Primate Holidays

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve is a renowned safari destination in the whole of East Africa, Samburu National Reserve sits in Northern Kenya and is known as a leader game reserve situated on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river, this enormous portion of untouched pure wilderness measures 165 square kilometres in area and borders the Ewaso Ng’iro River to the south, which distinguishes it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. In addition to containing close to 900 elephants, Samburu National Reserve is a unique wildlife safari conservation haven known for its abundance of rare or northern animal species like the Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, and Beisa Oryx. The reserve also has large predators like lion, leopard, and cheetah, which are important attractions (Kamunyak), the famous lioness that adopted a baby. In the reserve, wild dog sightings are a frequent draw, and there are over 450 bird species that have been identified.

Samburu National Reserve is regarded as the most important reserve not only in Kenya but also in all of Africa. It is made up of a number of conservancies and group ranches that border the main reserve, including the Kalama Conservancy, West Gate Community Conservancy, and Kamunyak Wildlife Conservancy.

Attractions in Samburu National Reserve.

 Samburu special Five.

Samburu Special Five, who are distant relatives of the famed Big 5, are the main draw for tourists in Samburu National Reserve. They are also the main reason why most people go there. The reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, and Grevy’s zebra are the five indigenous creatures that make up the Samburu Special Five and the Samburu special five are only found in this reserve on a Kenya safari. 

Shaba National Reserve. 

To the east of Samburu and Buffalo Springs national parks in northern Kenya is the Shaba National Reserve; the three reserves combined make up a sizable protected region. The Shaba reserve is a home to spectacular landscapes such river-side woods, strewn woodlands, and dry grasslands that are all dominated by the Shaba Hill Volcano. The abundance of species depends on waterholes and marshes that are dispersed throughout the reserve. In Samburu National Reserve, Shaba Reserve is home to the uncommon and endangered William’s lark and the endangered Grevy’s zebra.

Samburu People. 

One of the major attractions in Samburu National Reserve is Samburu people. Samburu people were the first settlers in the region that is now the Samburu national reserve, and they used to graze their animals in the reserve’s savannah plains. Samburu people are Nilotic and semi-nomadic pastoralists who raised sheep, goats, and camels in addition to cattle as a way of life.

Samburu people, who are similar to Maasai people and are one of the few people groups in the world with their culture, traditions, and norms unattached/destroyed by technology, are a great safari attraction that one should not miss during your Kenya safari in the Samburu national reserve.

 Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.

One of Kenya’s first community-run wildlife organisations, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is located in the nearby Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy. The sanctuary’s animal keepers are dedicated to saving, rehabilitating, and rewilding orphaned and abandoned elephant calves as well as other wildlife. When you arrive at Samburu National Reserve, it is absolutely worthwhile to see this elephant orphanage on the safari.


Without the unique five, Samburu National region is a paradise for a variety of wildlife safaris. The region is home to many different animal species, including elephants, lions, and leopards, greater and lesser kudu, and wild dogs. Ewaso Ng’iro River, the only permanent water source in the area, wildlife in Samburu National Reserve can be seen while on a safari in Kenya because it provides a perfect spotting. Samburu National Reserve is one of the best places to visit in Samburu National Reserve for game viewing.

Grant gazelles, Impalas, Waterbucks, Dik-dik, Hippos, Olive Baboons, Warthogs, Cape Buffalo, Hyenas, Elands, Jackals, Klipspringer, Mongooses, and bats are also found in the Samburu-Laikipia Ecosystem. And as well the wild dogs can be seen. There are now known to be over 390 different species of birds.

Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve


With over 390 kinds of birds, including indigenous species, resident and migratory birds, Samburu National Reserve is one of the best places in Kenya for a birding safari. The bird species in the reserve includes Bare-eyed thrush, Brown-tailed rock chit, Fischer’s starling, golden pipit, Batis pygmy, Lanner falcon, secretary bird, rosy patched Bush-shrike, Somali ostrich, Acacia tit, African palm swift, Black-bellied sunbird, Chestnut weaver, Brown-tailed rock chat, Bare-eye thrush and among many others can be sighted in Samburu National Reserve.

Activities to do in Samburu National Reserve. 

Game Drives. 

