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Samburu National Reserve

The Iconic Samburu

Palm groves and riverine forests, in the midst of arid and semi arid ecosystems, create the magnificent landscape of the Samburu National Reserve. This vast expanse of remote pristine wilderness is inhabited by iconic wildlife and a tranquil ambiance blankets this wildlife haven. Located in the North of Laikipia, one of the less-visited regions in Kenya, this reserve promises an authentic wilderness experience. The traditional homeland of the Samburu people, this arid terrain features northern Kenya’s biggest river, Ewaso Nyiro. Quenching the thirst of the abundant wildlife that roam this reserve, the Samburu people were lured to this area due to the reliability of the Ewaso Nyiro that provides water for their herds. The river courses through Samburu National Park, Shaba National Reserve and the Buffalo Springs National Reserve to the south.

LOCATION

Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Ewaso Nyiro River, which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

The reserve covers an area of 165 Km² and is located around 345Km from Nairobi.

Climatic Conditions

The Reserve lies within ecological zone V- which is classified as arid and semi- arid with moisture index of 42 to 57, which indicate that evapo-transpiration is greater than available moisture. The days are extremely hot while the nights are cool. The annual mean temperatures range between 18ºC and 30ºC, while the mean annual rainfall is 354mm with peaks in November and April. The dry season starts in late May, and goes up to early October during when large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water to the Reserve and the nearby communities.

Available games (and chances of seeing )

The reserve is reach in wildlife with fame for abundance in rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (Also referred as Samburu Special). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the Lion, Leopard and Cheetah are an important attraction (Kamunyak the Miracle Lioness that adapted the baby Oryx is a resident in the reserve). Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded. Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are species of global conservation concern and they both utilize the reserve.  Five species categorized as vulnerable have recorded in the reserve. These are African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle and the Yellow-billed Ox-pecker. Critically endangered species under CITIES – Pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is found in the reserve.

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