Tourist Attractions in Samburu National Reserve

Tourist Attractions in Samburu National Reserve :  Samburu national reserve is a remarkable Kenya safari destination and a game reserve located in northern region of Kenya in Samburu County on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River. The park covers an area of 165 square kilometers and 350 kilometers from Nairobi the capital of Kenya, the reserve is famously known as the one of the two reserves where two conservationists George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness which was made famous in the best-selling book and award-winning move Born-Free.

Samburu national reserve is a beautiful destination with amazing destination to visit on a Kenya safari, the park is a home to a variety of tourist attractions and these include

The Samburu Special Five

 The Samburu Special Five are the highlight tourist attraction in Samburu national reserve, these species are cousins to the world-famous Big 5 and they are the reason to why most tourists visit the reserve. The Samburu Special Five are endemic animals to the Samburu ecosystem and they include the reticulated giraffe, the Somali Ostrich, the gerenuk, the Beisa Oryx and the Grevy’s zebra.

Tourist Attractions in Samburu National Reserve
The Samburu Special Five


On top of the Samburu Special Five, Samburu national reserve is a haven to a variety of wildlife species such as elephnats, lions, leopards, wild dogs, greater and lesser kudu among others. Because the reasonable population of wildlife in the reserve, Samburu national reserve is one of the great destinations to visit in Samburu national reserve for game viewing in Kenya.  Wildlife in Samburu national reserve can easily be spotted due to the less vegetation cover in the park, the animals are also easily spotted along the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River which is the only permanent water source in the region.


Samburu national reserve is one of the excellent birding destinations in Kenya with over 400 bird species, these birds include endemic species, resident species and migratory birds. Birds 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.

Tourist Attractions in Samburu National Reserve
Birding in Samburu National Reserve

Birds in Samburu national reserve is inhabit in a variety of habitats in the reserve including arid acacia savannah, scrub and galleries of forest along the Uaso Nyiro River.

The migratory birds arrive in the reserve in the period of November to April.

Samburu people

The Samburu People are one of the Tourist Attractions in Samburu National Reserve. Samburu people are the early inhabitants of the area presently known as the Samburu national reserve, these people used to graze their animals in the savannah plains of the reserve. The Samburu people are Nilotic People  and semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd livestock mainly cattle as a way of life, the also herd sheep, goats and camels.

The Samburu people are unmissable group of people during your Kenya safari in Samburu national reserve, the Samburu people are visited while on cultural/community visits in Samburu national reserve. These people are similar to the Maasai people and they are one of the few groups of people in the world with their culture, traditions and norms unattached/ destroyed by technology or modernity.

The Samburu people have fascinating way of life and culture such as

  • The beautiful bomas (huts) constructed using hides, mud and grass mats strung over poles, they build a fence around the mud huts for protection from wild animals.
  • Traditionally men look after the cattle, they are also responsible for their safety and for the whole trip
  • Samburu women are responsible for gathering vegetables and roots, caring for children and collecting water
  • Circumcision is one of the fascinating events in the traditions of the Samburu, this event grooms boys into a moran (worrior).
  • The Samburu have fascinating and exciting traditional dances and songs.
Tourist Attractions in Samburu National Reserve
Samburu people

How to get to Samburu national reserve

Samburu national reserve is located approximately 355 kilometers north of Nairobi the capital of Kenya, as a tourist o a Kenya safari you can get to the reserve by road or by air. By road it is a drive of approximately 6 hours from Nairobi, by air domestic chartered flights are offered from Wilson airstrip in Nairobi to Samburu airstrip.

When to go to Samburu national reserve for a Kenya safari

Samburu national reserve is a year round destination, the reserve receives no extremely intense rainy seasons meaning the risk of malaria is very low. The reserve is experiences the mid-year winter season is considered to be the best time to visit the reserve for a Kenya safari most especially game viewing, the winter season coincides with the peak safari season experienced from June to October which is a dry season. In this season the animals are easier to find and see and this is because most water holes dry up thus making animals to crowd the Ewaso Ngiro River which is a permanent water source feedig the reserve and its ecology.

Accommodation in Samburu national reserve

In Samburu national reserve there is a variety of accommodation facilities, these facilities are categorized as lodges and tented camps, permanent campsites, special campsites and public campsites.

Lodges and tented camps

  • Samburu Game Lodge
  • Samburu Larsens’ Camp
  • Samburu Sopa
  • Sasaab – The Safari Collection
  • Saruni Samburu Lodge
  • Samburu Intrepids
  • Elephant Watch Camp
  • Elephant Bedroom

Permanent campsites

  • game trackers
  • lion king safari

Special campsites

  • doom palm campsite
  • von derdecken (hornbill) campsite
  • grevy campsite
  • impala campsite

Public campsites

  • vervet monkey
  • butterfly
  • kigelia
  • kingfisher

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