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Joy's Camp

Joy's Camp: Our full report

Some 26km east of the Natorbe Gate of Shaba National Reserve this remote tented camp (named after the late ...

... naturalist Joy Adamson who camped at this spot while working with predators here) is one of the very few accommodation options in Shaba. Its ten large tents stretch along a crescent of woodland, cupping a permanent swamp in Shaba’s southeastern corner. Unfortunately, Joy's Camp is currently closed and we're not sure when or if it will re-open. Please contact a Kenya specialist at Expert Africa for the latest details.

Joy’s Camp is part of a Kenyan group we know well (sister camps include Elephant Pepper, Lewa Safari Camp and Tortilis), but we haven’t yet done a detailed inspection of Joy’s. Meanwhile, this page offers a little of what we know about the camp. The ten palatial, Bedouin-style tents gleam with soft fabric and glass details, seeming to breathe relaxation, and are perfectly spaced through shady trees along a one-kilometre stretch of buffalo-grazed marsh. The tents are very roomy, and feature luxurious bathrooms and marsh-facing front ‘deck’ areas. The camp holds a Gold Award from Ecotourism Kenya.

The birdlife in Shaba is excellent and in game drives in the area offer elephant, jackal, lion and plains game, including beautifully marked Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and gerenuk. Shaba has a scattering of natural springs around which the wildlife concentrates and these are often productive, especially in the dry season. With so few places to stay (one large lodge, plus Joy’s), you’ll feel you have the place to yourself for much of the time. When it’s too hot, or you’re feeling lazy, the swimming pool is extremely nice, and just the right ambient temperature.

Our view

The overall chic ambience at Joy’s is sublime and it’s the perfect honeymoon camp for keen naturalists. We found the overnight visit we made here while updating the Rough Guide to Kenya to be absolutely delightful (never has a camp been so aptly named), but we haven’t been back with an Expert Africa hat on to give Joy’s Camp a detailed inspection. Nevertheless, we have every reason to believe that a stay here would be rewarding and relaxing, and we’re looking forward to getting reacquainted with it and doing a proper report as soon as possible.

Richard Trillo

Richard Trillo

Country manager: Kenya


Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Ideal length of stay
3 nights
1.5 hour transfer from Kalama airstrip in Samburu National Reserve.
Accessible by

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board
Dining style
Individual Tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included
Drinks are normally excluded, but can be added for a supplement.


Attitude towards children
Children are welcome
The style of Joy's is adult and it's not really suited to young children.


Water supply

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Fire safety


Disabled access
On Request

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