Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve Overview

Samburu National Reserve, in northern Kenya, is a top-tier game reserve that sits on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro river and is a popular tourist destination for people taking safaris in East Africa. Extending for 165 square kilometers, this wild area is separated from Buffalo Springs National Reserve to the north by the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Rare animals like the Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, Reticulated giraffe, Gerenuk, and Beisa oryx can all be found in abundance in Kenya's Samburu Reserve, which is renowned as a wildlife conservation haven.

In addition, there are around 900 elephants living in the reserve. Samburu's pristine landscape, abundance of wildlife, and isolation make it an ideal destination for a private safari. There are over 450 different species of birds that have been spotted here, including the vulturine guinea fowl, lesser kestrel, and Taita falcon. The gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Grevy zebra, and beisa oryx are all found in Samburu, making it home to the rare northern special five.

Samburu National Reserve Flora & Fauna


Expert botanists have cataloged over two dozen plant species in Samburu National Park, but much of the reserve is overgrown with thorny shrubs. Samburu National Park is located in Samburu County at an elevation of 800–1230 meters above sea level. The park's central river, the Ewaso Ng'iro, winds its way through the park's doum palm groves and dense riverine forest, making for a stunning natural backdrop. Salvadora persica, Acacia tortilis, Acacia elatior, and the Down palms are the most typical examples.


The area is home to a plethora of wildlife, both land-based and airborne. Large game like the Grevy's zebra, gerenuk, oryx, and reticulated giraffe are common in the northern plains of Kenya. In addition to elephants, buffalo, and hippos, there are also Masai lions, Tanzanian cheetahs, leopards and many more. Nile crocodiles can be found in abundance in the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Samburu National Reserve is a birdwatcher's dream, with over 350 different bird species having been spotted there. Many different species of colorful birds, such as bateleurs, kingfishers, guinea fowl, Somali ostriches, marabous, and several species of vultures (including the palm-nut vulture), are available for your viewing pleasure.

Things to Do at Samburu National Reserve

Game Drives

The goal of a game drive on a safari is to see as many different species of wildlife as possible in their natural habitats. During the activity visitors can get a bird's-eye view of the incredible wildlife that calls the reserve home. The three big cats (lion, cheetah, and African leopard), as well as other animals, are among those you are most likely to see during your game drives, and other rare species found in the reserve.

Bird Watching

If you are interested in birds, the knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides would be delighted to show you 390 different bird species Samburu National Reserve has to offer. You will be amazed to see the abundance of resident and migratory birds like vulturine guineafowl, and golden-breasted starling from the Samburu National Reserve's Ewaso Nyiro river to Kalama's arid hills. You will also enjoy the ride through which you will observe these birds.

Meet Samburu People at Maasai Village

Spend some time in a real Maasai manyatta and learn about the culture of the most well-known and respected nomadic people in all of East Africa. The Samburu are a Nilotic tribe and semi-nomadic pastoralists who rely on herding cattle, sheep, goats, and camels for a means of life. They are incredible people who you cannot miss seeing on a Kenya safari in Samburu national reserve. Samburu people will welcome tourists like you interested in learning about their culture.

Nature Walks

A nature walk through Samburu National Reserve's landscape and scenery provides visitors with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get up close and personal with nature while also learning about the diverse wildlife that calls the reserve home. You can do so on a variety of trails that lead into the reserve while being accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and a trained and equipped ranger for their safety. Animals like hippos, elephants, crocodiles, and a variety of birds can be seen on nature walks along the riverbanks. Various routes lead into the Samburu National Reserve, where you can go on nature hikes under the watchful eye of a trained guide and an armed ranger.

Samburu National Reserve Tour Packages

2 Days Samburu National Park Safari

On this 2 day quick trip to the northern part of Kenya to visit the Samburu National Park. The park is teeming with wildlife, despite its low visitor count; you may expect to encounter lions, cheetahs, leopards, Elephants, and many more species in a short amount of time during one such game drive. During this tour you discover the Ewaso Nyiro River and its surrounding area that provide a haven for a wide variety of species.

  • Inclusions

    • One night accommodation in Sopa Lodge
    • Professional guides
    • All the meals
    • Bottled water
  • Price (in USD): 588 USD- 650 USD

3 Days/2 Nights Samburu Safari

This 3 day 2 nights trip starts in Nairobi and heads north to the semiarid Samburu National Reserve. During this tour you get to visit Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, where you get up close and personal with some really friendly elephants. You watch the elephants return from their stroll, fill their water bottles, and then play in a mud pit. They have rescue programmes and you can talk to the locals who operate the sanctuary to find out more about them.

