Samburu National Reserve Kenya, Attractions & Best Time

Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser known national parks but full of life. The park is situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River which attracts plenty of wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains. It is found in the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift valley province of Kenya. The reserve covers an area of about 165 square kilometers. It ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230 meters above sea level in Samburu country.

Samburu National Reserve Kenya

The Ewaso Nyiro River is northern Kenya’s biggest river where most wildlife in the park goes to quench their thirst. The Samburu people were lured to this area due to the reliability of the Ewaso Nyiro that provides water for their herds. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

Two mountains known as Koitogo and Ololokwe are found in the park which makes the park very attractive with a serene environment. The park’s further distance from human encroachment as well as inaccessibility has helped to keep its beauty intact with very evident natural serenity.

Attractions in Samburu National Reserve

Just about 350 kilometers from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital there is abundant wildlife and bird life in the park that tourists can see in the park;

Wildlife in the reserve: The reserve is rich in wildlife with abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx. These are also known referred to as the Samburu Special Five.

More of wildlife in the park include a minimum of 900 elephants and large predators such as lions, leopards and cheetahs. One of the most miraculous events that ever happened at Samburu National Reserve was when the lioness (named Kamunyak) adopted a baby oryx.

Wild dogs are also common in the reserve. The Cape buffalo and hippopotamus can also be seen in the Samburu National Reserve. Mammals frequently seen in the park include the olive baboon, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala and waterbuck. Black rhinoceros have been re-introduced in to the reserve after over 25 years absence due to heavy poaching. This makes the park home the popular African “Big Five” (Lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos).

A number of Nile crocodiles bask in the Ewaso Nyiro river.

Bird species in Samburu National Reserve: Bird life is abundant in the park with about 450 species recorded. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are global conservation concern and are found in the park. Other bird species in the park include the African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed vulture, martial eagle, tawny eagle, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb sterling, northern red-billed hornbill, vultures and the yellow-billed Ox pecker.

Best Time to visit Samburu National Reserve

The dry season starts in late May and goes up to early October during when large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River which is the main source of water to the Reserve and the nearby communities. However, the reserve is open to tourists all year round.

Kenya is the typical magical safari destination because of the hidden and less explored gems that tourists can witness. Visiting the Samburu National Reserve is one of the ways of having authentic African trips during Kenya wildlife safaris. In Kenya visits to the popular Masai-Mara National Reserve is a perfect way to have a glimpse of the world’s largest wildlife migration known as the wildebeest migration. The wildebeest are millions of animals that migrate all through the year between Kenya and Tanzania and can be seen most of the year in the Serengeti National Park.

Jewel Safaris has expertise in planning all kinds of East African combined trips with recommendations to the best and hidden gems in the countries. We help customize Tanzania safaris to all of the popular and less visited destinations.

One of the most thrilling and recommended tours in East Africa are the primate tracking trips, these include Uganda gorilla safaris, Rwanda gorilla tours as well as chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and a Rwanda. These offer a very unique experience from the regular African safaris and can be combined into a trip to Kenya.