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Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve

Located in Samburu County, Samburu National Reserve specifically  one of the smallest parks in Kenya. It stretches along the country’s biggest northern river “Ewaso Nyiro River”. This 165 square kilometers reserve is about 350 kilometers from Nairobi. It isn’t more known to travelers but offers an unmatched authentic and wilderness experience.

The protected locale  one of the two areas in which conservationists George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness who was famous in the best-selling book and award-winning movie Born Free. The Elephant Watch Camp lies within the Park and  managed by Saba Douglas Hamilton.

The reserve’s altitude ranges from 800 to 1230m above sea level, it consists of riverine forests and palm groves. Nights in the park are usually cool and hot during the day mostly in the dry season.

The arid and semi-arid ecosystems form the magnificent landscape of the Park. Samburu’s vast expanse of pristine wilderness is inhabited by diverse wildlife.

How to get there

Samburu National Reserve widely accessed by air transport means. There are scheduled flights that set off daily from Nairobi to Samburu’s airstrip. If not air means, you can get there by road and the park entered via the Ngare Mare and Buffalo Springs gates.

Attractions in Samburu

River Ewaso Ngiro.

Just in the middle of the park, you find this must-see that flows through the thick riverine forests and palm groves. This River contains large numbers of Nile crocodiles and it’s the main source of water to animals and other wildlife species that inhabit the Park.


Samburu is home to abundant Wildlife species including Wild animals, birds, insects, and reptiles. Common animals in the Park are Cape buffalo, Grant’s gazelle, larger predators like lion, leopard and cheetah, olive baboon, elephants, and Warthogs.

Samburu  also known for hosting the rare northern species like Gravy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, long-necked gerenuk, dik-dik and beisa oryx. Wild dogs are also available. Besides that, Samburu provides lush habitats to over 450 species of birds.

What to do in the Park

Game Drive

For best views of Samburu’s panorama, don’t hesitate to embark the pop-up roof Safari vehicle for game drives around the Park’s suburbs. These excursions are conducted during day and night.

All drivers are required to follow the well-established routes as the tourists take in the sweeping views of wild animals. The winding tracks close to the meandering river are roamed by a pride of lions, elephants, and antelopes.

Bird Watching

Samburu has a lot for birders. It is recorded with 400 species of birds, therefore it is no wonder that thousands of bird watchers check into the Park per year.

Some of the usual bird species in Samburu include vulturine guineafowl, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starling, northern red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, and various vultures including the palm-nut vulture, bee-eaters, sunbirds, grey-headed kingfisher, Marabou stork, tawny eagle and bateleur.

Walking and Mountain Bike Safaris

The Park offers an opportunity for tourists to explore its natural scenery on foot or by mountain bikes. During these safaris, you will see a number of wild animals and birds including the migrant species.

Cultural Tours

Samburu National Reserve is a magnet for culture lovers. These tours awards travelers a chance to learn more about the interesting culture of the Samburu people. You will discover their nomadic way of life and as well participate in numerous activities such as milking goats, making traditional ornaments, and cattle rearing.

Camel Riding

Camel riding is a must if you want to discover Samburu’s Wildlife in a different way. Don’t miss to get close to the Wild animals like elephants, Zebras, giraffes, ostrich, and more as there are enjoying their natural habitats. This is a perfect alternative if game driving is not your thing.