Samburu National Park and reserve is found in the arid area of Northern Kenya. The park lies on the banks of Ewaso Ng’ro River among the rolling hilly region and plains, bordered by Buffalo Springs National Reserve on the other side of the river. The park occupies 165 sq km covered by thick riverine forests, doum palm along Ewaso River from where the Born Free fame of Lioness Elsa was featured by Joy and George Adamson’s writings.
Samburu National Reserve is just about the barely-known national parks, although is nevertheless full of life. Located along the Ewaso Nyiro River, you can find a lot to draw wildlife living in the immediate savannah plains.
The reserve is full of wild animals along with plethora of rare northern species such as the Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, the Somali ostrich, gerenuk as well as the beisa oryx. The reserve is likewise popular with not less than 900 elephants. Wild dog sightings are additionally a standard attraction within this special protected region. Birdlife is plentiful with about 450 species sighted. Birds in the arid northern bush country are drawn by a volume of riverine forest species.
The Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are types of world-wide conservation concern and they each utilise the reserve. Some species identified as vulnerable have also been recorded in the reserve. They are the African darter, endangered pancake tortoise, yellowbilled ox-pecker, great egret, martial eagle and the white-headed vulture.
Arid and semi-arid climate with scorching days and chilled nights. Annual average heat is roughly 18º C and 30ºC. Annual mean rainfall is in fact 345 mm with peaks around November and April. The dry season begins in late May and goes up to the begining of October when a big numbers of wild animal is found inside the reserve as a result of accessibility to lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River.
The reserve can be connected by road from Nairobi on the all weather Isiolo road although Isiolo Archers Post is gravelled. The reserve has an airstrip; the Oryx Samburu Airstrip.
This reserve hosts plenty of tourist amenities which includes Lodges: Samburu Game Lodge, Miiba Mingi Tented Lodge Samburu Sopa, Samburu Larsen’s Camp , Samburu Intrepids, Elephant Bedroom, Elephant View Safaris, Fixed camping locations such as Game trackers, Lion King Safaris Special campsites: Grevy Campsite, Impala Campsite Doom Palm Campsite, Von derdecken -Hornbill Campsite. Public Campsites: Vervet Monkey, Butterfly, Kigelia, Kingfisher.
Ideal time and energy to visit – Throughout the year.
There are various things to do that tourists usually take part in when staying on the reserve. Most of these activities consist of: game drives, bird watching, bush breakfast, treks, sundowners, river rafting along with the Samburu cultural experience trips.
Attractions with Samburu
The Ewaso Ngiro river is the main source of life in the national park. The river is very peaceful as it flows in the park carrying brown water (locally called U-aa-so-Nyee-ro) on its course to the Indian Ocean. Several animals from all over the park and from the neighboring Kenya game reserves of Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserve visit the river banks.
Several animals enjoy the Ewaso River-Samburu habitat and these include predators such as lions, cheetahs and leopard. Kamunyak the miracle lioness that lived in this park adopted a baby oryx. More 800 herds of elephants are found in this Kenya reserve in addition to other mammals like gravy’s zebras, reticulated giraffes, gerenuk, beisa oryx, wild dog, water buck, dik-dik, grant’s gazelle, impala, buffalo, hippos, rhinos and many other animals
More than 300 birds nest in Samburu National reserve. The Somali ostrich is Samburu’s prime birds and only found here in Kenya. Other birds within the park include grey king fishers, sun birds, marabou stork, bee-eaters, guinea fowl, Bateleur, tawny eagle, lilac breasted roller, palm nut vultures, secretary bird, red-billed hornbill, Verreaux eagle and superb starling.
Five of the birds living here are classified as an endangered species and these include yelloe billed ox-pecker, martial eagle, great egret, African darter, pancake tortoise and the white headed vulture.
The reserve is found in northern Kenya accessed by road 350km from Nairobi via Isiolo. Samburu National Park gates are Ngare Mare and Buffalo Springs Gates. The reserve has an airstrip that is the Oryx Samburu Airstrip that handles all charter flights from Nairobi.
There are a number of lodges and camps within Samburu National reserve for overnight and dining. Samburu Game Lodge has luxury Kenya safari accommodation and facilities. Other Kenya safari lodges in Samburu include Samburu Larsen’s Camp, Samburu Serena Lodge, Samburu Sopa Safari Lodge, Samburu Intrepids Club, Elephant Bedroom, Elephant Watch Safaris and Miiba Mingi Tented Lodge.
Camping and backpacking is also another overnight option in Samburu such as Doom Palm Campsite, Von derdecken Campsite, Grevy Campsite, Impala Campsite and public Campsites such as Vervet Monkey, Butterfly, Kigelia & Kingfisher.