Situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is plenty to attract wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains.
The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx (also referred to as Samburu Special Five).
The reserve is also home to elephants and large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah. ‘Kamunyak’, the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx was as a resident in the reserve.
Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded.
Elephants? Samburu boasts over 900 of these peaceful creatures… the herds gathering at the life sustaining river. Meanwhile beneath the river’s muddy brown waters, a significant population of Nile crocodile can be spotted, waiting for their prey.
For bird lovers the reserve presents a constant display of exciting avian life – over 450 species. On game drives over the savannah, through acacia forest and riverine vegetation there will be numerous opportunities to view kingfishers, marabous, vultures, guinea fowl, Somali ostrich, egret, falcon and eagle.
But despite the active wildlife here, the reserve gives off a sense of tranquility and a peaceful feeling. Some attribute this to the fact that Samburu is relatively remote and initially was inaccessible as other parks developed.
Named for the indigenous Samburu people, whose villages border the reserve, Samburu is out of the way yet presents visitors with so much to see and do.
From the main entrance of Archer’s Gate, the reserve is 345 km (214 mi) from Nairobi, about a 5 hours’ drive. Samburu is located in the Rift Valley Province. The Ewaso Ng’iro River borders the park to the south, separating it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
Arid, dry and desert-like are terms to describe the climate here. Average temperatures are around 30oC (85oF). The rainy season runs from March through May with a shorter wet season in November and December.
When to go:
The park is open daily from 06:00Hrs to 18:00Hrs, year-round and always accessible.
Best time to visit:
December through March and July through October are the driest months and the best for visiting, but Samburu is also enjoyable in the wetter seasons.