Airstrips in Samburu : Samburu national reserve is one of the lesser known national reserves (protected areas) in Kenya but very rewarding to visit, this is because the reserve is a home to an astonishing population of wildlife including the Samburu Special 5. These specials are unique to the regions and they are the reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk and the blue legged Ostrich.
One of the ways to get to Samburu national reserve is by flying, this is the most convenient and efficient way to get to the reserve to enjoy a Kenya safari adventure. In Samburu national reserve there are two main and well known airstrips that are Kalama and Buffalo Springs serving the reserve and the neighboring conservancies. Domestic flights to Samburu national reserve are scheduled twice daily from Nairobi to Samburu, these flights are operated by several airlines serving this route such as Airkenya and Safarilink.
As a traveler intending to go to Samburu national reserve by flights, it is very important to know which airstrip to use to fly to Samburu. It is very crucial to fly to the airstrip nearest to your accommodation, this is to avoid unnecessary long transfers which can add on to your cost of a Samburu safari.
Some of the most commonly used airstrips in Samburu national reserve include Kalama, Buffalo Springs and Oxyx Samburu, below are the details to which lodge and camps served by each of the airstrip.
Kalama Airstrip, Samburu
Kalama Airstrip is a private airstrip situated near the headquarters of the Kalama Conservancy Headquarters, this airstrip is designated for private chartered and commercial landing flights.
The geographical coordinates of Kalama Airstrip are
N 0°41’39”, 37°36’45” E (Latitude: 000-41-40.668N (0.694630); Longitude: 037-36-46.4832E (37.612912).
Kalama airstrip mainly serves the Saruni Rhino Camp situated inside Kalama Conservancy and several safari lodges and camps neighbouring the conservancy.
Buffalo Springs Airstrip
Buffalo Springs Airstrip is located inside Buffalo Springs National reserve, this airstrip is mainly used by the camps and lodges situated inside Buffalo Springs national reserve including Ashnil Samburu camp and Samburu intrepids Camp.
The geographical Coordinates of Buffalo Springs Airstrip are 0°32’06.5″N 37°31’47.0″E.
Samburu Oryx Airstrip
Samburu Oryx Airstrip is situated within the Samburu national reserve, because of its convenient location it serves all the properties located within the reserve and those situated just outside including Samburu Sopa Lodge, Elephant bedroom camp and Elephant Watch Camp.
Coordinates for the Samburu Oryx Airstrip are latitude -1.299666 and longitude 35.058746 ( Latitude DMS: 1°17’58.8″S, Longitude DMS: 35°3’31.49″E).
Wilson Airport, Nairobi (Code WIL)
Wilson Airport found in Nairobi along Langata road is a domestic airport, it is situated close to Carnivore Restaurant and on the way to Karen and Nairobi National Park. Wilson airport is relatively small but fairly busy and efficient, the operates most of the domestic and scheduled flights to most of Kenya safari destinations.
From Nairobi city center, it is 20 minutes transfer time traffic free but more like an 45 minutes in normal traffic. Most of the local flights require that you be at the airport atleast an hour before the flight.
Schedule of flights
Typically, all the main airlines offer morning and afternoon flights with the same aircrafts returning back to Wilson after every flight, from Wilson Airport to Samburu national reserve flight time is approximately 1 hour though actual time depends on the number of stops the flight will make. Stops are made to drop and pick up passengers from various airstrips, these stops are also known as hops.
Most flights limit stops to the fewest possible so that the flight time of one hour to Samburu national reserve is practically fairly accurate. There are connecting flights from Samburu to Masai Mara via Nanyuki during the peak season.
Below is the flight schedule
|Flights||From||To||Departure time||Arrival time|
|Morning flight||Samburu||Masai Mara||10:05||11:30|
High season: 16 December – 31st March and 1st July – 31st October
Low Season: 1 April – 30 June & 1 November – 15 December
Additional during peak season
Due to the sheer volume of passengers flying to Samburu national reserve during the peak season months that is from July to October, airline companies such as Safarilink and AirKenya introduce additional Midday flight service so as to handle the increasing passenger numbers.
Note: In the peak season booking your flight as early as possible so as to secure seats.
Airlines operating flights to Samburu
Flights to Samburu national reserve are operated by several airline companies including Air Kenya and Safarilink, these air companies have an excellent safety record and operate to high standards with professional staff to handle the clients.