Mwea National Reserve, Embu County

Mwea National Reserve is located in Mbeere, Embu County, at a distance of about 200km from Nairobi. The Savannah ecosystem comprises small hills with bushy vegetation and scattered large trees. Other areas are open grasslands while among the main rivers, large trees with thick undergrowth are found. Trees mainly found within the ecosystem are the different Acacia species and baobab trees.

The ecosystem’s main features are the meeting points of rivers Tana and Thiba, Kaburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams, which harbor a variety of biodiversity.

Wildlife at Mwea National Reserve

Major wildlife attractions in Mwea National Reserve include elephant, Burchell’s and common zebra, Leopard, Grey duiker, olive baboons, serval cat, spotted hyena, Hartebeest, striped ground squirrel, genet cat, black-backed jackal, Rothschild giraffes, lesser kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, vervet monkeys, grants gazelle, Dik-Dik, cape hare, warthog, bush pig, bushbuck, aardvark, yellow baboons, Sykes monkeys, slender mongoose, dwarf mongoose, crested porcupine, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, and tortoise.

Hippos and crocodiles are also common in dams and rivers. There are over 200 species of birds.

Mwea National Reserve is renowned for its water for birds and waders. The Reserve shelters two other rare species; Pel’s fishing owl and the white-backed night heron. It is the only protected Reserve in which the globally threatened Hinde’s Babbler is found.

How to get there

Road Transport

The Reserve is accessible from Nairobi via Thika, Matuu, and Masinga Dam. The other possible route is via Embu and Machanga.

Air Transport

There are small flights from Wilson Airport to Masinga airstrip near Masinga lodge.

Where to stay

  • Masinga Lodge
  • Camping facilities: Located at Mbogo, Silvester, Mavuria, Kyangosi, Hippo point, and Kanyonga.

When to visit and contact details

Visitors are welcome to visit Mwea National Reserve all year. The entry is via cash or Mpesa payable at the gate.

  • Phone: +254-020-2052727
  • Email:

Extra useful information

Featured Photo by Kenya Wildlife Service.