It is one of the areas in Kenya where conflicts have really affected development. Stories of armed banditry have in the past placed the dusty town of Isiolo in national limelight, but when it comes to tourism, Isiolo is the jewel of northern Kenya.
Isiolo prides itself for having the unparalleled view of the snow-capped Mount Kenya from the Buffalo Springs Natural Reserve and the Lewa Conservancy. As a tourist, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the hills and the plains, which dot the entire region.
While at both the Buffalo Springs and the Shaba National Game Reserves, tourists can catch sight of Kenya’s wildlife and birds at a place called Buffalo Springs, just a few kilometres from Ewaso Nyiro River. The best sceneries are to be found where the Ewaso Nyiro River meanders and is inhabited by hippopotamus and crocodiles.
The Lewa Conservancy is a truly magical place. Lewa is stunning and you will not struggle to see wildlife here. The place is bursting with wildlife.
Isiolo is part of the northern tourism circuit and is centrally placed between some major parks, which include Meru National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Shaba Game Reserve, Kora National Park, Mwingi National Reserve, and the Bisanadi National Reserve. To the North of Isiolo are located Marsabit National Reserve and Sibiloi National Park.
Isiolo is also famous because of the fame acquired by Shaba Game Reserve that had attracted filmmakers from across the globe. It is Joy and George Adamson who made Shaba famous with the movie, Out of Africa.
As a result, many major films have been shot in Isiolo because of its scenery that rivals Hollywood. The Adamsons reared lions starting with lioness Elsa and later released them into the wild. Joy died at Shaba, while her husband was killed at neighbouring Kora National Reserve. Movies shot at Shaba over the last two decades include Born Free, Out Of Africa, To Walk with Lions and CBS TV blockbuster series, Survivor Africa.
Currently the town has very few tourism facilities, which include the, Samburu Simba lodge, Sarova Shaba, located in the Shaba Game Reserve and Buffalo Springs lodges located in the Samburu National Reserve.
Infrastructure has been a major setback for the town, which is plagued by frequent flooding during heavy rains. Two years ago, the Serena Camp in Shaba had to close down after flooding.