With beautiful landscapes and hundreds of animals, Samburu National Reserve guarantees the sort of game viewing you otherwise would only experience watching National Geographic. This park is 165 square kilometers big and is about a five to six-hour drive from Nairobi. It’s a great place to start your safari adventure since it has a semi-dry desert and savannah landscape. This allows for great visibility over the park and its river which attracts many animals.
Samburu is home to four of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo) and the Samburu Special Five (Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, Reticulated Giraffe and the Somali Ostrich). Only Samburu has all these rare animals in proximity of each other. Add to this picture the over nine hundred elephants in large families, and you know this is a spectacular park to visit.
Follow the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River for the best game viewing. It is the only source of water for many animals, especially during dry seasons. Wild dogs, Grevy zebras, gerenuks and Beisa oryxes come to drink here, while crocs and hippos use it to hunt for prey.
Another definite reason to visit is the Samburu people, a traditionally nomadic tribe related to the Maasai. They live in secluded bomas: little villages with a circular wooden fence. Their huts have rounded roofs made out of cowdung. Up to today, they live as pastoralists with mostly herds of cows, sheep or goats. As a break in between safaris, it’s possible to visit one of their bomas to get familiar with the traditional life of Samburu people.
Last but not least, the park is known for being home to Kamunyak, ‘the miracle lioness’. Her name means blessed one, and blessed she definitely was. She became famous for taking at least six baby oryxes under her care. Her story is one in a million!