Shaba National Reserve Entry Fees

Shaba National Reserve is a protected area in Isiolo County in northern Kenya to the east of the Samburu and Buffalo Springs national reserves. Together, the three reserves form a large protected area. The Shaba National Reserve is one of the less visited areas in Kenya and is located off the main tourist 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.

Shaba was formed in 1974 and has been used for a number of film locations including Born Free, Out of Africa and more recently, Survivor 3. Covering an area of 239 sq km, Shaba’s scenery is stark and beautiful, dominated by Shaba Hill in its southern section and surrounded by steep ravines, a favourite haunt for leopards. There are also good views of the Sugarloaf Mount Ol Ololokwe north of Archer’s Post. Bisected by the Ewaso Nyiro River, the reserve features tracts of riverine forest with ragged doum palms and grasslands interspersed with lava outcrops, numerous springs and marsh areas leading into the Lorian Swamp.

The main attractions are the reticulated giraffe, Grévy’s zebra, beisa oryx, the Somali ostrich and the gerenuk. Elephants are plentiful and black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalo and hyenas can all be seen. Dik-diks are always dashing across the red roads whilst vervet monkeys scamper about under the trees. For such a relatively small area the birdlife is strikingly numerous and colourful. Perhaps the most impressive is the immense flocks of helmeted and vulturine guinea fowl which make their way each afternoon to the river bank to drink. Large numbers of marabou storks patrol the skies whilst you may also see thousands of sandgrouse and doves.

The Shaba National Reserve is more known for its landscape than its wildlife. If you have already seen the Big Five, you can take the time to enjoy the fascinating vegetation and the lesser-known animal species living in this region. Entry gates into Shaba national reserve include the Gafarsa Gate, Shaba Gate, and Natorbe Gate.

Activities in Shaba National Reserve

1. Game Viewing

In Shaba National Reserve, game viewing is done in three stages: morning, full-day, and evening game drives. During game viewing in the reserve, the morning game drive is the most appropriate because the animals are more active and present in large numbers than during other game-driving sessions. Because of the excessive heat, animals can be sheltered and hibernate during full-day game drives. Evening game drives are also beneficial because animals can be seen in the park looking for food and water. Guests can view the animals in the reserve, and photography of various animal and bird species takes place there.

2. Cultural Interactions

This is the situation in which tourists interact with local people and learn about their ways of living, dressing, feeding, and cultural practices. In this case, the locals are the Samburu in the community, and tourists can interact with them by learning about their traditional ways of life through jewellery making, cattle herding, and feeding, among other things.

3. Guided Nature Walks

This is an activity done in the reserve to find and discover more about the reserve, as tourists can find almost all of the features in the reserve and get closer to them here most of the features such as bird species, animal species, small species of amphibians, insects, reptiles, plant species, and flowers can be identified. This activity is led by tour guides who show and direct tourists throughout the reserve.

4. Bird Watching

The reserve offers bird watching to guests, which allows them to see various bird species such as sand grouse, marabou storks, black-capped social weaver, black-faced sand grouse, and many others. Because that is the climate in the area, the bird species in the reserve have adapted to it.

Shaba National Reserve Entrance Fees


  • Adults: $80
  • Children under 18 years: $45


  • Adults: Ksh 1,200
  • Children under 18 years: Ksh 600

Vehicle fees:

  • Saloon cars: Ksh 400
  • Minibuses: Ksh 1,200
  • Buses and trucks: Ksh 2,400

Best Time to Visit Shaba National Reserve

The Dry season (June to September) and the short dry patch that interrupts the Wet season (October to May) is a good times to check out the local animals. Another plus is that the absence of water means a greatly reduced risk of malaria. You can still visit the park in the wetter months, but heavy rain can potentially derail your safari plans.

Shaba National Reserve Contacts

Phone: +254 706 968000


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