Extraordinary Journeys

Destination Overview

Samburu National Reserve is a rugged and semi-desert park located in Samburu district in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. The park neighbors the homes of the Samburu tribe of Kenya, a tribe known for their remote culture, and pastoral and nomadic way of life. Due to its remote distance and the fact that it was inaccessible for many years, the park has retained a naturally serene and quiet feeling. Besides the numerous wildlife found in this game reserve, the park is also a bird haven.

Samburu National Reserve is a semi arid area situated to the north of Mount Kenya and the equator. The complex formed by Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Reserves is one of the most stimulating and challenging of wildlife areas in Kenya. They are the most accessible and visited of the protected areas in the country's rough north, right at the edge of the evocative NFD or Northern Frontier District - a vast and little visited region where travelling is rough and the nomadic tribes have changed little over the centuries.

The countryside in Samburu is characterized by thorn scrub interspersed with wide lava strewn plains. Acacia and Dom Palms shade the broken ridges and sand rivers. The Uaso Nyiro River, which has its origins in the moorlands of the Aberdares Mountains to the south, is the main feature of this habitat and it supports a large variety of wildlife and Game birds. Even in times of drought its 32 km (20 miles) of permanent water provides succour to the local game. When the water levels are very low the elephants dig into dry sand in order to create small water holes.

When the river is higher they are a common sight bathing all along the river, their young playing and the squeals rumbles and trumpets thrilling their human observers. The Uaso Nyiro waters countless humans and animals in Samburu District, before its sleepy brown waters head north-east, where several hundred kilometres later the life-giving river sinks into the Lorian Swamp.

What to see and do

Grevy’s Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Kudu, Beisa Oryx, Reticulated Giraffe and Gerenuk are among the northern species that can be seen in Samburu. Leopards, lion, Cheetah, Crocodiles, Buffalo, tiny Dik-dik and Spotted and Striped Hyena are frequently sighted. Immense flocks of Helmeted and Vulturine Guinea-fowl drink at the river, while it’s not uncommon to see 100 species of birds in a day, including the giant Martial Eagle and tiny Pygmy Falcon.

Where to find Samburu Game Reserve



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