samburu national reserve

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve: Highlights

Samburu National Park lies in the north of Kenya, where the flat greenness of the rest of the country starts giving way to arid scrubland, kopjes and immense rocky outcrops, all centred on the meandering Ewaso Ngiro River. Far from being dull, this extraordinary landscape supports animals uniquely adapted to the drier, rockier conditions. The reserve is a haven for elephant and predators like lion, leopard and wild dog. The Samburu birdlife is abundant with over 450 recorded species like vulturine guineafowl, lesser kestrel and the taita falcon.

For animal and safari lovers, one of the biggest and most exciting reasons to visit Samburu are the quasi-endemic species found here that have adapted to the more arid and hillier conditions: - Gerenuk or giraffe gazelle, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, Reticulated giraffe and Beisa Oryx.

Samburu National Reserve: In Pictures

Experience Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu National Reserve is an excellent option if you’ve been to Kenya before or are looking for more of an off-the-beaten-path destination that still has plenty of creature comforts. It's a very rewarding safari destination that offers unique experiences and excellent game viewing. There are direct flights from Nairobi’s domestic Wilson Airport and if you are coming from Lewa or Laikipia, then it is possible to do a road transfer (although it is fairly lengthy). Flying between destinations gives you more time on safari (tracking animals) and is also far less tiring than being driven.

Samburu is considered a gem among discerning safari goers because it is relatively uncrowded. Unlike Amboseli, it attracts few self-driving visitors over weekends or during school holidays, it also never reaches the fever pitch of the Masai Mara during the Migration, when thousands arrive to view the spectacle (that is why we prefer to stay in private conservancies in the Mara). You may have to work harder to find sightings but, when you do, the reward is that much sweeter and you’re likely to have few other vehicles around you. The big cats are found here as are unusual species like gerenuk.

Where to find Samburu National Reserve

Birdlife at the Samburu National Reserve

There have been more than 390 bird species recorded in Samburu and Buffalo Springs national reserves. The reserves protect a variety of habitats, home to different bird species including arid acacia savannah, scrub and gallery forest alongside the Uaso Nyiro River. The dry, open country offers very rewarding birding opportunities and boasts a number of northeast African dry-country species shared with Ethiopia and Somalia, such as vulturine guineafowl, Somali bee-eater and golden-breasted starling.

Samburu is a bird watcher’s delight all year. Many unusual, dry-country specials reside here and can be spotted year-round. Migratory birds arrive into the reserve from November to April. One important consideration is the weather, as heavy showers can mess up your birding plans – November and April receive the most rainfall.

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