Samburu National Reserve is a rugged and semi-desert park located in Samburu district in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. The park neighbours the homes of the Samburu tribe of Kenya, a tribe known for their remote culture, pastoral and nomadic way of life.
Due to its remote distance and the fact that it was inaccessible for many years, the park has retained a naturally serene and quiet feeling. Besides the numerous wildlife found in this game reserve, the park is also a bird haven.
The Uaso Nyiro River cuts through this reserve, drawing a big population of Kenya animals to the park. The river bustles with activity from its huge population of Nile crocodile.
The reserve’s topography is mainly open savannah (grassland) with clusters of acacia trees, forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation.
The game reserve is renowned for its rare species of animals unique to the park, namely: the long necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa onyx.
The elusive Kenya leopard is often known to visit the park, especially in the evenings. Other Kenyan wildlife present in the park includes cheetahs and lions, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos.
Bird life is as plentiful as wildlife at Samburu National Reserve, which boasts over 350 different species of birds including vultures, kingfishers, marabous, bateleurs, guinea fowl, Somali ostriches and others.
What to see and do in Samburu
Game Viewing: In the southern part of the park, you are guaranteed to see most of the Kenyan animals found in Samburu, namely: cheetahs, lions, leopards, impalas, buffalo, hippos, and dik – dik, as well as the native gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa Oryx.
You are guaranteed to see most animals during the dry season as they converge at the Usaso Nyiro River, their main source of water during the long dry weather. Elephants are also spotted during this time, and you can watch the Nile crocodiles swim in the river.
Bird Viewing: Samburu National Reserve is a paradise for bird lovers, with over 350 species of birds already recorded. You can enjoy a colorful assortment of birds such as vultures, kingfishers, marabous, bateleurs, guinea fowl, Somali ostriches and many more.
Samburu Cultural Tours: Visit the local Samburu villages where you get a chance to interact with the colorful Samburu people in their traditional setting and experience their culture. This is a good opportunity to purchase traditional Samburu souvenirs, art and collectibles.
Best time to visit Samburu
The months of December through March and July through October are dry, making them by far the best months to visit the Samburu National Reserve. April through June are also good months but might be rainy.
Where to stay in Samburu National Reserve
Kenya safari lodges in Samburu include the Samburu Sopa Lodge, Samburu Serena lodge, Samburu Game Lodge, Sarova Shaba, and Samburu Intrepids Camp, as well as the luxurious and eco – friendly Larsens Tented Camp.