Samburu National Reserve
But despite the active wildlife here, the reserve gives off a sense of tranquility and a peaceful feeling. Some attribute this to the fact that Samburu is relatively remote and initially was inaccessible as other parks developed. It is also a land of magical possibilities – this was one of two regions in which Joy Adamson raised and nurtured Elsa the lioness, whose story was told in the book and movie, “Born Free”. Samburu was also home to another renowned lioness, Kamunyak (“Blessed One”) who is famous for having adopted at least 6 oryx calves. She fought off predators to save her young orphans as seen in the film, “Heart of a Lioness”.
Named for the indigenous Samburu people, whose villages border the reserve, Samburu is out of the way yet presents visitors with so much to see and do.
SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE HIGHLIGHTS
- Arid, dry and desert-like are terms to describe the climate here. Average temperatures are around 30oC (85oF). The rainy season runs from March through May with a shorter wet season in November and December.
- From the main entrance of Archer’s Gate, the reserve is 345 km (214 mi) from Nairobi, about a 5 hours’ drive. Samburu is located in the Rift Valley Province. The Ewaso Ng’iro River borders the park to the south, separating it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
- December through March and July through October are the driest months and the best for visiting, but Samburu is also enjoyable in the wetter seasons.
- The geography and climate of Samburu guarantees lots of wildlife viewing, especially during the dry season. It’s a bird lover’s paradise.
- Take an easy river safari in an inflatable raft on the Ewaso Ng’iro.
- The Samburu are a nomadic, herding people similar and related to the Maasai. They also dress in the same manner with blankets and beads. Visit a local Samburu village, meet the people, learn about their lifestyle and perhaps purchase some souvenirs of your experience
- Just south of Samburu Reserve on the opposite side of the Ewaso Ng’iro river lies Buffalo Springs, named for an oasis here. Similar wildlife can be found near an ancient lava terrace called the Champagne Ride.
- To the east of Samburu and Buffalo Springs is Shaba Reserve. Greener than Samburu, the reserve is an area of dramatic forests, woodlands and volcanic formations, especially the Shaba Hill Volcano.
- The largest natural spa on the continent, it has been described.