Samburu Special Five, which includes reticulated giraffe, Gerenuk, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, and Beisa Oryx, as well as a variety of other animals like lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, and Nile crocodiles, can all be seen while game driving in the northern region of Kenya on various marked trails through the park’s semi-arid landscape. Ewaso Nyiro River is the main source of water in the region and is frequently frequented by numerous animals who come to drink and cool off in the water. The best time for game viewing in Samburu National Reserve is during the dry season, which lasts from the months of June to October and December to March.

Bird watching. 

Samburu National Reserve is a top birding safari destination in Kenya, ideal for birders looking for an exhilarating Kenya birding experience. The park is a home to over 390 different bird species that live in a variety of habitats throughout the reserve, including acacia savannah along the Ewaso Nyiro River. Samburu also offers rewarding birding opportunities because it shares a number of species with Ethiopia and Somalia in the region of north-east Africa. The bird species that can be spotted on a birding safari to the reserve includes the Lanner falcon, Greater kestrel, Mariqua sunbird, Palm-nut vulture, Pink-breasted lark, Pygmy batis, Red-necked falcon, secretary bird, African palm swift, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Brown-tailed rock chat Vulturine guineafowl, Spotted palm-thrush, Yellow-vented eremomela, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Singing bush lark. From November to April, when migrating bird species arrive in the reserve, is the perfect time to go on a bird viewing safari in the Samburu National Reserve.

Nature walks. 

Samburu National Reserve in Kenya is a fantastic place to go on nature walks because of its semi-arid landscape, which is traversed by the Ewaso Ng’iro River, a reliable source of water for the region. On nature walks along the river’s banks, you can see animals like crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and a variety of bird species while on foot, with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide and an armed ranger for safety.

Camel Safari. 

A memorable safari experience is riding through the African wilderness on horseback, especially in areas like Samburu National Reserve. A camel ride is a fantastic substitute for a regular game drive since it allows you to get up close and personal with animals like Grevy’s zebra, ostriches, and giraffes that you may otherwise miss. Camels have long been a common sight in northern Kenya. Camels are peaceful creatures. Safaris with camels are very flexible. There are several options, including a lengthier camel safari with a fly tent in the bush and a two-hour roundtrip with sundowners in between.

Cultural encounters.

Samburu are a Nilotic people and semi-nomadic pastoralists who depend on herding cattle, sheep, goats, and camels as their way of life. They are the Samburu people that tourists should not miss out on during the cultural interactions safari in the Samburu National Reserve. These people are visited for a cultural experience; they reside in the settlements that line the reserve’s boundaries. The majority of the Samburu people’s food is mild, and they obtain their blood from their cows. Their homes, known as manyatts or huts, are made of hide, mud, and grass mats strung over poles. You can enjoy cultural dances and songs while visiting the Samburu people, watch the circumcision ceremony, and participate in a traditional marriage on a cultural tour in Samburu National Reserve.

 Best time to visit Samburu National Reserve. 

Samburu National Reserve is best visited between June and October and between December and March during the dry season for animal viewing safaris. Compared to rainy season, when there is an abundance of water, animals rarely need to go in search of water, and the high grass makes it harder to detect them. By contrast, it is easier to spot animal species that congregate near water holes during the dry season.

Despite being a year-round location for birding safaris, the greatest time to go bird watching is from November to April because this is when many migrating species arrive in the reserve. When thinking about a safari to the reserve, it is important to keep in mind that these months see heavy rainfall.

Where to stay in Samburu National Reserve.

There is a wide range of accommodation facilitates to stay during your safari in Samburu National Reserve and they include the lodges, hotels, tented camps, permanent campsites, special campsites and public campsites as they are categorized into luxury, mid-range and budget for instance Samburu Game lodge, Samburu Sopa, Samburu Larsen’s Camp, Saruni Samburu Lodge, Samburu Intrepid, Elephant Bedroom, Lion King Safari campsite, Grevy campsite and many more in Samburu National Reserve.

How to access Samburu National Reserve.

Both air and road transport are available from Nairobi to Samburu National Reserve. As a visitor to a Kenya safari, you can get to the Samburu National Reserve via road, where the drive takes around 6 hours from Nairobi, which is located about 355 km to the north of the reserve. Additionally, the flight denotes the availability of domestic chartered flights between Wilson Airfield in Nairobi and Samburu Airfield.

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