Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi

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Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi

Shompole Conservancy is a stunning destination between Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park. The Conservancy is a large privately operated conservation area in the south of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. It is located between Lake Magadi to the north and Lake Natron to the south, two alkaline lakes.

The Great Rift Valley wall borders to the western side while to the east the Shompole wetlands and further east is Lake Magadi, well known for its flamingoes and stunning colors.  The conservancy is in the Magadi division and is just a 3-hour drive from Nairobi (170 km) and is a perfect weekend retreat for nature lovers. Shompole Wildlife Conservancy consists of 100 square km which have been set aside for the wildlife and day and night game drives are permitted.

The conservancy covers part of the 62,700 hectares Shompole group ranch, registered in 1979 and owned by the Loodokilani Maasai with over 2000 registered members. It’s a place where few visitors go but it feels like you are the only guests in the ecosystem.

The Maasai owns this area and they have set aside a conservancy that acts like a grass bank for the dry season for their cattle. However, there is plenty of wildlife in the area and it is well known for its night game drives.

There are over 450 species of birds due to the wide variety of habitats you get in the area. There are highlands, open plains, Acacia woodland, wetlands, riverine, and soda lakes.

A recommended time to spend in the area would be three nights to get the best of the area. if you photography then 4 or 5 nights gives you plenty of time to get the nocturnal animals too. It is hot and dry and can get dusty, but that is what safari is all about. Temperatures range from 18 to 37 (degrees Celsius) at times of the year.

What kind of Wildlife can be viewed in Shompole Conservancy?

Shompole Conservancy is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including big cats such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs, which are major attractions. Nocturnal predators like genets, white-tailed mongooses, African wildcats, servals, and striped polecats can be seen during night drives.

Large mammals such as elephants, giraffes, buffalo, zebras, and wildebeests frequently visit the waterholes, offering visitors a chance to see these magnificent creatures up close. The conservancy also boasts over 450 species of birds.

Highlights include flamingos, pelicans, kingfishers, fish eagles, Goliath herons, Kori bustards, grey crowned cranes, ostriches, and secretary birds. Primates such as baboons and colobus monkeys are commonly spotted, especially along the riverbanks.

The Conservancy also provides unique opportunities for visitors to see striped hyenas near waterholes at night. Overall, Shompole Conservancy offers a comprehensive wildlife experience, combining traditional game drives with night safaris and bird walks.

What are the activities that can be done in Shompole Conservancy?

Game Drives: Shompole Conservancy offers day and night game drives for a comprehensive wildlife experience. Day drives feature elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions, while night drives reveal nocturnal species like civet cats, genets, aardwolves, and leopards. The drives traverse various conservancy areas, with guides tailoring routes based on wildlife activity and seasonal changes to ensure a fulfilling safari.

Baboon Walks: Unique to Shompole are baboon walks, where visitors observe a habituated troop of baboons up close, guided by local experts. Starting at the Lale’enok Resource Centre, these walks offer an intimate wildlife experience and insights into ongoing conservation efforts.

River Activities: The Ewaso Ng’iro River offers activities such as swimming, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing, depending on water levels. These provide a refreshing break and scenic views, conducted safely to ensure a relaxing and adventurous experience.

Wildlife Viewing from Hides: Specially designed hides near waterholes allow discreet observation and photography of wildlife. These hides are ideal for bird watchers and photographers, offering close-up views of animals without disturbing them.

Cultural Visits: Engage with the Maasai community through home visits and evening walks with herders. This offers insights into their pastoral lifestyle, traditions, and conservation role, enhancing the cultural experience of the conservancy.

Bird Watching: With over 450 bird species, Shompole is a bird watcher’s paradise. Guided walks along the Ewaso Ng’iro River and other prime spots reveal a variety of birds, making it a top destination for ornithologists and birding enthusiasts.

Walking and Running: Guided walks and runs across the open plains provide an intimate connection with the savannah landscape. Led by knowledgeable guides, these activities enhance the educational and immersive aspects of the visit.

Fishing: Fishing in the Ewaso Ng’iro River is a relaxing activity, with abundant catfish to catch. The conservancy provides fishing rods and guidance, suitable for both beginners and experienced anglers.

Conservation Learning: Learn about Shompole’s conservation efforts through educational tours and presentations. Visitors gain insights into local wildlife preservation and sustainable practices, highlighting the importance of community involvement and eco-tourism.

