Covering approximately 21,000 Km2 in northern Kenya, Samburu County is a real find for wilderness enthusiasts. Although the region is known for its hot and dry climate, it has plenty to offer in terms of attractions. The county lies north of the Ewaso Ng’iro (Nyiro) River and south of Lake Turkana. So, expect to see some of the best wildlife in Kenya. The main access is the Rumuruti-Maralal road.
Samburu National Reserve
The county’s biggest sell is the Samburu National Reserve. If you would like to see the wilderness during your Kenyan visit but want something less crowded than Amboseli, then this is it. Due to its location, the reserve didn’t receive as many visitors in the past, which left it largely undisturbed. Granted, the wildlife population is not close to what is available at the Mara or Amboseli, but you won’t regret it. Samburu National Reserve is accessible through the Ngare Mare and Buffalo Springs gates.
Tourists get to see some unique animals. The river attracts a wide display of wildlife, from herds grazing to solo adventurers. Samburu National Reserve is home to the big five. Therefore, you can hope to run into elephants – the reserve hosts almost 900 of them, lions, cheetahs, and leopards. If you venture close to the water source, hippos, buffalos, and impalas are some of the animals you might find wandering about. The muddy waters are the ideal hunting grounds for Nile crocodiles. If you are lucky, you can catch one in action.
The beauty of Samburu National Reserve is that you can sight some rare species. Have you ever wanted to see a reticulated giraffe? Then this is the best place to discover one. Spot a generuk or a Somali Ostrich or a beisa oryx.
Samburu is a bird lover’s paradise. The reserve boasts more than 450 recorded bird species. Whether you are new to bird watching or a veteran ornithologist looking to expand your experience, then you will appreciate what the region has in store. From vulturine guinea fowl to kori bustards to sunbirds, the Samburu National Reserve is a treasure trove.
Besides the dry-country fauna, the park provides stunning scenery. Two mountains are visible from the reserve, Ololokwe, and Koitogor. They contribute to the serene surroundings. The blend of riverine forest, acacia, and grassland vegetation create picturesque vistas that will have you staring into the distance for a good while.
The Samburu National Reserve might be the county’s main charm, but it’s not the only one. While here, explore what else the region offers.
South of the Samburu National Reserve is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, with its gentle plains and volcanic soil. It’s one of the places you can see the endangered Grevy’s Zebra. The reserve is also a habitat for various other wildlife, including the African bush elephant, African buffalo, and gerenuk.
Matthews Range, The Matthews or Lenkiyio Hills is a mountain range that received a forest reserve status in 1964. It stretches about 150 km in length, with its highest peak, Warges, measuring 2,688 m. The range has a few elephants, but its real value is the diverse forest.
For visitors who prefer other activities besides sightseeing, the Ewaso Ng’iro is ideal for river rafting. You can also interact with the Samburu people, who promise to make your visit unforgettable. The Samburu are nomads, who are confused with the Maasai due to their similar cultures. Spending some time with the locals can enrich your visit to the region dramatically. Learn about their way of life; their delicacies, language, and social activities. Browse through souvenir shops to find something to remind you of the marvelous experience you had.
Samburu is a jewel that you should take time to discover and enjoy.