Samburu National Reserve consists of a low lying, semi arid plain on the southern bank of the northern Ewaso Ngiro River. The reserve which lies 9km east of Buffalo Springs National Reserve was gazetted in 1974. The beautiful stark landscape is dominated by Samburu Hill in the south, at the foot of which is a rugged area with steep ravines.

Background Information

 

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.

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Samburu is arid and sandy, making it a tough area for wildlife to live in. Despite this, a bountiful collection exists, typically of animals not found further south - the Beia oryx, Somali ostrich, Masai Ostrich, Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, leopard, cheetah and lion. The aardwolf has been spotted on several lucky occasions. The more common reptiles are seen relatively easily such as the "tree agama".




Samburu National Reserve is the best place to view several endemic Northern species including the long necked gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra and Beisa oryx. Buffalo, cheetah, leopard, lion and plains game can be found in the reserve. On rare occasions, packs of African wild dogs are sighted passing through the reserve.

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.

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