This protected area is managed by Garissa County in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service and is a recognized conservation reserve. The Arawale National Reserve is located in Kenya’s North Eastern Province, 77 kilometers south of the town of Garissa. The reserve encompasses a total land area of 53,324 hectares (533 km2; 206 sq mi). The Tana River runs through it on the west side, and the Garissa-Lamu road runs through it on the east side. Originally established as the only in-situ conservation site for the critically endangered Hirola population, which is found only in north-eastern Kenya and south-western Somalia, the reserve was gazetted in 1974.
The reserve provides a vital haven for a diverse range of wildlife species, including four species that are considered internationally threatened: the hirola, Grevy’s zebra, East African wild dog, and East African cheetah, among others. In addition, research commissioned by Terra Nuova in 2006 revealed evidence of the presence of the African bush elephant in the area.
Since 2005, in conjunction with Lag Badana National Park, the protected region has been designated as a Lion Conservation Unit.