Shaba National Reserve
Shaba National Reserve, lies east of the road linking Isiolo
with Marsabit, form a trio of unusual and attractive game
sanctuaries very different from others in Kenya. Shaba National
Reserve has a particular place in the history of Kenya game
conservation for it was in this reserve that the authoress, Joy
Adamson, died, her trilogy of books on the rehabilitation of the
compliant leopard to a wild environment remained unfinished.
Shaba was one of Joy Adamson's greatest African loves; it was in
this tranquil wilderness where she released the first hand-raised
leopards Shaba took its name from the Mount Shaba (1525 meters), a
volcanic mountain that became extinct around 5,000 years ago. Mount
Shaba lies on the border of the reserve.
Animals commonly seen are elephants, lions, cheetahs, Grevy's
zebras, giraffes, Gerenuks, Buffalos, Oryx, grants Gazelles, Dikdiks
and waterbucks. The river forest attracts a wide variety of birds.
The reserve takes its name from a massive cone of volcanic rock,
which dominates the region, and evidence of the intensity of its
upheaval is demonstrated by the formidable lava flow, which the
traveler has to cross to reach the reserve and the lodge.
The reserve's northern boundary is marked by the wide, sauntering
motion of the Ewaso Nyiro on its way to Chanler's Falls and beyond
to its final destination at the Lorian Swamp; the tall doum palms
which mark its course in silent contrast to the rugged and pitted
tracts which make up much of the sanctuary.
Many small hills dot the landscape and with four springs, Shaba is
better watered than its neighbors. Heavy downpours during the rainy
months may render the already rough tracks accessible only for
four-wheel drive vehicles. But this only serves to make the 220
square kilometers reserve even more of a getaway delight. And that
is the essence of Shaba. It is a place for the connoisseur, where
the quality of the experience exceeds the extreme concentrations of