History of Samburu National Reserve

History of Samburu National Reserve : Samburu national reserve is a reserve that is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro river in Kenya. On the other side of the river there is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The reserve is the Ewaso Ngiro river flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests, it provides water without which the game in this arid region could not survive. The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness, made famous in the best-selling book and award-winning movie Born Free. Samburu National park is a home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting Oryx calves.

Samburu National reserve is located in the North of Laikipia, one of the less-visited areas in Kenya, this reserve promises an authentic wilderness experience. The traditional homeland of the Samburu people, this arid terrain features northern Kenya’s biggest river, Ewaso Nyiro. Samburu National Reserve is located in the rift valley province, Samburu county which covers an area roughly 21,000 km2 (8000 mi2) in the northern Kenya. Samburu national reserve was established in 1985, the reserve is 165km2 in size and situated 350kilometers from Nairobi.

The Samburu tribe lived in northern of the equator in the geographically fascinating Samburu county of Northern Kenya. The Samburu people are closely related to the Maasai tribe who also live in East Africa, both these tribes speak a similar language, derived from Maa.Samburus are known to have originated from Sudan, setting north of Mount Kenya and south of Lake Turkana in Kenya’s rift valley area, upon their arrival in Kenya in the 15th century, the Samburu parted ways with their Maasai cousins, who moved further south while the Samburu moved north.

Samburu National reserve is located in the Samburu district, North of the equator, at an altitude ranging from 800 to 1,230 meters above sea level and it covers an area of about 165-square kilometres, equivalent to 64 sq. miles. The reserve is part of a much large eco- system which includes the bordering Buffalo springs and Shaba National Reserve .Buffalo Springs covers an area of approximately 131 sq. km and Shaba covers an area of approximately 239 sq. km. Samburu is characterized by a desert and a semi-desert region with a dry and a warm climate, the southern border of the reserve is demarcated by the Ewaso Nyiro River, that is the only permanent source of water in this protected area, even during the dry season, from this river depends the survival of all the animals in the reserve. Samburu national reserve borders Shaba Game Reserve and Buffalo National Reserve and both are separated by Ewaso Nyiro River, this unique natural jewel covers 165 sq. km in size equivalent to 583 square miles.

History of Samburu National Reserve
Reticulated Giraffe

Samburu national reserve can be visited year-round, but wildlife watching, hiking, nature walks, camping and all among the other activities in Samburu National Reserve are usually done best in the dry months from June to October and December to March. It is wise and adversable to avoid the height of the wet seasons (November, April and May).

Count Telekis Companion Von Holnel visited this area currently Samburu national reserve, in the 60’s of the XIX century and described is as an area teeming with wildlife, especially buffalos and rhinos, in the following decades, it became a favourite hunting ground for many European hunters thus History of Samburu National Reserve.

In 1948, the current territory of Samburu National reserve became a protected area within the larger Marsabit National Reserve.

Rodney Elliot, senior ranger of the reserve, suggested to the Samburu District, in his opinion, the area North of the river Ewaso Ngiro should have become a reserve on its own.

Thanks to the foresight of the county council, the grant, even economic, of the privates and the financing received by the Trust Elsa, The Samburu National Reserve was established in 1962, in 1963 then the Minister of Local Governments decided that the National reserve was to be administered by the African District council of Samburu.

The Samburu National Reserve is one of the two areas, along with the Meru National park, where conversationalists George Adamson grew the famous lioness Elsa and then released her in the wild.

In this reserve in January 2002, it was observed an event that was incredible, a lonely lioness, who was given the name of Kamunyak, was spotted in the company of a puppy of fringed ears Oryx, or East Africa Oryx, it was realizes later that the lioness had adopted the puppy and took care of it if it belongs to her.

In the two following years, the lioness adopted other Oryx puppies but the reason for behaviour was never understood.

Samburu National Park has a quite number of animals like the three big cats that is the lion, cheetah and African leopard as well as the elephant, cape buffalo and hippotamus, other mammals frequently seen in the reserve are the olive baboon, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala and waterbuck, the Samburu national reserve has the northern rare animals that is the Gerenuk, Grevy zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Somali ostrich.

History of Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve

How to get to Samburu National Reserve.

Samburu National Reserve can be accessed into two different ways from Nairobi to Samburu National Reserve into two ways that is by road transport and by air transport.

By Road transport.

The most popular mode of transport to Samburu is by road. The distance varies from 310 km to 325 km depending on which gate or entry point of Samburu you want to access, typically it takes 6 hours to Archer’s Gate which is the main entry to Samburu national reserve thus History of Samburu National Reserve.

By Flight or Air transport.

Samburu National reserve is located about 310 km from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Flight from Nairobi to Samburu is a more convenient option, being only about a 1.5 hours’ flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to a variety of different airstrips in Samburu. Here the Safari link flies are the ones used from Nairobi to Samburu National Reserve.

Samburu National Reserve is characterized by an arid and semi-arid climate, is famous for the great variety of animals that can be seen and above all for the fact that some species can be observed only here in Samburu National Reserve, like the reticulated giraffe, Grevy zebra.

book a trip