Mwea National Reserve Travel
The Mwea National Reserve is a 42km square reserve is in Mbeere, Eastern Province, 200km from Nairobi. It was gazetted in 1976 and is to north-west of Kamburu Dam at the confluence of Tana and Thiba rivers. Two islands in the Kamburu Dam are in the protected area.
To the south is Tana River, to the east is Thiba River and to the north an electric fence that stops animals from invading Makima settlements. The earliest human settlement in Makima dates back to 1914 though wildlife conservation did not begin until 1972. The ecosystem’s main features are the meeting point of rivers Tana and Thiba, Kaburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams.
Major wildlife attractions include the elephant, Rothschild giraffe, zebra, lesser kudu, buffalo, water and bush bucks, impala, vervet monkeys, yellow baboons and the Grant’s gazelle. Others are dik dik. Cape hare, wart-hog, black-backed jackal, duiker, sykes monkey, Genet cat, slender mongoose, stripped ground squirrel, dwarf mongoose, crested porcupine, rock and tree hyrax and tortoise. Hippos and crocodiles are also found in the dams and rivers.
Birds and reptile species have been recorded in the reserve. With more than 200 species of birds, Mwea is renowned for water birds and waders. It is the only protected area where the endangered Hindes babbler can be found. The Reserve also shelters two other rare species – Pel’s fishing owl and the white-backed night heron.
There are no lodges, tented camps or self-catering accommodation options in Mwea Reserve. Masinga Lodge is at Masinga Dam, outside the reserve. However, camping facilities are available at Mbogo, Silvester, Mavuria, Kyangosi, Hippo Point, Kanyonga and githechu
Game viewing, boat rides at the Kamburu Dam and Hippo point are the key highlights in the reserve It can be accessed by road from Nairobi through Thika-Matuu-Masinga Dam (160km ). This route is surfaced until Masinga Dam Bridge – a further 10km of dirt road lies between the bridge and Makima Gate. Access is also possible through Embu-Machanga. By air the park can be accessed through Masinga Airstrip near Masinga lodge. The reserve does not operate the safari card system and entry is by cash.
The Mwea National Reserve is co-managed by the KWS and Mbeere County council. Mwea National Reserve Trust was founded in 1991 to raise funds to develop the reserve. A number of projects have been funded through donations, including a boat, outboard engine, energy saving jikos and translocation of zebras. The major attractions wildlife, a hippo point, rare birds and boat rides at Kamburu Dam.
Mwea National Reserve Highlights
- Game Viewing
- Boat rides at Kamburu dam
- Hippo Point/li>
- Realm of Rare birds
- nature walks