BIRD WATCHING IN SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
Bird Watching in Samburu National Reserve : Samburu National Reserve is agame reserve in Kenya and one of the less known Kenya Wildlife destinations teeming with plenty of birds, the reserve is situated along the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu county in the northern region of Kenya. Samburu reserve is adjusting to Buffalo Springs national reserve which is situated on the other side of the river, from Nairobi the capital city of Kenya and a thriving tourism centre the reserve is in a distance of 350 kilometres.
Bird Watching in Samburu National Reserve.
Samburu National reserve, the reserve protects a variety of habitats, home to different bird species including arid acacia savannah, scrub and gallery forest alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, the dry, open country offers very rewarding birding opportunities and boasts a number of northeast African dry-county species shared with Ethiopia and Somalia such as the Vulturine, Guinea fowl, Somali bee-eater, golden- breasted starling. The Samburu National Reserve comprises of a scenic landscape which is dominated by the semi – arid savannah vegetation cover which extends to river Ewaso Nyero, riverine forest along the river and the dry acacia shrubs, the reserve’s landscape also consists of Koitogor hill, this hill is situated in the middle of the reserve, and the park’s landscape is also drained by river Ewaso Nyiro which is a perfect spot to view a huge population of birds that live in the reserve.
Samburu National Reserve is one of the excellent bird habitants in Kenya, hosting over 390 recorded bird species including the Acacia tit, Bare-eyed thrush, African palm swift, Ashy cisticola, Black Bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Brown-tailed rock chat, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Chestnut weaver, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, Fisher’s starling, Golded pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel, Grey wren-warbler, Hunter’s sunbird, Lanner falcon, Mariqua sunbird, Northern brownbul, Palm-nut vulture, Pink breasted lark, Pygmy batis, Red-billed parrot, Red-necked falcon, Red-winged lark, Reichenow’s seedeater, Rosy-patched bush-shrike, Secretary bird, Singing bush lark, Somali bee-eater, Somali ostrich, Spotted palm-thrush, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Vulture Guinea fowl, White-headed moosebird, Yellow-vented eremomela and among many more.
Somali ostrich is a native bird of horn of Africa Somali that is why they say are called Somali Ostrich and they are one of the birds you will encounter in Samburu National Reserve, Somali Ostriches are similar to other ostriches but their appearance slightly differ as the skin on the neck and the thighs are blue in colour, in the reserve Somali ostrich is the unique bird species there, the Somali ostriches are omnivores but tend to favour roots, leaves and seeds, they diet also consists of lizards, locusts, snakes and rodents. They eat sand and pebbles which aid digestion of food inside their gizzard.
These birds in Samburu National Reserve usually feeds on the insects the insects they come across with, birds as well feeds on the fruits and the seeds that are found in the trees near or close to the reserve, hence making birds fascinating is that they have a striking dance where a male and femakkeface other.
Best time for birdwatching in Samburu National Reserve.
Samburu is a bird watcher’s delight all the year, many unusual, dry –country specials reside here and can be spotted year around, migratory birds arrive into the reserve from November to April, also one important consideration is the weather, as heavy showered can mess up your birding palms that is November and April receive the most rainfall.
Requirements used in bird watching in Samburu National Reserve.
For everyone who wants to go further in afield to observe and spot various bird species needs a comprehensive list of equipment which is recommended that follows; The Field Guides, Birding apps for Smartphones, Binoculars, spotting scopes, Nesting Boxes with cameras, Online Forums and among other requirements according from the choice of a bird watcher.
How to get to Samburu National Reserve.
The reserve is situated in the southern corner of Samburu district and lies in a distance of 345 kilometres from Nairobi, it is amazing reserve and it can be easily accessed Kenyan safari destination using road and air means of transport.
By Road transport.
Most safari to Samburu reserve start from Nairobi a Kenya safari capital, using road transport both private and public means of transport are used and it is a drive of about 6 hours to the reserve.
By Air transport.
Here domestic chartered flights to Samburu from Wilson airport in Nairobi to one of the three airstrips serving the reserve, these include Buffalo springs airstrip, Kalama airstrip and Samburu Oryx airstrip. Flights to Samburu are offered by the Safari Link and Air Kenya.
Samburu National reserve has the best bird watching destination in Kenya with various bird species in the reserve on the other side with the rarest and unique bird specie which can be found only in the Samburu National Reserve that is the Somali Ostrich, the reserve as well has the favourable bird spotting positions which makes bird watching easier in the reserve by identifying the bird that is its appearance, colour and among others.