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Samburu National Reserve

Why Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu National Reserve is located at the southeastern district in The Great Rift Valley. Its name originated from the neighboring Samburu tribe, a tribe well known for its rich culture, nomadic and pastoral life. The reserve is a popular tourist destination due to its wildlife. Samburu National Park is on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River which neighbors Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The reserve has two mountains: Koitogor and Ololokwe which help attract wildlife mainly because of the grassland vegetation and the riverine forest. The reserve has maintained its natural serene and beauty due to its remoteness, which is close to inaccessible.

How to Get There

By Road:  driving in The Great Rift Valley is the most adventurous journey one can experience since you transverse the floor of the escapements and valleys. The Park is accessible by smooth roads. However,  it is advisable to use 4×4 vehicles because of the rough terrain inside the National Reserve. The journey from Nairobi to Samburu is about 345km or about 5-6 hours’ drive. If you make multiple stopovers on the way, the journey can take you close to 7 hours.

By Air: private charter planes are allowed in the National Park, which makes it easily accessible from Nairobi city to Samburu on daily flights. Its travel time is about 45 minutes and the flight lands on the reserve airstrip. The airstrip gives access to guest visiting Samburu, Shaba, and Buffalo Springs National Reserves.

What to expect at Samburu National Reserve

Wildlife: The National Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife and birds. One fascinating fact is that all three big cats are located in the Park. These are the Lions, cheetahs, and African leopards. It is also home to the elephants, Cape buffalo, and the hippopotamus, which are the large variety of wildlife found in the Park. The vast savannah grassland makes Samburu a great place to view game animals in proper densities. Some of the well-adopted animals are the reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and the gerenuk with its elongated neck, which helps it eat from the tall acacia trees. Other mammals found in the Park include olive baboon, warthogs, grants gazelle, the famous kirks dik-dik, and the waterbuck. Due to the continuous poaching, the rhinos are becoming nonexistent. Crocodiles are also present in the Ewaso Nyiro River.

Birds: The National Park is home to over 350 species of birds. They include sunbirds, grey-headed kingfisher, bee-eaters, marabou stork, bateleur, tawny eagle, the yellow-necked spurfowl, secretary bird, and the various Vultures including the palm-nut vulture.


There are several lodges and hotels in Samburu. The best hotels are the Samburu Serena Lodge, which is a favorite place due to its strategic position looking in the Park and the roaming wildlife, the Samburu intrepid club, and the elephant watch safari camp.

Why Is This Park Famous?

  • The National Park is famous for its rich wildlife and abundance species.
  • Birdlife is abundant with over 350 species.
  • The three wildlife cats
  • The Ewaso Nyiro which is known for its enormous crocodiles and hippos.

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