Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve is a less popular tourist destination located in Northern Kenya. The reserve is one of the best wildlife viewing destinations in Kenya as the animals are easily spotted.  The game reserve is found at the banks of River Ewaso Nyiro situated 350 kilometers away from the capital city of Kenya Nairobi.

The Samburu National Reserve covers an area of 165 square kilometers, it lies on an elevation of 800 meters to 1230 meters above sea level. Geographically the reserve is located in Samburu County. The reserve is well-known by the two conservationists Joy Adamson and George who raised the famous lioness that made the highest reputation of lions worldwide. The award-winning movie “born free” which was taken from Elephant Watch Camp. In talking about big cats, one recalls of the common lioness name Kamunyak, the only lioness well known for adopting Oryx calves.

Habitats of Samburu National reserve

If one enters Samburu National reserve through the Buffalo springs gate and Ngare Mara gate, one gets a clear view of the two mountains of Ololokwe and the Kitogoro mountain. Ewaso Nyiro River is a sole source of water to the reserve with its name meaning “brown water”. The vegetation around and along the river is Riverine forests mixed with Acacia and thorn trees. The reserve largest swamp is called Lorian Swamp which attracts more aquatic and large animals like Elephants and Rhinos who like staying in cool places especially during dry seasons.


The Samburu National Reserve is gifted by nature even if it’s the least visited park among the Kenyan parks and reserves but it has more wildlife than many. With different habitats at the reserve, it is a home of different animals and bird species. Most of the Kenyan big game are found in Samburu National reserve in abundance.

The reserve is also a home of the big cats including the shay rare Leopards, cheetahs, and lions. There are also the savannah plains animals like Giraffes, zebras, oryx, elephants, buffalo, gerenuk, warthog, baboons, gazelles, impala and many more. There are over 350 bird species in Samburu National reserve, some of them include Bee-eaters, different sunbird species, different Eagle species, starlings, hornbills, vultures and many more.

Climatic conditions

Samburu National Reserve lies in a semi-arid area with a moisture index of over 42 degrees hence meaning that the evaporation rate is very high. The day time is very hot and extremely hot during dry months and very cold during night hours. The daily temperatures range from 18°C to 30°C, the average annual rainfall is 355mm. The rainy season starts from late March to May and second rains in November while dry months start from June to October and short one from December to February.  

Activities in Samburu Game Reserve

Game drives: The guests can do both morning and evening game drive in search of African wildlife. The reserve has permanent residents like Elephants, Buffalos, lions and other wildlife.

Birding: Samburu National reserve has over 350 bird species of which some of them are migratory birds and others are not.

Cultural walks: Visiting the locals in their communities and participate in their cultural activities.

However much Samburu National Reserve is the least visited park in Kenya, it remains one of the most gifted reserves in the region. Visit Samburu National Reserve for the best African wildlife experience.


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