Samburu National Park

All three reserves offer unique vistas of rounded and rugged hills and undulating plains. The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of animal and birdlife, buffalo springs records over 365 species of bird.

Wild game includes Reticulated giraffes, grevy’s zebras, elephants, oryx, Somali ostrich, hippos, crocodiles, gerenuk, buffaloes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. Shaba National Reserve is home to Joy Adamson’s Monument. It is notable for its hot springs. Samburu and buffalo springs, in particular, are popular tourist routes. There are three lodges in Samburu (total 270 beds), and one in Shaba with 178 beds and one tented lodge with 34 beds. There are a number of special campsites in each Park, favoured by the mobile tented safari operators. They have to be pre-booked. Shaba also has an airstrip.

Fact File

Altitude 2,500 – 4,000ft
Area Samburu 104 sq. ft. kms
Area Buffalo Spring 131 sq. kms
Distance from Nairobi 343 kms
Two airstrips
Opened 1985
Scenic Beauty, Rivers & Forest
Animals: Leopard, Hippo, Elephant, Lion
Permanent Springs
Rich Cultural Inheritance

Maralal and Laikipia Game Sanctuaries are also located in this area and can be visited by arrangement. Laikipia Plateau Reserve was opened in October 1991. It is north-east of Laikipia District, and borders Isiolo District. To the west is the Mkogodo Forest Reserve, a belt of riverine forests along the Ngare Ndare River. It is the home of a small unique ethnic group known as the Laikipia Maasai.

The landscape is rich and varied. There are elephants, elands, buffaloes, grevy’s zebras, bushbucks, and cats (cheetah, leopard and lion). It is good for birdwatching. It is a little known area which is ideal for the intrepid traveller. No accommodation is available in the area.