Shaba is greener than its neighboring Samburu with more forests, making game viewing less easy; however, this game reserve is one of the best places to view some of the rarer species in Kenya including, such as Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, generuk and the reticulated giraffe, amongst others.
Shaba National Reserve was the setting for the book and film Born Free, for the film Out of Africa and for the reality show Survivor: Africa. This is also the burial place of Joy Adamson – conservationist and writer, and human mother to Elsa the Lioness – who was sadly killed here in 1980.
Shaba is well known for its large prides of lions, which doze under thickets of toothbrush trees during the day. Elsa, the lioness that was brought up by the Adamsons, was raised partly in this reserve.
This area is known as the Samburu Ecosystem and it famously sustains free-ranging wildlife species both within the three reserves and far into community lands.