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Shaba National Reserve


Kenya offers to its tourism visitors so much more to see and do. This made possible by the presence of unchanging cultures that are not altered by today’s world, savannahs rich with the big game, snowcapped mountains, immaculate beaches and coral reefs, equatorial forests, cool highland retreats, sweltering deserts and more than enough chances to adventure relax or discover. Such a range of provisions is only present in Kenya and it is more than you can imagine.


Shaba National Reserve is one such unexplored and magnificent tourist attraction is the Shaba National Reserve located in the Eastern Province of Kenya. The Shaba National Reserve is located in a semi arid area which has an area of about 239 sq km and is located approximately 320 km from the city of Nairobi.


The Shaba National Reserve neighbors two more reserves namely the Samburu and the Buffalo springs which together form a spectacular, unique and contrasting habitat which vary from stark cliffs to lush swamps and muddy sandbanks, from bone dry bush to fronded riverine forests. The locals near the Shaba National Reserve are the nomadic Gabbra community who refer to the reserve as “The plains of Darkness”. The Shaba National Reserve region extends to Lake Turkana.


Land within and without the reserve is rugged and beautiful raising about 700-1,500 meters above the level of the sea. After discovery in 1948, the Shaba National Reserve is was only gazette in the year 1974 and lies in hot and dry semi arid area with long rains experienced in March/April while the short rains occur in October/November.


The flora in Shaba National Reserve includes acacia woodland, narrow and scrubland riverine woodlands and bush lands. The main fauna include the cheetah, Oryx, monkey, reticulated giraffe, zebra, buffalo, elephant, crocodiles and hippo. In addition, the Shaba National Reserve has recorded over 350 birds’ species. The reserve is also home to large prides of lions and elephants that are seen crossing the river at dusk


Other attractions to the Shaba National Reserve include the good views of the sugarloaf Ol Ololokwe Mountain located to the north of Archer’s post. The Shaba National Reserve is bisected by the Ewaso Ngiro River with multiple springs and marsh areas ending up into the Lorian Swamp. Shaba National Reserve is also associated with many films including the Born Free by Joy Adamson. As one explores the reserve, they are most likely to encounter with elephants which roam in large herds in search of water and pasture.


The Shaba National Reserve is a home of many predators including healthy lions, cheetahs and leopards. Other includes the spotted hyena, common genets and bat eared foxes. The endangered wild dog is also part of the many predators here although in small numbers. In the Ewaso Nyiro River are a numerous crocodiles and hippos, as well as waterbucks, impalas and buffalo lurk along the riverside thickets.


During the day, a variety of birdlife is visible with most common being the rare Blue shanked Somali Ostrich and some times the white headed buffalo weaver. Other birds common in the Shaba National Reserve are the saddle billed stork, vulturine guinea fowls, secretary birds and the red billed hornbill. The main feature of the gravely soil in the area include track of Acacia Tortils woodland and riverine forests along the Ewaso Nyiro River banks.