How To Get To Samburu National Reserve

How To Get To Samburu National Reserve  : Samburu Game reserve is a rewarding Kenya safari destination located in the Samburu district approximately 310 kilometers from Nairobi the capital of Kenya and a starting point to most of the safaris to Samburu national reserve and other Kenya wildlife destinations.

Samburu national reserve is a memorable destination to visit while on a Kenya safari, for visitor of a Samburu safari the park is accessed by either road or by air.

From Nairobi City, it is a drive of approximately 5- 6 hours to Samburu national reserve using Thika Superhighway Road. Using road is the most popular means of transport to get to Samburu national reserve and also adds on to your adventure as you enjoy scenic views of the country side.

Flying is the most convenient  way to get to Samburu national reserve and it is only about a 1.5 hours flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to several airstrips serving the Samburu.

How To Get To Samburu National Reserve

By Road from Nairobi to Samburu

Road is the most popular mode of transfer to get to Samburu national reserve from Nairobi, from Nairobi it is a varying distance from 310 kilometers to 325 kilometers depending on which gate or entry point you are using to access Samburu.

In time of journey, it is a drive of about 6 hours to Archer’s Gate which is the main entry to Samburu national reserve. Route used to get to the reserve is the Thika Superhighway headout from Nairobi city, keep on the Nyeri Karatina Highway and turn right at Marwa Town – about 12 kilometers from Katarina Town. Head North out of Nanyuki via Timau and towards Isiolo, basically staying on the main road.

Note: if you are leaving from JKIA Airport, use the Eastern Bypass to connect to Thika Superhighway at Ruiri Road Junction to cut out of the City traffic. Once ay Archer’s Post, just drive a few kilometers off the highway to Archer’s gate.

 Driving Times to Samburu national reserve

Nairobi – Samburu’s Archer’s Gate – 5.5 – 6 hours

Road Conditions

While planning to go to Samburu national reserve for a Kenya safari, one of the most asked questions by the visitors is the road conditions. Most used route to Samburu national reserve is a tarred road starting with highway A104, B3 and finally C12 except for the last section which is approximately 1 hour.
The Tarmac potion of this tarmac road is a sub standard condition in certain places with a few stretches with potholes and last unpaved portion can be bumpy and dusty, which adds to the adventure of getting to the African wilderness.

Safari Vehicles

Safari vehicles commonly used to get to Samburu national reserve are of two types that is Land Cruiser (4X4 safari jeeps or Land Rovers) and Safari Van (Safari Tour Minibuses), these vehicles are generally used in East Africa safaris.

These two type of vehicles have built in, pop-up game viewing roof hatches which the Driver opens once in the park on a game vehicle in the reserve, these vehicles also features UHF Radio Calls and Cooler Boxes.

The Tour vans cost less than the 4 Wheel drive safari jeeps (Note that some tour vans also come with 4×4 wheel capability), albeit with the lack of ground clearance or off road ability that comes with a land cruiser.

How To Get To Samburu National Reserve
How To Get To Samburu National Reserve

These vehicles have a seating capacity of 7 passengers maximum with 6 being ideal and 8 passengers being the limit with an extra seat fitted into the vehicle.

Note: Luggage restrictions apply.

Flights to Samburu national reserve

Flying to Samburu national reserve is the most convenient way and is perfect for visitors who do not want to spend more time of driving and those with little time for the safari.

Daily domestic flights are offered from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to several different airstrips serving Samburu, these flights are operated by several airlines.

From Nairobi it is a flight of approximately 1.5 hours to get to Samburu, the same flight usually turns around back to Nairobi after dropping off or collecting passengers from a number of airstrips in Samburu.

 Like noted above, flights to Samburu national reserve take off from Wilson airport in Nairobi and you need to be at the airport about 45 minutes prior to the flight.

Flights to Samburu national reserve are offered by two main airlines that is Air Kenya and Safarilink, these 2 airlines have reliable service and credible safety record.

How To Get To Samburu National Reserve
Air Kenya

Samburu national reserve flight schedule

  • Morning flight : Depart Nairobi at 09: 15 am – arrive at Samburu at 10:45 am
  • Return morning flight: Depart Samburu at 10:55 am – arrive in Nairobi at 12: 40 pm.

Airstrips To Samburu national reserve

In Samburu national reserve and surrounding game ranches and conservancies, there are several airstrips accommodating flights. These airstrips are spread out in different parts of the reserve purposely to serve lodges and camps in close proximity to them, this is done so as to cut down transfer time from the airstrip to the hotel.

Commonly used airstrips in Samburu national reserve include

  • Kalama Airstrip
  • Buffalo Springs Airstrip
  • Buffaloes Springs Airstrip

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