A world apart from other parks in Kenya,
Samburu National Reserve boasts a natural serenity due to the
distance from industry and the inaccessibility of the reserve
for many years. Established in 1985, the reserve lies 325
kilometers north of Nairobi within the lands of the Samburu
The reserve rests on the banks of the Ewaso
Nyiro River in Kenya, which flows through doum palm groves and
thick riverine forests providing relief from the unsympathetic
equatorial sun. The abundance of acacia and thorn trees and
grassland vegetation attracts a wide variety of wildlife while
the arid hilly region creates a dramatic and rugged landscape.
In the background, the Koitogor and Ololokwe mountains rise
steadily from the grassland and the gaunt hills that punctuate
the scrubland are occasionally dotted with clusters of vividly
colored desert rose.
This peaceful land attracts lion, cheetah,
leopard, elephant, buffalo and hippo, while large numbers of
Nile crocodile inhabit the famous Lorian Swamp. Unfortunately,
rhino is no longer present due to heavy poaching. However,
photographers and bird lovers benefit from the over 450 bird
species abundant in this region, including the famous Somali
Ostriches. The Samburu reserve is also one of the few places
where leopard sightings are frequent. Be on the lookout for
gerenuks this odd yet distinguished looking gazelle has a long
neck and stands on its hind legs to feed.
The Samburu National Reserve is one of the
locations where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness
and made famous the book and movie Born Free. It is also
within the lands of the Samburu people, a semi-nomadic ethnic
group of pastoralists similar to the Maasai.
Also on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro are
the Shaba National Reserve and the Buffalo Springs National
Reserve. While Buffalo Springs and Samburu are contiguous
reserves, Shaba is a short drive to the east.
Visit the Samburu National Reserve on our Safari in Kenya and Tanzania, or our
Kenya Wildlife Week.