Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Ewaso Nyiro River, which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The reserve covers an area of 165 Km² and is located around 345Km from Nairobi. The Samburu National reserve has as its backdrop the great table mountain Ololokwe.
Samburu National reserve is rich in wildlife. It has its own special big five animals. We refer them to as rare northern specialist species. They include the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (Also referred as Samburu Special).
The remote location of Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba make them some of the least visited in game reserves Kenya. Being uncrowded also makes them among the most pleasant of the parks to visit.
Buffalo Springs links to Samburu to the south crossing the Ewaso Ng’iro. It shares much of the same wildlife as Samburu but intriguingly. It is also home to the common zebra not found just over the bridge on the north side. There is a crater in the park created in the Second World War. It has since become a clear water pool and is apparently safe to swim in.
How to Get To Samburu National Reserve
It is possible to get to Samburu National Reserve both by Road and Air
By Road: The Park is located 350 kilometres from Nairobi. It is to the north and it is therefore possible to travel there in approximately six hours.
There is also the option of travelling from Nakuru National park which is located 300km away from Samburu and the driving time is at five and a half hours.
By Air: It is possible to schedule flights to Samburu from Nairobi or from Maasai Mara depending on where you are at the time. Your tour operator shall be able to organize this for you when the need arises.
The reserve can be accessed through the Ngare Mare and Buffalo Springs gates.
What to See and Do at Samburu National Game Reserve
The reserve is a beautiful expanse comprising of arid land that comprises of grasslands, thorn trees, acacia and riverine forest vegetation. It provides an unobstructed view of the Koitogor and Ololokwe mountains on crisp clear days. The Ewaso Ng’iro River means brown water and is the primary source of water for the animals that reside within the reserve. Both birdlife and wildlife are abundant within the reserve. The three animal species that are only inherent to this reserve include the gerenuk gazelle, the Beisa Oryx, the grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and the Somali ostrich. These animals bear characteristics that are rare and spectacular that differentiate them from other members of their species found elsewhere within the country. Other animals that you will be happy to observe during your game drives include all three big cats; lion, cheetahs and leopards. Buffalos, elephants black rhinos and so many others. The river is abundant in hippos and Nile crocodiles. The reserve boasts of over 350 species of birds such as the secretary bird, the palm-nut vulture, grey-headed kingfisher, lilac-breasted roller, Marabou stork, bateleur, vulturine guinea fowl and the tawny eagle among many others that would make any birding enthusiast glad they visited the reserve.
On the accommodation front, you are definitely covered. From the properties located in and around Samburu National Game Reserve you shall be absolutely well taken care of. You have your pick of budget, mid-range and luxury options that all offer top drawer services to all those who patronize these establishments.
Samburu National Game Reserve Park Entry Fees
Citizens: Adults: Kshs. 500
Child: Kshs. 300
Residents: Adults: Kshs. 1000
Child: Kshs. 500
Non-Residents: Adults: USD 70
Child: USD 40
Park rules/code of conduct
- Respect the privacy of the wildlife, this is their habitat.
- Beware of the animals, they are wild and can be unpredictable.
- Don’t crowd the animals or make sudden noises or movements.
- Don’t feed the animals, it upsets their diet and leads to human dependence.
- Keep quiet, noise disturbs the wildlife and may antagonize your fellow visitors.
- Stay in your vehicle at all times, except at designated picnic or walking areas.
- Keep below the maximum speed limit (40 kph/25 mph).
- Never drive off-road, this severely damages the habitat.
- When viewing wildlife keep to a minimum distance of 20 meters and pull to the side of the road so as to allow others to pass.
- Leave no litter and never leave fires unattended or discard burning objects.
- Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people or their habitat without asking their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress with decorum.
- Stay over or leave before dusk, visitors must vacate the Park between 6.00 p.m. – 6.00 a.m. unless they are camping overnight. Night game driving is not allowed.