The reserve was gazetted in 1976 covering an area north-west of Kamburu Dam at the confluence of Tana and
Thiba rivers. Two islands within Kamburu dam (constructed in 1976) are
in the protected area.
On the southern boundary is the Tana River, the
eastern is the Thiba River and the northern boundary is an electric
fence that stops animals from invading Makima settlements. The earliest
human settlement in Makima dates from 1914,
though wildlife conservation intervention was not until 1972.
National Reserve is today co-managed between Kenya Wildlife Service and
Mbeere County Council. Mwea National Reserve Trust was founded in 1991
with the aim of soliciting funds to develop the reserve.
Quite a number
of projects have been funded through donations including a boat and
outboardengine, energy saving jikos and translocating zebras.
Climatic conditions -
Semi-arid with an annual rainfall of 510-760 mm per annum
Major attractions -
Game viewing; boat rides at Kamburu dam; hippo point; realm of rare birds; walking circuit
Elephant, lesser kudu, Nile crocodile, hippo, giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, buffalo, leopard, grey duiker, black-backed jackal, bushbuck, waterbuck, olive baboon, Sykes’ monkey, serval cat,
spotted hyena, warthog, rock hyrax, bush pig, impala and hartebeest.
Rare animals including stripped ground squirrel, genet, blackbacked
jackal, yellow baboons, are also found in Mwea.
Birds: over 200 species of birds. Mwea is renowned for its water birds
and waders. The only protected area in which the globally threatened
and Kenya-endemic Hinde’s babbler is known to occur, the Reserve also
shelters two other rare species; Pel’s fishing owl and the white-backed
Road: From Nairobi via Thika-Matuu- Masinga Dam (160 km). This route is
surfaced until Masinga Dam Bridge – a further 10 km of dirt road lies
between here and Makima Gate. Access is also possible via Embu-Machanga.
Air: Masinga airstrip near Masinga Lodge. By Air: Masinga Airstrip near Masinga Lodge
There are no lodges, tented camps or self-catering accommodation
options in Mwea Reserve. Masinga Lodge is located at Masinga Dam
outside the Reserve.
Best time to visit -
All year round
Game viewing, bird watching.