Samburu National Reserve is a wildlife conservation area located in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Spanning 165 square kilometers and situated around 345 kilometers from Nairobi, the reserve is home to a variety of wildlife species, including the reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, and gerenuk, among others. Visitors can also see predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs, as well as a wide variety of bird species.
Additionally, the reserve is home to several indigenous communities, including the Samburu people, and visitors can learn about their culture and way of life through cultural tourism programs. Samburu National Reserve is a must-visit destination for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.
Samburu is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, offering a variety of exciting activities and attractions. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Samburu:
Wildlife Watching: Samburu is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, including the reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, and gerenuk. Visitors can also spot predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs, as well as a wide variety of bird species.
Cultural Tourism: Samburu is also home to several indigenous communities, including the Samburu people, who have a unique culture and way of life. Visitors can learn about their customs, traditions, and daily life through various cultural tourism programs.
Game Drives: One of the best ways to see wildlife in Samburu is through a game drive. These guided tours take visitors through the park in search of the various animal species that call it home.
Nature Walks: For a more immersive experience, visitors can take a guided nature walk through the park. This is a great way to learn about the park's flora and fauna, and to get up close to some of the smaller wildlife species.
Bird Watching: With over 450 bird species recorded in Samburu, the park is a paradise for bird watchers. Some of the bird species that can be spotted here include the Somali ostrich, martial eagle, and vulturine guineafowl.
Camel Safaris: For a unique and memorable experience, visitors can take a camel safari through the park. This is a great way to experience the park's landscape and wildlife from a different perspective.
Overall, Samburu offers something for everyone, whether you're a wildlife enthusiast, cultural explorer, or simply seeking adventure in the great outdoors.
Here are some reasons why Samburu should be on your travel bucket list:
Unique wildlife: Samburu is home to several unique species of wildlife that you won't find in other popular safari destinations. These include the gerenuk, Somali ostrich, and reticulated giraffe, among others.
Exclusive experience: Samburu is less crowded than other popular safari destinations, which means you'll have a more exclusive and intimate experience with nature. You won't have to compete with as many other tourists to see wildlife, and you'll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the reserve in peace.
Cultural experience: Samburu is also home to the Samburu people, who have a unique culture and way of life. Visitors can learn about their customs and traditions, and even participate in cultural activities like dancing and beadwork.
Spectacular scenery: Samburu is located in a semi-arid region, which means it has a unique and striking landscape. Visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the Ewaso Ng'iro River and the rugged hills that surround the reserve.
Adventure activities: In addition to traditional game drives, Samburu offers a variety of other adventure activities like walking safaris, camel rides, and night game drives. These activities allow visitors to experience the reserve in different ways and get up close and personal with nature.
Overall, Samburu is a great destination for travelers who want a unique and exclusive safari experience, as well as an opportunity to learn about a new culture and explore a beautiful and rugged landscape.
Samburu is located in northern Kenya, about 350 kilometers north of Nairobi. Here's a guide to getting there:
By air: The easiest way to get to Samburu is by air. There are daily flights from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to Samburu's airstrip, which is located inside the reserve. The flight takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
By road: If you prefer to travel by road, you can take a matatu (shared taxi) or a private car from Nairobi to Samburu. The journey takes about 5-6 hours, depending on the condition of the roads.
Private transfer: You can also arrange for a private transfer from Nairobi to Samburu. This is a more comfortable and convenient option, as you'll have a driver and a private vehicle to yourself. The journey takes about 5-6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Once you arrive in Samburu, you can explore the reserve by taking game drives, walking safaris, or camel rides. There are also a variety of accommodations available, ranging from luxury lodges to tented camps.
Samburu is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including several unique species that you won't find in other popular safari destinations. Here are some of the animals you can expect to see while wildlife watching in Samburu:
Elephants: Samburu is known for its large population of elephants, which can be seen in herds along the Ewaso Ng'iro River.
Lions: Lions are also a common sight in Samburu, and you may even see them hunting along the riverbanks.
Leopards: While leopards are notoriously elusive, they can sometimes be spotted in the rocky outcrops that dot the reserve.
Cheetahs: Samburu is one of the best places in Kenya to spot cheetahs, which can often be seen hunting or resting in the grasslands.
Giraffes: Samburu is home to several species of giraffe, including the reticulated giraffe, which has a distinctive pattern of large, interconnected spots.
Zebras: Zebras can be seen grazing in the grasslands and drinking from the river.
Crocodiles: The Ewaso Ng'iro River is home to a large population of crocodiles, which can be seen basking on the riverbanks.
Gerenuk: The gerenuk is a unique antelope species that can be found in Samburu. It has a long, slender neck and is known for standing on its hind legs to reach high branches and leaves.
These are just a few examples of the wildlife you can expect to see while wildlife watching in Samburu. The reserve is also home to several species of birds, reptiles, and other mammals, so there's always something new and exciting to discover.
The best time to visit Samburu depends on your preferences and what you hope to see while you're there. Here's a guide to the best time of year to visit Samburu:
Dry season (June to October and January to February): The dry season is the best time to visit Samburu if you want to see wildlife concentrated around the Ewaso Ng'iro River. During this time, the vegetation is dry and sparse, making it easier to spot animals as they come to the river to drink. The weather is also cooler and less humid, making it a more comfortable time to visit.
Wet season (November to December and March to May): The wet season is a beautiful time to visit Samburu, as the vegetation is lush and green and the river is full. However, the wet season can also make it more difficult to spot wildlife, as animals are more dispersed and the vegetation is thicker. The weather is also hotter and more humid, so be prepared for higher temperatures.
Birding season (October to April): If you're a birding enthusiast, the best time to visit Samburu is during the birding season, which runs from October to April. During this time, migratory birds from Europe and Asia flock to the area, making it a paradise for bird watchers.
Overall, the best time to visit Samburu depends on your interests and what you hope to see while you're there. However, if you want to see wildlife concentrated around the river, the dry season is generally the best time to visit.
Samburu offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget, from basic campsites to luxury lodges. Here are some options to consider:
Budget: For budget accommodation, you can stay at one of the campsites located within the reserve. These campsites offer basic facilities, such as toilets and showers, and are a great option if you're looking for a more rustic experience. Some popular campsites include Samburu National Reserve Campsite and Samburu Sopa Lodge Campsite.
Mid-range: If you're looking for mid-range accommodation, there are several lodges and tented camps located within the reserve. These options offer comfortable rooms or tents, as well as amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and bars. Some popular mid-range options include Samburu Intrepids Tented Camp and Samburu Sopa Lodge.
Luxury: For those seeking a more luxurious experience, there are several high-end lodges and tented camps located within the reserve. These options offer luxurious rooms or tents, as well as amenities such as spas, private plunge pools, and gourmet restaurants. Some popular luxury options include Elephant Bedroom Camp and Sasaab Lodge.
No matter what your budget or preferences, there is an accommodation option in Samburu that will meet your needs. Keep in mind that booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel season.