Are there any Accommodation options in Shompole Conservancy?

Yes, Shompole Conservancy offers accommodation options that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the stunning natural surroundings. There are currently only two camps in the conservancy.

Shompole Wilderness Tented Camp: Shompole Wilderness Camp, located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River, offers six spacious tents managed by the du Toit family and the local Maasai team. Each tent includes an en-suite bathroom and blends seamlessly with the natural environment. The camp provides personalized service, stunning landscapes, and various activities such as game drives, cultural visits, and river activities.

Ewuaso River Lodge: Ewuaso River Lodge, situated by the serene Ewuaso Ngiro River near Rangers Airstrip, features five luxurious en-suite cottages. Each cottage includes a king-size bed, modern bathroom, flush toilet, and spacious balcony with breathtaking views. The lodge is accessible by a 25-minute flight from Nairobi or a scenic 3.5-hour drive, with the last 30 km on rough dirt roads.

Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi

Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi Wildlife | Animals & Birds

Shompole Conservancy is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, including giraffes, buffalo, elephants, gerenuks, and oryxes. The Ewaso Ng’iro River and Lake Magadi attract a large number of birds, such as pelicans and flamingoes, making it a paradise for bird watchers.

The area, part of a 100 sq km wildlife sanctuary, boasts one of Kenya’s highest densities of giraffes, along with a healthy population of lions, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants. Large herds of buffalo and a diverse range of plains game like zebras, wildebeests, impalas, and elands are also frequently observed. Nocturnal wildlife viewing reveals species like bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, genets, and occasionally caracals​.

Bird enthusiasts can revel in spotting over 450 species within the conservancy’s varied ecosystems, including rivers, savannah woodlands, fig forests, and soda lakes. Iconic birds such as the Goliath heron, kingfishers, and fish eagles are commonly seen, adding to the rich birdlife that makes Shompole a key destination for ornithologists. The conservancy’s location along the migratory route of lesser flamingoes offers a spectacular seasonal display, further enhancing its appeal to bird watchers​.

Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi Activities | Things To Do

Game Drives

Shompole Conservancy offers both day and night game drives, which provide an extensive and immersive wildlife experience. During the day, you can expect to see a variety of plains game such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions.

These drives traverse different areas of the conservancy, allowing visitors to witness the rich biodiversity. Night drives, on the other hand, reveal the nocturnal side of the conservancy. You might spot civet cats, genets, aardwolves, and even the elusive leopards. The guides tailor the drives based on the time of year and where wildlife is most likely to be found, ensuring a fulfilling safari experience.

Baboon Walks

One of the unique activities at Shompole is the baboon walks, where visitors can walk with a habituated troop of baboons. Guided by local experts, these walks offer a rare opportunity to observe baboons closely in their natural habitat.

The baboons in Shompole have been studied for years, and their familiarity with humans allows for an intimate wildlife experience. This activity starts at the Lale’enok Resource Centre, a hub for conservation and research, where visitors can also learn about ongoing studies and conservation efforts after their walk.

River Activities

The Ewaso Ng’iro River, flowing through Shompole Conservancy, offers various water-based activities depending on the water levels. Visitors can enjoy swimming, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing in the river, which is safe from crocodiles.

These activities provide a refreshing break and a chance to enjoy the scenic river landscapes. The conservancy ensures these activities are conducted safely, adding an adventurous element to the visit while also offering a relaxing way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Wildlife Viewing from Hides

Shompole Conservancy has specially designed hides near waterholes, allowing visitors to observe and photograph wildlife discreetly. These hides offer a unique vantage point to watch animals as they come to drink, providing excellent opportunities for photography and close-up views without disturbing the wildlife. This setup is particularly advantageous for bird watchers and photographers aiming to capture the natural behavior of animals in their habitat.

Cultural Visits

Engaging with the Maasai community is a highlight of visiting Shompole Conservancy. Visitors can participate in home visits and evening walks with Maasai herders as they bring their cattle back from grazing.

This interaction provides a deep insight into the Maasai’s pastoral lifestyle, traditions, and daily routines. Spending time with the Maasai offers a genuine cultural exchange, enhancing the overall experience of the conservancy. Visitors learn about the Maasai’s strong cultural heritage and their role in local conservation efforts.

