Samburu National Reserve

Samburu national reserve is one of the most popular reserves in Kenya located in Samburu County and characterized by riverine forests and acacia woodlands on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river, the reserve covers an area of 165 kilometers squared with an altitude ranging from 800 to 1230 m above sea level.

Samburu national reserve is one of the best places to view the big five and .Any other bird species, Koitogor hill is one of the reserves attractions, one of the most unique things about the reserve is that it’s home to the“Kamunyak” a lioness famously renowned for adapting Oryx calves.

The Ewaso Ng’iro River is the main water supplier at the reserve where animals are seen in large numbers during the dry seasons, the name of the river means brown water

Activities at the reserve

Game viewing

Samburu national reserve boasts with four of the big five animals within the reserve some of the animals to be seen are; leopards, lions, elephants, generuk, zebras, giraffes, lesser kudus, Beisa Oryx, Kirk’s Dik Dik, hippos, Tanzanian cheetah, impalas, water bucks, warthogs, olive baboons and many other animals some like the rhinoceros have been extinct due to heavy poaching by the Samburu people.

Bird watching

The Samburu national reserve is endowed with over 350 species of birds some of this are migratory birds while others are residential, examples of some of the birds at the reserve are; Verreaux eagle, northern red billed hornbill, yellow necked spurfowls, grey headed kingfisher, bee eaters, sunbird, vulturine guinea fowl, bateleurs, palmnut vulture, lilac breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starlings, Marabous stork and tawny eagle among others


Tourists can hike up to the Koitogor hill and have a thrilling experience with panoramic views of the reserve and see lots of primates.

Visit the Ewaso Ng’iro River

Tourists can go to the Ewaso Ng’iro River and have a crocodile experience; the river is always streamlines with numerous crocodiles.

Nature guided walks


Best time to visit

The reserves climate is semi arid making it favorable for visiting but he best months are in June to September and from January to February, during this time the big five can easily be seen as the vegetation is not thick and the grass is short.

Where to stay

There are a number of accommodation sectors of where to stay while at Samburu reserve, some of this include; Umoja campsite, Grande hotel, Sirikoi, Meru slopes hotel, Ashnil Samburu camp, Sentrim Samburu lodge, Samburu intrepids luxury tented camp, Sarova Shaba game lodge, Ikweta country inn and Alba hotel among the rest.

How to get there

Samburu national reserve can be accessed by road or by air, there are scheduled flights from Nairobi to Samburu airstrip, to reach the reserve by road takes about 6 hours covering a distance of 355 kilometers squared. If you’ve done a combined safari with Nakuru national park, it’s approximately five and half hours drive from the Nakuru.

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