.

By Air Transport.

Charter flights between parks are usually booked by tour operators as part of the tour package, domestic flights from Nairobi leave from Wilson airport (WIL) 6km/4mi south of Nairobi, flights to Shaba National Reserve can be booked with these domestic carriers like the Air Kenya, Safari link. This takes you 45 to 60 minutes to reach Shaba National Reserve.

Shaba National Reserve is famous for is large prides of lions which can be seen under thickets during the day as they rest, many other wildlife species and bird species can be seen during a game viewing activity in this national reserve. Shaba National Reserve is the most attractive for the safari destination in Kenya.

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