Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve
Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve is a very rewarding Kenya safari destination and a great site for wildlife viewing safaris in Kenya, this reserve is located in the northern Kenya in Isiolo County, in Eastern province. Buffalo springs game reserve lies south of Samburu national reserve on the other side of the Ewaso Ngiro River which is the main water source sustaining the whole ecosystem, this reserve gets its name from “Buffalo springs” which are an oasis of clear water situated in the western end of the reserve and were formed by rising underground stream originating from Mount Kenya.
Buffalo springs game reserve covers an area of 131 square kilometers with a landscape dominated by rolling Rowland plain of old lava flows, volcanic soils of olivine basalt and Ewaso Nyiro River. Ewaso Nyiro river, there is a narrow band of doum palms, riverine forests and grasslands.
Buffalo springs national reserve was established as a protected area in 1948 majorly to protect the ecological system in the area such as fauna, flora and physical features such as the buffalo springs and many more.
Tourist attractions in Buffalo springs national game reserve
Buffalo springs national game reserve habits a variety of animals which are one of the great tourist attractions of the reserve, because of the large concentration of animals this reserve has become to be ranked among the best destinations for Kenya wildlife safaris. Animals in Buffalo springs game reserve inhabit in the wooded areas around the riverbanks of Ewaso Nyiro river, riverine forests and savannah grasslands.
Wildlife in Buffalo springs national game reserve include buffaloes, impalas, common Burchell’s zebra, wild dogs, waterbucks, impalas, hyenas, elephants, cheetahs, greater and lesser kudus, leopards, lions, elands, giraffes, grant’s gazelles, reticulated giraffes, beisa oryxes, gerenuk antelopes, Grevy’s zebras and many more. A Kenya tour to Buffalo springs game reserve presents an opportunity for enjoy sights of these animals.
Buffalo springs game reserve is one of the top ranked destination for Kenya birding safari in Kenya, the reserve is a habitat to 390 species of birds with notable bird species such as Acacia tit, Ashy cisticola, African swifts, Somali ostrich which is larger than the common ostrich and characterized of distinctive indigo legs and blue neck and the striking cobalt-blue breasted vulturine guinea fowls.
Other birds in Buffalo springs game reserve include Abyssinian ground hornbill, Bare-eyed thrush, African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Bare-eyed thrush, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Bristle-crowned starling, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut weaver, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, Egyptian vulture, Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel, Grey wren-warbler, Hunter’s sunbird, Lanner falcon, Mariqua sunbird, Northern Brownbul, Palm-nut vulture, Pink-breasted lark, Pygmy batis, Red-bellied parrot, Red-necked falcon, Red-winged lark, Reichenow’s seedeater, Rosy-patched bush-shrike, Rufous chatterer, Secretary bird, Singing bush lark, Somali bee-eater, Spotted palm-thrush, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Vulturine Guineafowl, White-headed mouse bird, Yellow-vented Eremomela and many more
Buffalo springs buffalo springs is heavenly gifted with unique flora species, flora species in the reserve are mostly determined by Ewaso Nyiro River. Fauna species include a narrow band of riverine forests along the Ewaso Ngiro, Doum Palm, Acacia elatior, scattered grass and shrubs, alkaline grasslands with occasional swamps and seeping, desert rose with pink blooms and salvadora persica.
The salvadora persica also called the toothbrush tree or mustard tree, locally this tree is also referred to as Mswaki in Swahili and Sokotu in Samburu language. This tree is small tree or shrub with a crooked trunk with height of 6-7 meters, for over a century this tree has been used as natural tooth brush and its fibrous branches were mentioned by the World Health Organization for its Oral Hygiene use.
Ewaso Nyiro River
Ewaso Nyiro River is the most attractive feature in Buffalo springs game reserve and most exciting spot in visit for spotting animals and birds while on Kenya Wildlife tours in this game reserve. Ewaso Nyiro River is named after a Samburu language “Ewaso” meaning “the river of brown or muddy water”, this river is the biggest and least seasonal river in northern Kenya and permanent water source to the ecosystem of Buffalo springs game reserve.
Ewaso Nyiro River comprises of riverside grasses, thick acacia, and doum palm forests along its banks which attraction a variety of birds and animals such as crocodiles, buffaloes, impalas, hippos and many birds such as saddle-billed storks and many more.
