Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve and Shaba National Reserve lie adjacent to each other. It is a region of dramatic contrasts in which rare wildlife and diverse birdlife reside. The Ewaso Nyiro River, fringed with acacias, figs and doum palms, slice across the scorched land. The Samburu Game Reserves are the most accessible of the Northern Frontier faunal sanctuaries, 343 kilometers (213 miles) from Nairobi. There is an airstrip called Samburu Oryx for those who prefer flying. Isiolo, a nearby town has an international airport with scheduled flight from Nairobi.

The three reserves are located in the hot, arid northern region of Kenya. The three reserves are in the beautiful and still unspoilt country of the Samburu people, cousins to the Masai people. Proud, happy, friendly, they defy the modern world to go about their traditional business and still cherish the customs and colorful ceremonies of their ancestors. This vast land of nomadic Samburu people has changed little over the time. The three reserves provide a worthy introduction to this most colorful part of Kenya.

Samburu National Reserve covers an area of 104 square kilometers (40 square miles) on the northern bank of River Ewaso Nyiro, with a river frontage of 16 kilometres (10 miles). The adjoining Buffalo Springs Reserve of 194 square kilometres (75 square miles) lies on the southern bank of the same 16 kilometres (10 miles). A bridge across the Ewaso Nyiro River connects the two reserves and it is convenient to treat them a single unit together with Shaba National Reserve. Shaba National Reserve covers 130 square kilometres (50 square miles), also with its border along the southern bank of Ewaso Nyiro River, east of Buffalo Springs Reserve. Ewaso Nyiro River goes through the three reserves. In fact this river forms the boundary between Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves. Each reserve is run separately.

Samburu National Reserve is one of the areas in which Joy and George Adamson raised Elsa, the lioness of Born Free fame. Another famous lioness in this reserve is Kamunyak, who became popular for adopting oryx calf. Samburu National Reserve gates are Archers Gate and West Gate.

Best Time to Visit

The Samburu National Reserve is best to visit during the dry season, June to October...

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  • Game Viewing
  • Bird watching
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Plenty of elephant, hippo and crocodiles can be found in and around the waters of

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How to get there

Samburu National Reserve is situated 220 miles (355km) from Nairobi. You can self-

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