Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve is located in the northern part of Laikipia in Kenya’s northern deserts. This Kenyan national reserve is situated along the Ewaso Nyiro river. Ewaso Nyiro river is in this region and it is a seasonal lake and many wildlife species converge around the water points and the predators such as lions take this opportunity to hunt and kill their prey. The wildlife species can also be seen in other open areas within the reserve. This National Park will surely spice up your Kenya Safaris Tours.

Samburu National Reserve

The Ewaso Nyiro River flows from the Kenyan highlands into the Lorian swamp. A number of Nile crocodiles can be spotted in this river and along its shores. The phrase “ewaso ngiro” translates to mean brown water.

Tree species such as acacia, doum trees, and wild fig trees can be seen along the shores of the river and some of the predators can be seen hiding among these trees and in the north and southern banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River as they prepare to hunt and kill their prey.

This national reserve is located near Shaba national park and Buffalo springs national park. These Kenya national reserves have plenty of wildlife with beautiful landscapes which can be seen such as the savannah plains, green grasses, hills, riverine forest, and swamps.

Samburu national reserve is also one of the locations where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lioness which is of the born free fame. The Adamsons are known for their efforts in the conservation of lions and rehabilitating them to prepare the lions for the wild.

There are other conservancies which are found near the Samburu national reserve and they include Kalama conservancy and west gate conservancy. These conservancies have beautiful landscapes characterized by the rocky landscapes and a variety of wildlife species such as Grevy’s zebras. Entry gates into Samburu national reserve include the Ngare Mare and buffalo springs gates. 

How to get to Samburu

This national reserve can be accessed by both road and air means as follows;

  • By road; this national reserve is about 347 km drive from Nairobi 
  • By air; flights are available to oryx Samburu airstrip for scheduled flights as well as Saruni airstrip which offers chartered flights.

Attractions in Samburu national reserve include;

  • Wildlife species in this national reserve include zebras, antelopes, beisa oryx, elephants, reticulated giraffe, leopard, cheetahs, generuk, impalas, waterbucks, dik-dik which can be seen among the acacia and doum trees and along the river banks as they drink. Elephants and lions are common in Samburu national reserve.
  • Bird species which can be seen in Samburu national reserve include the golden breasted starling, white-headed mousebird, Sulphur breasted bush shrike, blue-necked Somali ostrich, martial eagle, Egyptian vulture, vulturine guinea fowl, kori bustard, yellow-billed hornbill, secretary bird.
  • Samburu people are another attraction in Samburu national reserve is a beautiful and unique culture which they share with the tourists who visit their villages. Some of the animals kept by the Samburu people include camels, cattle and goats. These people are known for their unique way of dressing in blankets and beads. The Samburu reserve also has plenty of local crafts and jewelry which is mostly beaded. 
  • Mountains visible in Samburu include Koitogor and Ololokwe which dominate the landscape of the national reserve providing the perfect back drop. Koitogor is shaped in the form of a pyramid with rocky ridges and not far from it Ololokwe can also be seen.

Activities which tourists engage in during a visit to Samburu national reserve include the following; 

  • Game drives take place at different times of day in this national reserve such as during the day time as well as during the night time. The game viewing activity involves driving along the tracks in Samburu national reserve close to the Ewaso Nyiro river which offers greater chances of seeing the wildlife species such as zebras, antelopes, beisa oryx, elephants, reticulated giraffe, generuk, impalas, waterbucks, dik-dik and predators such as cheetahs, lions and leopards watching their prey at the water point while other wildlife species graze in the surrounding area of the river. Morning game drives increase the chances of wildlife viewing since the wildlife species are more active at this time of day. The other alternative of night game drives offers an opportunity to see the nocturnal wildlife species in the national reserves. Tourists can also opt for full day game drives which give them a chance to observe and watch the wildlife species at different times of the day.
  • Cultural visits engage tourists in learning more about their pastoral and generally nomadic way of life. Other aspects of culture that can be seen during cultural visits around Samburu national reserve include the traditional dances, listening to folk stories, traditional way of dressing among others. 
  • Nature walks in Samburu national reserve offer the tourists an up-close adventure as they pay attention to the specific details of different attractions around the reserve which is a unique experience as they enjoy the landscape and the scenery around them. 
  • Birding is another activity which takes place in Samburu national reserve and a variety of birds can be seen such as woodpeckers, shrikes, weavers, flycatchers, falcons, golden breasted starling, white-headed mousebird, Sulphur breasted bush shrike, blue-necked Somali ostrich, martial eagle, Egyptian vulture, vulturine guinea fowl, kori bustard, yellow-billed hornbill, secretary birds among others.

Best time to visit Samburu national reserve 

The national reserve can be visited all year round and the best time to visit is during the dry season in the months of June to September, December to march during which chances of wildlife viewing are increased. This is because during the rainy seasons, the grass grows long and the wildlife species tend to scatter to the different water sources.

Bird watching is favorable during the months of October to December. The rainy seasons include the months of March to May and in November. 

Accommodation facilities in and around Samburu national reserve can be classified into luxury accommodation, mid-range accommodation, and budget accommodation. Some of the accommodation options include the following;

Samburu game lodge, Elephant bedroom, Saruni Samburu, Sasaab, Joy’s camp, Larsens tented camp and many others. 

These accommodation facilities can also range from eco-friendly safari camps to private secluded camps and traditional campsites depending on the preferences of the tourists in order to get the best safari experience in Samburu national reserve.  

Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve

Visit one of Kenya’s national parks gifted by nature for a wildlife viewing experience and enjoy the beauty of the wilderness in Samburu national reserve

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