Shaumari Wildlife Reserve was established in 1975 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature as a breeding centre for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. Today, it is a thriving environment for some of the rarest species of animals in the Middle East. Oryx, ostriches, onagers (an Asian wild ass) and gazelles, which are depicted on many local 6th-century Byzantine mosaics, are rebuilding their populations and reasserting their presence in this safe haven, protected from hunting and habitat destruction that nearly wiped them out.
The visitor centre provides visitors with information about the wildlife along with a place from which to observe the Arabian Oryx, Houbara bustards, Reem Gazelles and Persian Wild Onagers in fenced enclosures. The Shaumari breeding enclosures make for a small “zoo-like” experience for visitors and so is a popular spot for children. Once you’ve explored the visitor centre, why not join the guided ‘Oryx safari tour’ which takes you further into the Wildlife Reserve for a more in-depth look into the conservation history and desert inhabitants.