Bird Watching

Shompole is a paradise for bird watchers, with over 450 species recorded in the area. The diverse ecosystems within the conservancy, including rivers, savannah woodlands, fig forests, and soda lakes, create ideal habitats for a wide variety of bird species.

Guided birding walks along the Ewaso Ng’iro River and other prime spots allow enthusiasts to spot and identify numerous birds, from vibrant kingfishers and majestic Goliath herons to iconic fish eagles. The abundance of birdlife makes Shompole a prime destination for ornithologists and birding enthusiasts alike.

Walking and Running

For those who enjoy exploring on foot, Shompole Conservancy offers guided walks and runs across the open plains. These activities allow visitors to experience the savannah landscape up close and at a slower pace, providing a more intimate connection with the environment.

Walking safaris are led by knowledgeable guides who share insights about the flora and fauna, enhancing the educational aspect of the visit. Running in the open plains, with the stunning backdrop of the Rift Valley, adds an exhilarating dimension to the safari experience.


Fishing in the Ewaso Ng’iro River is another relaxing activity available at Shompole. Visitors can try their hand at catching catfish, which are abundant in the river. The conservancy provides fishing rods and guidance, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced anglers. Fishing offers a peaceful way to enjoy the riverine environment and adds to the diversity of activities available at Shompole.

Conservation Learning

Shompole Conservancy is deeply involved in local conservation efforts, primarily through the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO). Visitors can learn about the various conservation initiatives aimed at preserving the local wildlife and supporting sustainable practices within the community.

Educational tours and presentations provide insights into the challenges and successes of conservation in the region, highlighting the importance of community involvement and sustainable tourism.

Discover our 3-day safari package for an unforgettable experience at Shompole Conservancy by clicking the link below:

3-Day Shompole Conservancy Safari | Click Here

Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi Rates

Shompole Conservancy Rates




3,000 Kenya Shillings 80 US Dollars
Child (3 – 12 Years) 1,500 Kenya Shillings

40 US Dollars


* All rates are subject to change without notice
* Child rates apply to children aged 3 – 12 years inclusive

* Infants and young children (aged 0 – 2 years) stay free of charge

Shompole Conservancy Rates Exclude:

* Activities
* Accommodation
* Champagne, luxury spirits, selected wines
* Anything of a personal nature and gratuities

Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi Accommodation | Where To Stay

Shompole Wilderness Tented Camp: Shompole Wilderness Camp is a prime accommodation situated on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River. Managed by the du Toit family and local Maasai team, the camp offers six spacious tents.

Each tent features en-suite bathrooms and is designed to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, providing an immersive wilderness experience. The camp is known for its personalized service, stunning landscapes, and a variety of activities such as game drives, cultural visits, and river activities​

Ewuaso River Lodge: The lodge is tucked away by the serene Ewuaso Ngiro River and adjacent to the Rangers Airstrip.  The flight to the airstrip is approximately 25 minutes from Nairobi and 35 minutes from Maasai Mara.

If you choose to come by road, it is roughly a 160 km, 3.5-hour drive from Nairobi, most on a good tarmac road with the last 30 km on rough dirt roads. It is known as one of the most scenic drives in Kenya. Ewuaso River Lodge features five luxurious en-suite cottages, each equipped with a king-size bed, a modern bathroom, a flush toilet, and a spacious balcony with breathtaking views.

Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi Nearby Attractions

Olkiramatian Conservancy

Olkirimatian Conservancy lies deep in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, beyond the volcanic lunar landscape that surrounds the soda lakes of Magadi and Natron. The conservation area and the two soda lakes, Magadi and Natron, are home to over 350 bird species, including many migratory species that use this unique ecosystem as a rest stop on their annual migration.

Accommodation in the conservancy includes Lentorre Lodge. The lodge is located on a ridge at the foot of the escarpment in the 25,000-hectare Olkirimatian Conservancy, which is owned by the local Masai community, not far from the intensely alkaline lakes Magadi and Natron and with views of Shompole Mountain in front. Experience an unforgettable safari here: 2-Day Olkirimatian Conservancy Fly-in Safari.

Booking & Reservations Shompole Conservancy Lake Magadi Contact

Mobile: +254-721-242-711
WhatsApp: +254-721-242-711
Reservations: +254 718-179-967

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