Buffalo springs in a must visit site in Buffalo springs national park while on a Kenya safari, these springs are the source of the name for Buffalo springs game reserve and prominent feature in the reserve. Buffalo springs consists of 3 springs, the two springs are walled and the third spring breaks into the plain forming a small marshy waterhole flowing into Ewaso Nyiro River.
One of the walled springs was a natural swimming in which travellers got an opportunity to take a swim but it is currently prohibited and the other welled spring acts as a water supply to the Archer’s post, a small nearby town. Occasionally Buffalo
Buffalo springs are crowded by crocodiles and other predators such as wild dogs, cheetah, lions and leopards which makes it amazing to visit for wildlife viewing.
Safari activities in Buffalo springs national game reserve
Buffalo springs national reserve is one of the most popular national parks in Kenya for Kenya wildlife viewing safaris, game viewing safaris in this amazing destination are done on a game drive in a 4×4 wheel safari customized car with open widows and pop up roof. Game drives are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening, as you drive in the dry county landscape of Buffalo springs national park you will have a memorable Kenya wildlife tour as you spot many animals such as large herds of elephants, lions, burchell’s zebras, Grevy’s zebras, wild dogs, waterbucks, impalas, hyenas, elephants, cheetahs, greater and lesser kudus, leopards, lions, elands, giraffes, grant’s gazelles, reticulated giraffes, beisa oryxes, gerenuk antelopes and many more.
Animals in Buffaloes springs national park are best spotted around the river banks of Ewaso Ngiro River, large herds of elephants are spotted bathing in the muddy waters of the river, pride of lions as they wait to attack their prey and nile crocodiles are some of the animals you are to encounter at the river banks.
Because of the semi-arid climatic conditions received in Buffalo springs game reserve, game drives are good throughout the year but the best game viewing experience is got in the dry season from June to October.
A Kenya safari to Buffalo springs national game reserve is never complete without engaging in the guided walking safaris, this activity is more of a leisure adventure offering thrilling walk through numerous corners of the reserve. On this safari your are escorted by a guide and this experience helps to test the physical ability of the travellers, as you walk on various trails running through the reserve you are to encounter various animals such as lions, nile crocodiles most especially on the riverbanks of Ewaso Nyiro River and many birds such as African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Bare-eyed thrush, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Bristle-crowned starling, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut weaver and many more.
Buffalo springs national game reserve is a perfect Kenya birding safaris destination, this reserve is a habitat to a huge concentration of birds with over 390 bird species including northeast African dry-country bird species. Bird watching in Buffalo springs game reserve offers a chance for birders to spot many bird species such as African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Bare-eyed thrush, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Bristle-crowned starling, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut weaver, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, Egyptian vulture, Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel and many more. Buffalo springs national game reserve is a top notch destination for Kenya birding safari so as a birder you should not missing visiting this amazing reserve.
Buffalo springs game reserve shares borders with the residential communities of the Samburu local people which are visited while on a Kenya cultural safari in Buffalo springs national reserve, the Samburu people are very friendly and welcoming people and visiting them offers an opportunity to learn more about their lives and appreciate their culture. Visiting the Samburu villages you are to learn more about the cultural activities such as throwing spears, milking goats, making craft items and be entertained by cultural dances and drama.
How to get to Buffalo springs national game reserve
Buffalo springs national game reserve is located 15 kilometers southeast of Nairobi, the reserve is an easily accessed Kenya safari destination y use of both road and air means of transport from both Nairobi and Mombasa.
By road from Nairobi, Buffalo springs game reserve is accessed through Nanyuki on a tarmac road to Isiolo then drive for 22 kilometers on a marrum road connecting to the reserve’s main entrance gate. By air, scheduled flights are offered from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Buffalo springs Airstrip which serves the reserve.
Where to stay in Buffalo springs national game reserve
Buffalo springs game reserve comprises a wide range of lodges and camps offering accommodation and other facilities required by tourists while on a Kenya safari in Buffalo springs national game reserve. Accommodation in Buffalo springs game reserve is categorized and offered as luxury, midrange and budge accommodation and they include Samburu Simba lodge, Ashnil Samburu camp, Lion King bush camp, Samburu Sopa lodge, Sarova Shaba game lodge, elephant Bedroom camp, Samburu game lodge and many more.