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Home > Guide > Shaba National Reserve

Shaba National Reserve

When exploring Kenya there are a range of places to visit and opportunities to participate in that sometimes yield an overwhelming feeling with it difficult to know where to begin.


In terms of safaris, Kenya specifically has a wide range of National Parks and safari tours to tailor to every traveller’s individual need.


Shaba National Reserve


The Shaba National Reserve is no different and offers a fantastic experience for anyone that chooses this particular trail for their safari adventure as it is considered one of Kenya’s most exclusive game reserves due to the history it embraces.


The National Park is most well-known as the spot where Joy Adamson released her hand reared leopard Penny. Such is the importance of this event in the reserve’s history, that the memories and her books are preserved in a small museum on-site that can be visited.


Normally tied in with Samburu or Buffalo Springs as it shares the same ecosystem, Shaba has fewer visitors than the aforementioned retreats, making it a more individual experience; however you will need a four wheel drive vehicle to get there.


The landscape is incredibly varied with a shot of the Bodich Mountain behind the river in the north and a number of steep hills in the Shaba Peak towards the south. This landscape only adds to the number of animals you can witness in this dramatic habitat.


The Shaba National Reserve is known for its plentiful amount of plains game – such as elephants, giraffes and lions.


It is here that you can also spot the beautiful Grevvy’s zebra. It is in not just on the plains where the creatures can be spotted, but there are a number of watering holes. These are where most safari cars head towards, waiting for herds to walk over for a drink while the animals pose for safari snaps.


The most popular animals that can be spotted at the waterholes are the elephant herds and buffalo, but if you’re in the northern section of the park then you will often get a peek at the Oryx and the Lesser kudu.


It is not just the view you can experience on these game drives but the wonderful birdlife is so extensive that a natural animal soundtrack can accompany your experience from the trees.


As previously mentioned, the Oryx, Lesser kudu and Grevvy’s zebra are key residents in the Shaba National Reserve, and they also make up three of Kenya’s ‘northern five’ – the other two; the reticulated giraffe and gerenuk can also be found in the reserve, meaning you can tick these off your checklist as well.


There may be numerous animals, but the accompanying views often catch your eye and that it was makes it the most incredible experience for visitors.


The surroundings may feel harsh with volcanic intrusions and Commiphora trees, and even the fact there are thorns at every point you turn.


However, it is the Ewaso N’giro River that provides a comfortable change and a welcoming atmosphere.

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