The Samburu National Reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river in Kenya; on the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve in Northern Kenya. It is 165 km² in size and 350 kilometers from Nairobi. Geographically, it is located in Samburu District of the Rift Valley Province.
Rugged and remote, with the same faunal structure, these wildlife reserves, with a total area of 428 sq. km, lie just within the fascinating semi-desert Northern Frontier District of Kenya. The tranquil Uaso Nyiro River, flowing through Shaba and Samburu, attract a wide number of rare wildlife and provides a natural habitat for crocodile. Long necked gerenuk, Grevy´s zebra and reticulated giraffe are species not found in the less arid areas to the south. Elephant seek solace and contentment in the shallow waters of this wide sauntering river, fringed with acacia, down palms and tamarind, which together with Buffalo Springs, support a large variety of African mammals, cheetah and leopard being particularly well represented. Doves and guinea fowl abound and the giant Martial Eagle perched on some high vantage point.
The past volcanic intensity of the area is demonstrated by the formidable lava flow at the southern end of Shaba (its name comes from a cone of volcanic rock). In the middle of the reserve, the Ewaso Ng’iro flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests that provides water without which the game in the reserve could not survive in the arid country. The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free.
The Samburu National Reserve is also the home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting oryx calves.Samburu National Reserve can be entered via the Ngare Mare and Buffalo Springs gates. Once inside the reserve, there are two mountains visible: Koitogor and Ololokwe. Samburu National Reserve is very peaceful and attracts animals because of Uaso Nyiro River (meaning “brown water” and pronounced U-aa-so-Nyee-ro) that runs through it and the mixture of acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation. The Uaso Nyiro flows from the Kenyan highlands and empties into the famous Lorian Swamp.
The natural serenity that is evident here is due to its distance from industries and the inaccessibility of the reserve for many years. There bed wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its ts unique dry-country animal life: All three big cats, Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, can be found here, as well as Elephants, Buffalos and Hippos. Other mammals frequently seen in the park include Gerenuk, Grant’s Gazelle, Kirk’s Dik-dik, Impala, Waterbuck, Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa Oryx and Reticulated Giraffe. Rhinos are no longer present in the park due to heavy poaching.
There are over 350 species of bird. These include Somali Ostrich, Kingfisher, Sunbird, Bee-eater, Marabou Stork, Tawny Eagle, Bateleur, Guinea fowl and Vultures. The Uaso Nyiro River contains large numbers of Nile crocodile. With a magnificent background of jagged, purple mountains, a safari in these small gems in the wildlife wilderness, will provide some of the best and most colorful game viewing in the country. Make Samburu National Reserveyour next destination.