Samburu National Reserve is famously known as a game reserve that lies on the bank of the Ewaso Ngiro river in Kenya and on other side of the river, there is Buffalo Springs National Reserve. More so, the park is one of the smallest game reserves in Kenya which measures 165square kilometers in size and was established in 1985, located 350 kilometers from Nairobi.

Altitude; Samburu National Reserve ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230 meter above sea level. The park’s inputs, there is the Ewaso Ng’iro that flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests, which provides water to animals in the reserve without it, this arid region could not survive.

More fact, the reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George and Joy and Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness; this made famous in the best-selling book and award-winning movie Born free. It is also home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting.

Climate; Samburu National Reserve is located within ecological zone V which is graded as arid and semi-arid with moisture index that ranges 42 to 57, which indicates that evapo -transpiration is greater than available moisture. During the day can be hot while the nights are cool.

The annual temperature ranges between 18 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius, while the mean annual rainfall is 354millemeters with peaks in the months of November and April.

The dry season begins in late May and goes up to early October, when large population of wildlife is seen in the reserve due to available of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water to the reserve and surrounding communities.

Attractions in Samburu National Reserve

Wildlife; The best spotted area for rare species is common to Kenya’s northern plains including; gerenuk, Gravy’s zebra, Oryx, reticulated giraffes. Sambura Laikipia ecosystem is also home to  lions ,cheetah and African leopards , elephants ,Cape buffalo ,hippopotamus ,olive Baboons, warthogs  ,elands Jackals ,Klipspringer ,Mongooses and Bats . Other animals frequently adventured in the park includes; Olive baboon, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, Impala and Waterbuck. Fortunately, there have been re-introduction of black rhinoceros’ population into the park after the absence of 25 years due to heavy poaching.

Bird species; The park harbors over 450 bid species including; Sunbirds, northern red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, grey-headed kingfisher, Marabou stork, tawny eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, bateleur, Vulturine guineafowl, Yellow -necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, superb starling, secretary bird and variety of vultures like Palm -nut vulture among others. More so, the Ewaso Ng’iro river contains large range of Nile crocodiles basks.

Activities to do in Samburu National Reserve

They include; Nature walks, Camel trekking safaris, Bush meals and Sundowners.

Game drive

This is an adventure excursion done in a 4×4 wheel vehicle into a wildlife area like a national park or Reserve. The game drives here can be done either morning and late afternoons.  The game drive experience can last 2 to 3 hours, the morning game drive usually scheduled from 6:30am to 9am and afternoon game drive starts 3:30pm to 6:30pm. You can opt to do a full day game drive generally from 10am to 4pm, which include a packed picnic lunch to be had inside the main reserve at a designated picnic adventure.  Visitors with special interests like Photography or Birding are advised to opt for private drives.

Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve

Night Game Drive; Night game drive is rewarding though it cannot allow the inside the main Samburu National Reserve and only occurs on private or group conservancies which border the main reserve. Night timing ranges from 7pm to 9pm, but depending on which camp or lodge offers these night excursions to their guests.

Samburu Camel Trekking Safari

Camel trekking safari is quite fun experience that allows you to explore Kenya’s wilderness on camelback unlike the traditional game viewing experience. A camel back safari in Sambura permits guests to get up close with plains game like zebra, giraffe and Ostrich among others. While on safari, you can ride through some of the most remote and beautiful land in Northern Kenya, with Samburu tribesmen and camels carrying the camp or ride the camel through the dry riverbeds.

Sambura Cultural Tour

The sambura are the Nilotic, Semi-nomadic shepherds who live in north central Kenya. The Samburu sub tribe is the third largest in the Maa community of Kenya and Tanzania, after the Kisonko of Tanzania and Purko of Kenya and Tanzania. The one-hour visit to a Samburu Village offers a great chance to interact with Samburu people and get a glimpse into their culture, learn about their customs and stunning traditional dance.

Note, the Samburu are famously known for their beautiful cultural practices and traditions.  The Samburu people live in huts, designed in shape with a small entrance closed by a blanket. They have no windows but only two holes which serve to filter the light and always smoke fire inside, which can be released outside.

The huts are built by women while using interwoven sticks, mud and cow dung; they can be easily transported and mounted elsewhere. This hut is designed in formed of ‘’manyatta’’ which is in Samburu language, comprised of four to ten families. Although, there villages are not permanent, it can settle in a place for not more than two months. This is because sambura people like moving from one place to another in search for new pastures for livestock.

Maasai Village Visit

On visit to Samburu National reserve can experience traditional Maasai manyatta village and enjoy a beautiful way of life and famous nomadic tribe of East Africa.

Walking Safaris and Nature Hikes; This gives a beautiful viewing as you trek in conservancies outside the main reserve.

A traveler can do a combined safari -Kenya wildlife safari with primate visit in Uganda Safaris through visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park a home to glimpse of endangered mountain gorillas which can be encountered through a Gorilla trekking experience.

Accommodations; The camps are not above basic camping and include comfortable bedding inside tents which may vary from deluxe type camps more rudimentary 2- or 3-man tents but with range of facilities such as freshly cooked meals and help with pitching camp.

Accessibility; From Kenya to Uganda’s Bwindi – use a flight from Wilson Airport to fly you to Entebbe International Airport, where you can book a domestic flight Aero link Uganda to fly you to nearby airstrip to Bwindi – Kisoro and Kihihi airstrip ‘’1:30hours landing’’.

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