  • Inclusions

    • Meals
    • Bottled Water
    • Entry/Admission fee
    • All transportation and game excursions in a 4x4 safari Land Cruiser.
    • Price: 2015 USD- 2065 USD
3 Days, 2 Night Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs Tour

Discover the highlights of Samburu and the nearby Buffalo Springs National Reserve in your knowledgeable guided tour for 3 days, 2 nights adventure trip. Therefore, this safari package lets you see a lot of wildlife and have some very memorable experiences in a less touristy setting. One of the most thrilling aspects of this safari in Samburu is the opportunity to see some of the region's quasi-endemic species, which have thrived in the region's drier, hillier climate.

  • Inclusions

    • Meals
    • Bottled Water
    • Entry/Admission fee
    • All transportation and game excursions in a 4x4 safari Land Cruiser.
  • Price: 458 USD- 500 USD

5 Days Samburu Private Lodge, Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru Safari

This private, multi-day excursion to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Lake Nakuru, and Samburu National Reserve allows you to visit some of Kenya's most renowned wildlife reserves over the course of the five days of your safari. Multiple game drives enable you to maximize your chances of seeing animals. You can also see lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, zebras, and elephants in their natural environments.

  • Inclusions

    • Meals
    • Bottled Water
    • Entry/Admission fee to all the national parks
  • Price: 2402 USD- 2500 USD

4-Day Samburu National Reserve and Nairobi Safari

This 4-day trip starts in Nairobi with a walking tour of the downtown business district. Spend the night in the middle of the Samburu reserve at the luxury tent camp Elephant Bedroom. Take part in incredible game drives and witness the leopard hunting for prey or the massive herds of elephants bathing in the Ewaso Nyiro River. The package is suitable for all guests and will guarantee a visit from the resident elephants.

  • Inclusions

    • All Meals
    • Park Entrance Fees
    • Transport in a 4*4 Safari Van
    • Game Viewing Drives
    • Nairobi City Tour
    • Entry/Admission fee
  • Price: 1002 USD- 1100 USD

Plan Your Visit to Samburu National Reserve

How to Reach
Best Time to Visit
What to Pack
Health and Safety Tips
  • By Air Several airlines provide service to Samburu National Reserve, with flights departing from Wilson Airstrip in Nairobi and landing at various airstrips in the reserve; the flight time from Nairobi to Samburu is around 1.5 hours.

  • By RoadLeaving Nairobi via the Thika expressway, continue on the Nyeri Katarina highway for another 12 kilometers until you reach Marwa Town, where you'll turn right. Karatina Town is located in the center of the region. Follow the main route north out of Nanyuki past Timau and on to Isiolo. The quickest route to the Thika Superhighway from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA Airport is via the Eastern Bypass, which can be accessed from the airport via the Ruiru Road Junction. It takes about 5.5 to 6 hours to drive from Nairobi to the entrance of the Samburu National Reserve.

From July to October, during the long dry season, are ideal for exploring Samburu Reserve. In your area, the skies are usually clear and blue, and the rain is rare. Because rainfall has been scarce, animals have flocked to the banks of the Ewaso River to refuel and drink.

  • The best option is a watertight backpack or a soft-sided duffel bag.

  • Long slacks and blouses with loose sleeves in neutral tones are recommended (khakis, beige).

  • Pack a cap and some shades.

  • Pack your binoculars, extra batteries, and camera.

  • You should also bring a water bottle and daypack.

  • Carry your medicines, and sunscreen lotion.

  • Carry insect repellants

  • Invest in adequate medical and travel insurance.

  • See if you need a special visa or passport to visit your intended country.

  • Prepare yourself with the proper immunizations, antimalarial drugs, and insect repellent (those containing DEET are most effective)

  • Keep your bags locked and valuables in carry-ons at all times.

  • It's a good idea to make copies of vital travel papers and save them online.

  • If you plan on going on open-air game drives, be sure to pack clothes that will keep you warm, shield you from the sun, and ward off mosquito bites.

FAQ’s of Samburu National Reserve

What activities can we do at Samburu National Reserve camps?

You can go on a game drive to watch different kinds of animals, meet the Samburu people, go for long nature walks and engage in bird watching.

How many days do you need in Samburu National Reserve?

4-5 days are all you need to tour the entire Samburu National Reserve as this is plenty of time to see everything the reserve has to offer, from its abundant wildlife to its breathtaking landscapes.

What is the best time of year to visit Samburu National Reserve?

It is recommended that you visit Samburu Reserve during the long dry season, which lasts from July to October as there is hardly any rain, and the skies are sunny and blue. Because there aren't many water sources due to the lack of rain, animals gather along the Ewaso River to drink and eat.

What facilities will I get in Samburu National Reserve camps?

The facilities you get in Samburu National Reserve camps include stays in luxury tented camps, private en-situ facilities, outdoor seating area, morning coffee and tea besides homemade meals.

Which are the best places to visit in Samburu National Reserve?

The best places to visit in Samburu National Reserve are the Elephant Watch Camp, elephant sanctuary, Shaba National Reserve, and Reteti elephant sanctuary.


The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners.

© 2024 All rights reserved.