Samburu national reserve Kenya

Samburu national reserve Kenya is one of the most well-known safari destinations in East Africa and a distinct wildlife conservation known for its abundance of rare animal species, including the Samburu Special 5, which includes the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, and Beisa Oryx. Additionally, the reserve is home to

Samburu National Reserve is home to more than 900 elephants and large carnivores including lions, leopards, and cheetahs.

Samburu national reserve is well-known for the resident lioness Kamunyak, who is renowned for adopting a young oryx.

Samburu national reserve is a 165-square-kilometer expanse of desolate, unspoiled wilderness that borders the Ewaso Ngi’iro River to the south; the river separates it from Buffalo Springs national reserve.

As a wildlife eco system, Samburu national reserve is bordered by a number of conservancies and group ranches, including the Kalama Conservancy, West Gate Community Conservancy, and Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy.

Location of Samburu national reserve

Samburu national reserve is located in the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya; the reserve is separated from Buffalo Springs national reserve by the Ewaso Ng’iro River.

Samburu national reserve is approximately 345 kilometers from Nairobi.

Visiting Samburu national reserve

Visitors to Samburu national reserve are rewarded with pristine wilderness, high wildlife densities, and a safari experience away from some of Uganda’s most popular safari destinations and national parks. In addition, visitors are rewarded with a striking backdrop of volcanic mountains, dispersed semi-arid plains of Samburu between red dust and vegetation, and large granite outcrops, tall acacia, and deep craters.

Wildlife in Samburu national reserve

Samburu national reserve is a haven for elephants, predators, and the famous “Special Five”; the reserve is a perfect destination for wildlife and safari enthusiasts. The quasi-endemic species that have adapted to the more arid and hillier conditions are one of the most exciting reasons to visit Samburu national reserve.

Gerenuk or giraffe gazelle, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, Reticulated giraffe, and Beisa oryx comprise the Samburu Special Five.

There are approximately 75 species of animals in Samburu national reserve, including lions, elephants, rhinos, Africa Buffalo, leopards – The Big Five, cheetahs, Maasai Giraffe, reticulated giraffe/ Somali giraffe, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Africa Hare, Anetlope, and Banded Mongoose, among others.

Birdlife in Samburu national reserve   

Five species, including the African darter, the great Egret, the white-headed vulture, the Martial Eagle, and the yellow-billed oxpecker, are classified as vulnerable in Samburu national reserve. The Samburu national reserve is also home to the Acacia tit, the Bare-eyed thrush, the African palm swift, the Ashy cisticola, the Black-bellied sunbird, and the Black-capped social weaver. The brown-tailed rock wren, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Chestnut weaver, and Chestnut-headed sparrow lark. The sparrow-weaver of Donaldson-Smith Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel, Grey wren-warbler, Hunter’s sunbird, Lanner falcon, Mariqua sunbird, The northern brownbird Palm-nut vulture, Pink-breasted lark, Pygmy batis, rufous-breasted sparrow Red-bellied parrot, Red-necked falcon, Red-winged lark, and Red-breasted nuthatch. Reichenow’s seedeater, The rosy-breasted bush-shrike, Secretary bird, Singing bush lark, Secretary bird The Somali bee-eater, the Somali ostrich, the Spotted palm-thrush, the Von der Decken’s hornbill, the Vulturine guineafowl, the White-headed mousebird, and the Yellow-vented eremomela are among the species found in Somalia.

Samburu Safari activities to do in Samburu national reserve

Game drives

Game drives are the primary safari activity in Samburu national reserve, allowing guests to explore the arid expanses of Samburu from the comfort of their tour vehicle. From the roof of your vehicle, you will have the opportunity to spot a variety of animals, including lions, elephants, rhinos, Africa Buffalo, leopards – The Big Five, cheetahs, Maasai Giraffe, reticulated giraffe/ Somali giraffe, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Africa Hare, Anetlope, Banded Mongoose, and many others.

Samburu national reserve Kenya
Samburu national reserve Kenya

In addition, you will see the Samburu Special Five, as well as the beautiful landscape.

Hot Air Balloon Safaris

Hot air balloon safaris in the Samburu national reserve provide aerial views of the reserve. This experience begins as early as 5:00 a.m., when you join other tourists at the landing site to witness the balloons being inflated.

The experience concludes with a Bush champagne breakfast for visitors.

Samburu Village Visit

Samburu Village Visit introduces tourists to one of Kenya’s indigenous tribes, the Samburu, who reside in communities surrounding the reserve and have coexisted peacefully with nature for centuries.

During your visit, you will appreciate participating in a variety of activities, including dancing and singing, animal husbandry, and interacting with locals, among others.

Other safari activities to so in Samburu national reserve include

Visiting the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

Walking Safari and Nature Hikes

Horseback safaris

Bush Meals and sundow

The best time for a safari in Samburu national reserve

The ideal time to visit Samburu national reserve for a Kenya safari is during the dry season, which runs from late May to early October, but the reserve can be visited year-round. Large concentrations of wildlife are found in the reserve during the dry season due to the availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro river, which is the primary source of water for the reserve and the surrounding communities.

Where to stay in Samburu national reserve

In Samburu national reserve, there are a variety of budget-friendly, moderately-priced, and upscale lodging options. The available lodging options include:

Samburu Sopa Lodge

Samburu Larsen’s Camo

Samburu Intrepids

Elephant Bedroom

Miibi Mingi Tented Lodge among others

How to access Samburu national reserve

By road, the Samburu national reserve is accessible from Nairobi via Isiolo on an all-weather bituminous road, while the Isiolo Archer’s post is graveled. The distance between Isiolo and Archer’s Gate is 35 kilometers.

By Air:  There are scheduled domestic flights from Nairobi to Oryx Samburu airstrip.

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