Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve

Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve is a highly rewarding Kenya safari destination and an excellent location for wildlife viewing excursions in Kenya. This reserve is located in Isiolo County, Eastern province, in northern Kenya. Buffalo springs game reserve is located south of Samburu national reserve on the opposite side of the Ewaso Ngiro River, which is the primary water source for the entire ecosystem. This reserve gets its name from “Buffalo springs,” which are an oasis of clear water located at the western end of the reserve and were formed by an underground stream rising from Mount Kenya.

Buffalo springs game reserve encompasses 131 square kilometers and is dominated by the undulating Rowland plain of ancient lava flows, the volcanic soils of olivine basalt, and the Ewaso Nyiro River. There is a limited band of doum palms, riverine forests, and grasslands along the Ewaso Nyiro river.

In 1948, the Buffalo springs national reserve was established as a protected area primarily to preserve the area’s ecological system, including its fauna, flora, and physical features such as the buffalo springs, among others.

Tourist attractions in Buffalo springs national game reserve

Animals

Buffalo springs national game reserve is home to a variety of animals, which are one of the reserve’s major tourist attractions. Due to the reserve’s high concentration of animals, it is now considered one of the top destinations for Kenya wildlife excursions. Animals inhabit the wooded areas along the Ewaso Nyiro riverbanks, riverine forests, and savannah grasslands in the Buffalo springs game reserve.

Wildlife in Buffalo springs national game reserve include buffaloes, impalas, common Burchell’s zebra, wild dogs, waterbucks, impalas, hyenas, elephants, cheetahs, greater and lesser kudus, leopards, lions, elands, giraffes, grant’s gazelles, reticulated giraffes, beisa oryxes, gerenuk antelopes, Grevy’s zebras and many more. A trip to the Buffalo Springs Game Reserve in Kenya provides the opportunity to view these animals.

Birds

Buffalo springs game reserve is one of the most popular destinations for a Kenya birding safari. The reserve is home to 390 species of birds, including the Acacia tit, Ashy cisticola, African swifts, Somali ostrich, which is larger than the common ostrich and distinguished by indigo legs and a blue neck, and the striking cobalt-blue breasted vulturine guinea fowls.

The Buffalo springs game reserve is also home to the Abyssinian ground hornbill, the Bare-eyed thrush, and the African palm swift. Ashy cisticola, The barren-eyed thrush, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, and Black-capped social weaver Starling with a bristle-crowned headdress, The brown-tailed rock wren, Chestnut weaver, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark. Egyptian vulture, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, and bald eagle Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel, Grey warbling sparrow, Hunter’s sunbird, Lanner falcon, Mariqua sunbird, The Northern Brownbird Palm-nut vulture, Lark with a pink breast Pygmy batis, Red-bellied parrot, Red-necked falcon, Red-winged lark, and Red-breasted nuthatch. Reichenow’s seedeater, The rosy-breasted bush-shrike, The rufous chirper, Secretary goose, Singing woodland lark, African bee-eater, The spotted palm-bird, Von der Decken’s hornbill, In addition to the Vulturine Guineafowl, White-headed Mousebird, and Yellow-vented Eremomela, there are a number of other species.

Flora

Buffalo springs The Ewaso Nyiro River largely determines the reserve’s flora. Buffalo Springs is blessed with unique plant species. Included among the fauna species are a narrow band of riverine forests along the Ewaso Ngiro, Doum Palm, Acacia elatior, scattered grass and shrubs, alkaline grasslands with occasional swamps and seepage, desert rose with pink blossoms, and salvadora persica.

The salvadora persica is also known as the toothbrush tree or mustard tree. Locally, this tree is known as Mswaki in Swahili and Sokotu in Samburu. This tree is a small tree or shrub with a crooked trunk and a height of 6-7 meters. For more than a century, this tree has been used as a natural dental brush, and the World Health Organization has cited the use of its fibrous branches for oral hygiene.

Ewaso Nyiro River 

Ewaso Nyiro River is the most appealing feature of Buffalo springs game reserve and the most exciting place to visit for observing animals and birds during Kenya Wildlife tours in this game reserve. The Ewaso Nyiro River is named after the Samburu word “Ewaso,” which means “the river of brown or muddy water.” It is the largest and least seasonal river in northern Kenya and a perennial water source for the Buffalo springs game reserve ecosystem.

