SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
The Samburu National Reserve is a game reserve on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river in Kenya. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The park is 165 km² in size and is situated 350 kilometers from Nairobi. It ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230 m above sea level. Geographically, it is located in Samburu County.
In the middle of the reserve, the Ewaso Nyiro flows through Doum palm groves and thick riverine forests. It provides water, without which the game in this arid region could not survive.
The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness, made famous in the best-selling book and award-winning movie Born Free. The Elephant Watch Camp, of which Saba Douglas-Hamilton is director, lies within the park.
The Samburu National Reserve is also the home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting oryx calves. Samburu National Reserve hosts a wide variety of animals and bird life which attracts millions of visitor who tend to visit the reserve on their African safari and Kenya’s northern plains can be seen in abundance here, including gerenuk, Oryx, Gravy’s Zebra and Reticulated giraffe, all the three big cats, African leopard, lions, cheetah can also be sighted here, as well as cape buffalo, elephants and hippopotamus. Other animals to see in the park include warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Olive baboon, Kirk’s dik-dik, waterbuck and Impala, number of black rhinoceros has been re-introduced into the reserve after an absence of 25 years due to heavy poaching thus rewarding it has an excellent game viewing.
The reserve is also a birding tourist destination with over 350 species of birds which can be spotted and some of species include; grey-headed kingfisher, bee-eaters, Marabou stork, bateleur, Verreaux’s eagle, yellow-necked spur fowl, Vultures, secretary bird, superb starling, lilac-breasted roller, northern red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, palm-nut vulture among others which can make your birding tour admirable.
Samburu National Reserve Attractions
- Samburu Special Five: Samburu national reserve is popularly known for its special fives which are rarely seen in other African safaris and in here are best spotted during game drives and nature walks such as reticulated giraffes, gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Grey Zebra and Beisa Oryx. These species are seen in open savannah grassland and riverine forests.
- Samburu Culture: This is a safari destination where you can go for a visit of wildlife and end up visiting this interesting Samburu culture and get interacted with their beautiful culture and norms. The Samburu people are best known as cattle gather and they use camels as their means of transport, on tourist visit you can experience the ride. This is a true African traditional culture, their unique way of dress up, painting their faces with striking patterns so as to accentuate their beautiful facial features. Thus admiring many tourists who visit the reserve, note Samburu means butterfly.
- Big three cats: The reserve is a popular home to three big cats that is leopards, lions and cheetahs which make up Samburu to be a true safari wilderness. They are best spotted along banks of river Ewaso Nyiro linking for water.
- Ewaso Nyiro River: This is one of Kenya’s biggest river and a supportive water source in Samburu’s wildlife, magnificent riverine forest as it flows north to east across to southeast through Somalia to connect river Jubba. River Ewaso Nyiro is a shelter to huge numbers of Nile crocodile and best rewardable point for game viewing as variety of mammals visit the river to drink water.