Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is a game reserve in Kenya and one of the less known Kenya wildlife destinations teeming with plenty of wildlife, the reserve is situated along the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu County in the northern region of Kenya. Samburu reserve is adjust to Buffalo Springs national reserve which is situated on the other side of the river, from Nairobi the capital city of Kenya and a thriving tourism centre the reserve is in a distance of 350 kilometers.
The reserve covers an area of 165 square kilometers and it is crossed by the Ewaso Ng’iro River flowing through the middle of the reserve’s doum groves and thick riverine forests, Ewaso Ng’iro River is the main water sources to the reserve and it usually crowded by animals which come to the river to drink water.
Samburu national reserve is famously known as one of the areas in Kenya where conservationists George Adamson and his wife Joy Adamson raised the Lioness Elsa, the reserve was made more famous as it featured in the best-selling book and award winning movie “Born Free”. Samburu national reserve is also famous for being a home of Kamunyak a lioness which adopted orphaned Oryx calves.
Established in 1985, Samburu national reserve is rich with both wildlife and bird life habiting in the reserve. There is abundance of both large and small game species in the reserve and these include gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, Oryx, reticulated giraffe, lion, cheetah, African leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, hippopotamus, olive baboon, Nile crocodiles, warthogs, black rhinoceros, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, waterbuck and many more.
The reserve is one of the excellent bird habitants in Kenya hosting over 350 recorded bird species including Acacia tit, Bare-eyed thrush, African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Chestnut weaver, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, 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, Secretary bird, Singing bush lark, Somali bee-eater, Somali ostrich, Spotted palm-thrush, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Vulturine guineafowl, White-headed mousebird, Yellow-vented eremomela among others.
Safari activities offered in Samburu national reserve
The reserve is a home to a variety of wildlife species and noticed for offering excellent game viewing safaris, a Kenya game viewing safari in Samburu national reserve is a very satisfying safari experience offered as morning, afternoon and night game drives. On the game viewing experience you will have a wonderful time spotting abundance of animals such as gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, Oryx, reticulated giraffe, lions, African leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, hippos, gazelles, impalas, waterbuck, warthogs, impalas and many more.
During the dry season, the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River are the best site to visit while on a Kenya game viewing safari as you will enjoy watching many animals as they drink water and large numbers of Nile crocodile.
The reserve is an excellent Kenya birding safari destination boosting over 350 bird species, bird watching in Samburu national reserve is a delightful Kenya safari activity offering excellent views of a wide range of bird such as Acacia tit, Bare-eyed thrush, African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Chestnut weaver, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, 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, Secretary bird, Singing bush lark, Somali bee-eater, Somali ostrich, Spotted palm-thrush, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Vulturine guineafowl, White-headed mousebird, Yellow-vented eremomela among others.
Among the birds to lookout in Samburu national reserve include migratory bird species which are present in the park in the period of November to April.
The reserve has more to offer the game viewing and birding safaris, the reserve is recognized to offer some of the most fascinating Kenya cultural safaris in the amazing Samburu community adjacent to the reserve. The Samburu people are nomadic pastoralists with fascinating culture, norms and traditions which have resisted the tide of technology and modernity, the Maasai people adorned their bodies with colorful shukas, beautiful beads which is a huge sight to witness. While in the Samburu community you will also enjoy cultural dances, songs and drama, interact with the elders, visit local markets and schools.
Samburu national reserve is made up of a picturesque landscape with fantastic natural serenity thus offering excellent Kenya walking safaris, walking safaris in Samburu national reserve are done of numerous trails running through the savannah grasslands dominating the landscape of the reserve and along the Ewaso Ng’iro river which runs through the middle of the reserve before emptying into Lorian Swamp.
On the experience you get to enjoy watching numerous animals including Nile crocodiles, elephants, lions, Grevy’s zebras, gerenuk, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes, hyenas, hippos among others while grazing, drinking and swimming in the waters of the river.
How to get to Samburu National Reserve
The reserve is situated in the Southeastern corner of Samburu district and lies in a distance of 345 kilometers from Nairobi, this amazing reserve is an easily accessed Kenya safari destination using road and air means of transport.
By road: most safaris to Samburu national reserve start from Nairobi a Kenya safari capital, using road transport both private and public means of transport are used and it is a drive of about 6 hours to the reserve.
By air: domestic chartered flights to Samburu from Wilson airport in Nairobi to one of the 3 airstrips serving the reserve, these include Buffalo Springs airstrip, Kalama airstrip and Samburu Oryx airstrip. Flights to Samburu are offered by Safari Link and Air Kenya.
Where to stay in Samburu National Reserve
In Samburu reserve, accommodation is got numerous safari lodges, tented camps and camping sites. Accommodation in Samburu national reserve is offered in some of the most spectacular safari accommodation establishments which include Elephant Bedroom camp, Sasaab camp, Saruni Samburu, Samburu Sopa lodge, Samburu Riverside Tented camp, Samburu Intrepids and many more.