Along the shores of the Ewaso Nyiro River are riverside grasses, dense acacia, and doum palm forests, which attract a variety of birds and animals, including crocodiles, buffaloes, impalas, hippos, and numerous birds, such as saddle-billed storks, among others.

Buffalo springs

Buffalo springs is a must-see attraction in Buffalo springs national park during a Kenya safari; these springs are the origin of the name of Buffalo springs game reserve and a conspicuous feature in the reserve. Buffalo springs consists of three springs, two of which are surrounded by walls and the third of which breaks through the plain to create a small marshy waterhole that flows into the Ewaso Nyiro River.

One of the welled springs serves as a water source for the Archer’s post, a small town in the area. The other welled spring was formerly a natural swimming hole where travelers could swim, but it is presently prohibited. On occasion, BuffaloBuffalo springs are teeming with crocodiles and other predators such as wild canines, cheetah, lions, and leopards, making it an incredible place to observe wildlife.

Safari activities in Buffalo springs national game reserve

Game drives 

Buffalo springs national reserve is one of the most popular national parks in Kenya for Kenya wildlife viewing safaris, and game viewing safaris in this incredible destination are conducted on a game drive in a 4×4 safari vehicle with open windows and a pop-up canopy. Game drives are offered in the morning, afternoon, and evening, and you will have a memorable Kenya wildlife tour as you spot large herds of elephants, lions, burchell’s and Grevy’s zebras, wild dogs, waterbucks, impalas, hyenas, elephants, cheetahs, greater and lesser kudus, leopards, elands, giraffes, grant’s gazelles, reticulated

Large herds of elephants bathing in the murky waters of the Ewaso Ngiro River, prides of lions as they wait to attack their prey, and nile crocodiles are some of the animals you are likely to encounter along the riverbanks.

Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve
Game Viewing in Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve

Due to the semiarid climatic conditions of Buffalo Springs Game Reserve, game drives are enjoyable throughout the year, with the greatest game viewing occurring between June and October.

Walking safaris

A safari to the Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve in Kenya is not complete without participating in the guided walking safaris. This activity is more of a leisurely adventure offering a thrilling trek through the reserve’s many corners. As you walk on various trails running through the reserve, you will encounter lions, nile crocodiles, especially on the riverbanks of Ewaso Nyiro River, and numerous birds, including the African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Bare-eyed thrush, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Bristle-crowned starling, Brown-tailed rock chat, and Brown-tailed rock chat.

Bird watching 

The Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve is an ideal destination for Kenya birding excursions, as it is home to over 390 species of birds, including dry-land species from northeast Africa. Bird watching in Buffalo springs game reserve offers a chance for birders to spot many bird species such as African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Bare-eyed thrush, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Bristle-crowned starling, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut weaver, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, Egyptian vulture, Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel and many more. Buffalo Springs National Game Reserve is a premier destination for a Kenya birding excursion, so if you are a birder you should not miss the opportunity to visit this incredible reserve.

Cultural safari 

Buffalo springs game reserve shares borders with the residential communities of the Samburu local people, which are visited during a Kenya cultural safari in Buffalo springs national reserve. The Samburu people are very hospitable and visiting them provides an opportunity to learn more about their lives and appreciate their culture. Visitors to the Samburu villages will learn more about cultural activities such as spear-throwing, goat-milking, and the creation of handicrafts, and will be entertained by cultural performances and plays.

How to get to Buffalo springs national game reserve

Buffalo springs national game reserve is located 15 kilometers southeast of Nairobi, the reserve is an easily accessed Kenya safari destination y use of both road and air means of transport from both Nairobi and Mombasa.

By road from Nairobi, Buffalo springs game reserve is accessed through Nanyuki on a tarmac road to Isiolo then drive for 22 kilometers on a marrum road connecting to the reserve’s main entrance gate. There are scheduled flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to the reserve’s airstrip at Buffalo Springs.

Where to stay

Buffalo springs game reserve contains a variety of lodges and camps that provide travelers with lodging and other amenities necessary for a safari in Kenya’s Buffalo springs national game reserve. Buffalo springs game reserve offers luxury, midrange, and budget accommodations, including Samburu Simba lodge, Ashnil Samburu camp, Lion King bush camp, Samburu Sopa lodge, Sarova Shaba game lodge, elephant Bedroom camp, and many others.

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