Samburu, Buffalo Springs & Shaba National Reserves

Blistered with termite skyscrapers, cleaved by the muddy Ewaso Ng'iro River and heaving with heavyweight animals, this triumvirate of national reserves has a beauty that is unsurpassed, as well as a population of creatures that occur in no other major Kenyan park.


Despite being a small reserve, Samburu includes numerous habitats: Along the banks of the river you will find huge doum palms, fig trees and cactus while looking the crocodiles relax and the elephants take a mud bath as they go to the opposite bank. You will then see the classic semi-arid landscape of Northern Kenya with acacias and dry grassland that hides lurking felines watching herds of zebras and giraffes. And finally, a more rocky and barren landscape where an unsuspecting oryx is observed by a spotted hyena.

The mighty Ewaso Nyiro River is a huge drawcard for the wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains. Some of the rare northern species have made this area their home, and you've got a great chance to see the endagered Grevy's zebra, the blue-legged Somali ostrich, Reticulated giraffe, the long-necked Gerenuk, the shy Guenther's dik-dik and the Beisa oryx, these are the "Samburu Special Six"!


Large predators such as the Lion, Leopard and Cheetah are an important attraction (Kamunyak the famous Lioness that adopted a baby Oryx amazed naturalists all over the world!). Samburu is infact one of the better locations in Kenya to spot Leopard. Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area and Birdlife is abundant with over 450 recorded species.

The easiest mammal to spot (not only for its size) is definitely the elephant. 900 specimens live or spend part of the year in the reserve even in the driest periods.
Other mammals present in the reserve are: hyenas, caracals, baboons, monkeys, gazelles, dik dik, wild dogs, impalas, warthogs and many others.

There are also rock structures around the reserve, including the Koitogor and the sacred Ololokwe mountain, which create a magnificent amphitheater effect. On clear mornings it is also possible to see Mount Kenya in the distance.

Despite covering just 300sq km, the reserves’ variety of landscapes and vegetation is amazing.