Samburu National Reserve Activities

Samburu National Reserve Activities : Samburu national reserve is an incredible national reserve in Kenya located in Kenya’s Samburu County on the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River neighboring Buffalo Springs National Reserve on the other side of the river. From Nairobi, the reserve is situated about 350 kilometers.

Samburu national reserve was established in 1985 covering an area of 165 square kilometers, the reserve is famously as one of the two areas in which conservationists George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness which was made famous in the best-selling book and award winning movie “Born Free”. Samburu national reserve is also a home to Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting Oryx calves.

Samburu national reserve is a very rewarding Kenya safari destination offering a number of many amazing activities to do while on your safari visit, these activities include


Samburu national reserve is one of the best destinations in the northern region of Kenya to do game viewing, the reserve is famed for the Samburu Special Five and a variety of other wildlife species which are used to living in the arid plains. The Samburu special 5 are the highlight of the game viewing experience and game drives can never be complete without spotting some of them, the Samburu Special 5 that are Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa Oryx, reticulated  giraffe, Gerenuk and Somali Ostrich are called so because they are rare species and found in no other destination in Kenya. Game Drives are also other Samburu National Reserve Activities

Game drives in Samburu national reserve are conducted on various marked trails running through the semi arid landscape of the park and from the comfort of your safari vehicle with open windows you get to spot a number of animals such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, Nile crocodiles, and the Samburu Special Five among others.

The best sight for game viewing in Samburu national reserve is at the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River, this river is the main water source in the area and it is frequently visited by a lot of animals to drink and cool off in the water. The best time to visit Samburu national reserve for game drive (game viewing) is during the dry season experienced from June to October and December to March.


Samburu national reserve is a prime birding destination in Kenya perfect for birder who to have an exciting Kenya birding experience, the park hosts more than 390 bird species inhabiting in the variety of habitats scattered around the reserve that is acacia savannah and gallery forests alongside the Ewaso Nyiro river. Samburu national reserve offer very rewarding birding opportunities as it boasts a number of north east African dry-country species which are shared with Ethiopia and Somali.

Samburu National Reserve Activities
Birding in Samburu National Reserve

Some of the birds to lookout for during birding in Samburu national reserve include 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, Fischer’s starling, Golden 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-bellied 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, Vulturine guineafowl, White-headed mousebird and Yellow-vented eremomela among others.

The best time to visit Samburu national reserve for is during the period of November to April when migratory bird species arrive in the reserve.


Samburu national reserve is a fascinating Kenya destination for nature walks, the park has a semi arid landscape which is crossed by the Ewaso Ng’iro river the permanent source of water in the area. Nature walks are mainly conducted along the banks of the river where you will see animals such as hippos, elephants, hippos, crocodiles and many birds. Nature walks in Samburu national reserve are done in the presence of an experienced guide and an armed ranger for security purposes, this activity is done on variously trails running through to the reserve.


The Samburu people are amazing people you can miss visiting during your Kenya safari experience in Samburu national reserve, the Samburu are Nilotic people and semi-nomadic pastoralists depending on herding cattle, sheep, goats and camels as a way of life. The Samburu people live in the communities along the boundaries of the reserve and they are visited for a cultural experience,  these people speak  Maa language and still have their old traditions and customs.

The Samburu people’s diet comprises of mostly milk and blood they get from their cows, the Samburu settlements are called manyattas/huts constructed using hide, mud and grass mats strung over the poles. The huts have a fence protecting the community of usually 5 – 10 family members, in the Samburu cultural setting it is the role of men to protect the community and the whole tribe. The responsibility of women is to gather vegetables, roots, caring for their children and collecting water.

Samburu National Reserve Activities
Samburu People

While visiting the Samburu people, you will be entertained by cultural dances and songs, witness the circumcision ceremony and traditional marriage. In the Samburu culture and traditions once boy has been circumcised he is now considered a moran (worrior).


There is a variety of accommodation facilities to stay at during your Samburu safari, these facilities are lodges, tented camps, permanent campsites, special campsites and public campsites. These accommodations are categorized as luxury, midrange and budget and they include

  • Samburu Game Lodge
  • Samburu Larsens’ Camp
  • Samburu Sopa
  • Sasaab – The Safari Collection
  • Saruni Samburu Lodge
  • Samburu Intrepids
  • Elephant Watch Camp
  • Elephant Bedroom
  • game trackers campsite
  • lion king safari campsite
  • doom palm campsite
  • von derdecken (hornbill) campsite
  • Grevy campsite
  • impala campsite
  • vervet monkey campsite
  • butterfly campsite
  • Kigelia campsite and kingfisher campsite among others
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