Mwea National Reserve

Happy new year! Or is it too late? It’s been a long minute i trust the months have treated you all well, the new year too. Somewhere in the last quarter of 2020 i promised a post, one of those where i drift from my usual and do a post on a Reserve or park. I was so torn between two reserves and when my first option became too tricky to get to given my schedule then i settled for Mwea National Reserve.

Mwea National Reserve can be accessed from Nairobi via Thika along Thika- Garissa highway and exit at Kanyonyo. A short distance after crossing Masinga dam is a signage to the left that leads to the reserve. From Embu town you drive down slightly past Kiritiri. It’s roughly 180kms and 56kms from Nairobi and Embu respectively. The reserve is also accessible by air.

A drive from Embu to the Reserve gives you some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors.

Featured is Kamburu dam. When driving down just before you get to kiritiri town from Embu if you are keen you’ll easily spot the dam. It’s quite a stunning view.
The route alternates among panoramic views and idyllic views of rolling hills beautifully showcasing the landscape and the countys picturesque countryside.
Mwea National Reserve ‘s ecosystem’s main features are among others, the meeting point of rivers Tana and Thiba. This’s river Thiba ‘s bridge that you cross on your way to the reserve’s main gate.
Undiscovered and undisturbed the reserve is an oasis of calm and tranquility in a populous landscape. It’s renowned for its water birds and waders with over 200 species of birds having been recorded. It’s a birds haven, an Important Bird Area. The reserve is the only protected area in which the globally threatened and Kenya-endemic Hinde’s babbler is known to occur.
On getting to the reserve’s main gate these are easily the first boys and girls you’ll spot as they like hanging around the office as if they want to give the staff a helping hand with their chores or issue you a ticket.
Boldly painted on a parchment canvas of dusty dry bush and feathered acacia the reserve is home to among others; elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Common zebras, Lesser kudu, Buffalo, Water Buck, Bush buck, Impala, Vervet Monkeys and Aardvark.

Giraffes are the world’s tallest land mammals and the Rothschild giraffe is one of the tallest subspecies, growing up to 6m tall. Its colouring is unique compared to other giraffes as their markings stop half way down their legs. When you look at their legs it’s as if they are in a cute pair of white socks.

Rothschild giraffes have not two but five ossicones, look closely next time you are on a game drive. I thought this boy was kind enough to give me a show, too kind to allow me take a selfie with him but on a second thought i think it was more about the ladies hiding in the bushes. He was trying to stand out, get noticed, trying to be fearless.

Largely undeveloped and rarely visited the reserve rewards those in search of peace, tranquility and undisturbed wildlife observation.

The reserve is focused on the frontage of Kamburu dam. This’s a view i never seem to have enough of. It’s the beautiful blend of the water mass, vegetation and the landscape for me.
The dam’s resident
You’ll easily spot my long nosed friends taking an afternoon swim from the view point.
While these boys and girls will be sheltering under the trees. The reserve tends to be really hot, as hot at the likes of Bisanadi National Reserve and Kora National Park.
Friends show friends the way when they visit, something my long nosed friend here knows too well.
Well, i was led to go say hi to the rest of the family. It’s always and will forever be a great time catching up with them.
I wasn’t sure whether this was a “we’ll miss you Ray” kind of look or a “how dare you try to leave without saying hello” kind of look.
Look who i was lucky to spot!! A cheetah 🤗

It’s always a pleasure going on a game drive in the reserve. Unless during the rainy season a 4WD isn’t really necessary. I should also mention that there are no lodges, tented camps or self catering facilities(Bandas). The nearest accommodation is Kobos resort in Kivaa if camping isn’t an option for you. The reserve boasts 7 camp sites just to add. Lastly for the goat meat lovers😄as you exit the reserve grab yourself a kg at Makima market you can thank me later.

Have you ever heard of this reserve before? It’s a pleasure having you here. Till next time, 🥂


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