Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve

Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve


Ewaso Nyiro is a river in Kenya which rises on the west side of Mount Kenya and flows north then east and finally south-east, passing through Somalia where it joins the Jubba River. The upper basin of the Ewaso River is 15,200 square kilometres (5,900 sq. mi), the river has a continuous water supply due to the glaciers on Mount Kenya. Ewaso Nyiro feeds into Lake Ol Bolossat, the only Lake in Nyandarua county and the larger in central Kenya to thrill while on Kenya Safaris .

Ewaso Nyiro crosses seven arid to semi-arid landscape, it is characterized by vastly different physiographic features and species and has become a fundamental component to the survival of the wildlife, as well as the expansion of human population and social economic developments. Water in the limited land resource provided by the Ewaso Nyiro watershed is unevenly distributed throughout the higher and lower regions of the catchment due to the large percentage necessary to maintain agricultural practises and climate changes in the area. The portion of the river that borders on the Samburu National Reserve has supported the wildlife there forexample the animals like the elephants, Grevy zebra. Reticulated giraffe, buffalo, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, gazelles, rhinos and many more, the river is permanent that is its feed on both the seasonal rains and as well as the glaciers of Mount Kenya.

The Ewaso Nyiro, is also known by the name of the Ewaso Ngi’ro or Ewaso Nyiro North, is the Kenya river born or finds its source on the western slopes of Mount Kenya and on the Aberdare range, in the central plateau, and flows first North, then to the East and finally South – East and finally South – East to head towards Somalia where it enters the Juba River. The Ewaso Ngiro River South flows from Mount Kenya to water the dry plains that stretch east from the great rift valley in Kenya, the upper basin of the Ewaso Nyiro, is the largest of the five reservoirs of Kenya, covers an area of 15,200 sq. km, though the river is the key element for the survival of many species of wild animals, but it also supports agriculture, and the economic development and population growth of the people living along its course, on its way through the arid and semi-arid lands of seven districts like Meru, Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa and Marsabit.

Ewaso Nyiro in local communities language means ‘brown river’ or the ‘muddy river’. In the arid Northern Kenya water means life and the waters of this river guarantee the survival of wild animals that are found in the Samburu National Reserve, in the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, the waters of the Ewaso Nyiro draw wildlife in great numbers to its banks, creating the oasis of green, Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves in Northern Kenya teem with wildlife in an otherwise arid area, because of the water of the river.

Ewaso Nyiro pours its waters in the downstream into the Lorian swamp, a vast marshy area, also the river supports the agricultural development that takes place along its banks through providing a reliable source of water for irrigating the crops in the gardens which also leads an increasing on the yield production for the farmers hence by making them to earn a living by improving on their standards of living. The ecological diversity throughout the catchment is unique to the Ewaso Nyiro watershed specifically, sit originates from the high agriculturally potent lands of Mount Kenya, right at Thome area of Nanyuki, Laikipia county that means the exact start point of this river is at the Thome village where it is formed out of the convergence of Naromoru River.

Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve
Elephants in River Ewaso

One of the tributaries is the Ewaso Narok that is near Nyahururu that gives life to the Thomson Falls that are 72 meters high and were discovered in 1883 by Joseph Thomson. In the arid north of Kenya it means life that is the waters of this great river draw wildlife in great numbers to its banks, creating an oasis of green

Best time to visit the Ewaso Nyiro River.

The convenient time to visit the Ewaso Nyiro is during the dry months of the year that is November and December that is the period when water is limited due to absence of rainfall or the short rains so that means that almost all the animals tend to congregate along the Ewaso Nyiro River which is perfect time for the game viewing, and visitors tend to be lower there.

How to get to Ewaso Nyiro.

Ewaso Nyiro can be accessed by both the road and flight means of transport from the Nairobi city up the river.

By Road Transport.

The distance is about 158 which km from Nairobi to reach the river which takes 2 hours and 36 minutes and average speed of 67km/hr.

Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve
River Ewaso

By Flight or Air Transport.

The distance from Nairobi to Ewaso Nyiro River takes 131.01km/81.4 miles/70.69 nautical miles, flight is the most convenient means of transport from Nairobi to Ewaso Nyiro River, which takes you the shortest distance that is it takes you only 45-50 minutes’ flight only.

The Ewaso Nyiro river flows down from Mount Kenya, that means that the river waters the dry plains in Kenya that stretches East from the Great Rift valley, its known that the sparsely populated plains are a haven for wildlife that means that the Ewaso Nyiro River depended on as the source of the water in those dry plains to the animals living down in the plains.

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