Samburu (165 sq kms) and Buffalo Springs (131 sq kms) National Reserves are located approximately 300 Kms north of Nairobi. They are divided only by the shallow waters of the Ewaso Nyiro river. They are separate reserves as they fall under different districts (Samburu and Isiolo), but they are similar in habitat and wildlife as they are part of the same ecosystem. The habitat consists of semi-arid bush and savannahs interspersed with Flat-top Acacias and Doum palms, where animals roam free and wide over a huge territory which extends beyond the borders of the reserves. During wet months they spread towards the north into community lands and the Matthews Range, south to Laikipia District and East to Shaba National Reserve.
The Ewaso Nyiro River and its riverine vegetation attract wildlife for water and shade. Commonly seen are huge herds of Elephants, Leopards and Lions. This ecosystem hosts some dry-country adapted species or subspecies which can all be easily seen here and not in other parks, such as the Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, the Gerenuk, the Beisa Oryx and the Somali Ostrich. Elephants are plentiful and it is fantastic to watch them as they come daily to the river to bathe and drink. Samburu is also extremely good for sightings of Leopards and Lions, on the rocks or along the river. It is also a heaven for birdwatchers, with different species of Barbets, Weavers, Hornbills, Finches and Raptors providing ample variety for keen bird watchers and photographers.
Visitors to this part of the country should not expect the same concentration of animals as in the Mara, due to the dry habitat. However, photographic opportunities are generally plentiful, thanks also to a good network of tracks that covers both reserves extensively.
Contact us if you want to plan a safari to these magnificent reserves or to organize an extension of other scheduled safaris.
See the full photo gallery of Samburu.