Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Ewaso Nyiro River, which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
The reserve covers an area of 165 Km² and is located around 345Km from Nairobi.
The Reserve lies within ecological zone V- which is classified as arid and semi- arid with moisture index of 42 to 57, which indicate that evapo-transpiration is greater than available moisture. The days are extremely hot while the nights are cool. The annual mean temperatures range between 18ºC and 30ºC, while the mean annual rainfall is 354mm with peaks in November and April. The dry season starts in late May, and goes up to early October during when large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water to the Reserve and the nearby communities.
Available games (and chances of seeing )
The reserve is reach in wildlife with fame for abundance in rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (Also referred as Samburu Special). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the Lion, Leopard and Cheetah are an important attraction (Kamunyak the Miracle Lioness that adapted the baby Oryx is a resident in the reserve). Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded. Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are species of global conservation concern and they both utilize the reserve. Five species categorized as vulnerable have recorded in the reserve. These are African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle and the Yellow-billed Ox-pecker. Critically endangered species under CITIES – Pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is found in the reserve.
It is safe to swim in the sea and swimming pools, but it is not recommended to do so in lakes, rivers and open reservoirs as they may be infested with bilharzia parasites. Drinking water from these places is not advisable. Tap water is safe to drink unless otherwise indicated.
Samburu can be visited year-round, but wildlife watching is usually best in the dry months from June to October and December to March. It is wise to avoid the height of the Wet seasons (November, April and May). During these months, spotting wildlife (which has spread out anyway with the availability of water) in the long grass is more challenging.