Shaba National Reserve

Size: ca. 239 square kilometres
Founded: 1974
Distance from Nairobi: ca. 315 kilometres


The Shaba National Park will take your breath away with its imposing landscape: the dry bushlands, surrounded by many small free-standing hills, framed by mountain ranges and traversed by the Ewasa Ngiro River awaits you in central Kenya. In addition to the exciting landscape, you will have the chance to see the animals of the arid zone, such as Somali giraffes, oryx antelopes, Somali ostriches, Grevy’s zebras and gerenuks. Along the Ewasa Ngiro River, you will find elephants, crocodiles, hippos and buffaloes, closely followed by lions, leopards and cheetahs. Bird lovers will also delight in the over 450 species of birds found in the area.

Giraffes Shaba National Reserve


The Shaba National Reserve, together with the Samburu National Park and Buffalo Springs National Reserve, forms an ecological unit. The three nature reserves are not separated by fences and the wild animals are free to wander from one reserve to the next. The Shaba National Reserve is one of the less visited areas in Kenya and is located off the main tourism paths. It is one of the most northerly parks in the country and here you will experience the fascinating landscapes north of Mount Kenya in absolute seclusion.

The Shaba National Reserve is more known for its landscape than its wildlife. If you have already seen the Big Five, you can really take the time to enjoy the fascinating vegetation and the lesser-known animal species living in this region.

The reserve is surrounded by imposing mountain ranges and intersected by the Ewasa Ngiro River. The vegetation of the plain consists of grasslands, bushes and individual trees, while along the river you will find gallery forests growing.

In this dry landscape, the Ewasa Ngiro River is an important lifeline for many plants and animals. The animals living here have adapted to the arid climate and have developed their own unique characteristics. Among the animals, you will see in the northern and arid regions of Kenya are the Somali giraffe, the oryx antelope with its long and powerful horns and the Somali ostrich. Grevy’s zebras, with their significantly thinner stripes and larger ears than their counterparts in the south, and gerenuks, also called giraffe antelopes due to their long necks, have also made this arid zone their home. Elephants, buffaloes, lions, cheetahs and leopards can also be found, especially along the riverbanks.