Samburu Buffalo Springs National Reserve


Samburu Buffalo Springs National Reserve : Samburu National Reserve is on the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro river in Kenya, on the other side of the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The Samburu national reserve is 165km2 in size and it is situated 350kilometers from Nairobi, the reserve ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230 m above sea level in Samburu county. Samburu National Reserve was established in 1985.The Reserve is a unique wildlife conservation haven famous for the abundance of rare species of animals such as the Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx and the reserve is also a home to a population of close to 900 elephants.

Buffalo springs National Reserve.

Buffalo springs national reserve is a protected area in the Isiolo county in the northern Kenya. The reserve was established in 1948 as a part of the Samburu Isiolo Game Reserve, and the present boundaries were established in 1985 and the reserve is managed by the Isiolo county council and most operators of Kenya safaris offers a visit to the reserve, which has several safari lodges and the safari camps.

Buffalo springs National Reserve consists more than a third of Kenya’s total land area, they are home to less than five per cent of the people, most of whom are hardy nomads. Buffalo Springs takes its name, and act as a magnet for large congregations of wildlife, especially in the dry season. (June to October and December to April). Favourite watering hole for the reserve’s buffalos, the springs also acts as a draw to literally thousands of sand grouse and doves. The reserve has a couple of seasonal rivers, the Isiolo and the Ngare Mara which flow into the Ewaso Ngi’ro.

The Buffalo springs national reserve is south of the Samburu National Reserve, which lies on the other side of the Ewaso Ngiro river, it was named after an oasis of clear water at its western end. The Buffalo springs national reserve has an area of 131 square kilometres (51 sq. mi) and is at an altitude of between 850 meters (2,790 ft.) and 1,230 meters (4,040 ft.) above the sea level.

Samburu Buffalo Springs National Reserve
Grevy Zebra

The reserve is a gently rolling lowland of old lava flows and volcanic soils of olivine basalt, the main feature is the Champagne Ride in the southeast, an ancient lava-terrace and the climate of the reserve is hot, dry and semi-arid.

Wildlife Highlights in Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

Buffalo National Reserve is one of the more reliable places in Kenya for leopard’s sightings, and the springs for which is named, perennial marsh fed by underground water attract plenty of wildlife in the dry season. There are decent wildlife densities in Buffalo Springs, and most safari animals can be spotted in a couple of days, several haunted leopards make their homes in the reserve and can be relied on for great sightings, rhinos are absent, but elephants are plentiful, and there is a good variety of antelopes including the greater and lesser kudu.

Several dry-county adapted mammals that occur in most Kenyan parks can be found here, the reticulated giraffe with its striking pattern is common, Beisa Oryx is particularly well adapted to arid conditions, The Gerenuk with its elongated neck, is able to stand on its hind legs and nibble hard-to-reach leaves. Both common Burchell’s zebra and the bigger Grevy zebra can be found alongside each other.

There are also other animal species like the Grant’s zebra, the African bush elephant African buffalo, lion, cheetah and hyena, and over 365 species of bird have been recorded in the reserve, and the river is a home to hippopotamuses and crocodiles, then Somali ostriches are widespread within the national reserve, it is larger than the Maasai ostrich’s and is distinctive for their indigo legs and neck.

The Flora or Vegetation in Samburu Buffalo National Reserve.

There is a narrow band riverine forest along the Ewaso Ngiro which includes Tana River Poplar, Doum Palm and magnificent specimens of Acacia elatior.

Vegetation includes the acacia tortilis woodland and large stretches of bushland dominated by commiphora. In some areas la0va rock is exposed, with scattered grass and shrubs, then other parts have alkaline grasslands with occasional springs and swamps. Here and there the’Desert Rose’ (Adenium obesum) is found in the scrub, with bright pink blooms. The Salvadora persica (tooth-bush tree) shrub provides food to elephants .and its twigs are used as toothbrushes by the nomadic Samburu people.

Attractions In Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

Bird species. There are various and also rare species such as the Somali ostrich, Vulturine guinea fowl, Abyssian ground hornbill, Egyptian vulture, black-faced sand grouse and among many species in the reserve.

Wildlife species. Here in the reserve there also many animal species that are present in many of Kenya’s protected area are variety within the Buffalo springs national reserve like the elephants, hippos, leopards, baboons, buffalos, gazelles, cheetahs, Nile crocodiles, Grevy zebra, Beisa Oryx, Reticulated giraffe, Gerenuk.

Samburu Buffalo Springs National Reserve
Beisa Oryx

Activities Done In Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

Guided nature walks. This involves the discovering the small and delicate details of the reserve in the company of a park ranger who also acts as a guide for the tourists.

Bird watching. This activity involves the watching and observing a variety of bird species found in the northern bush country and riverine forests in the national reserve and they include the Beisa Oryx, Bee-eaters, Martial eagles, African darters, Grey- headed king fisher, Somalia ostrich and among other species in the reserve.

Cultural Tours and visits. This is the interaction and socialization between the locals living in the reserve and the tourists which allows the locals to share more about their living styles, culture, languages to the tourists. These local communities around and within the Buffalo Springs includes the Samburu pastoralists who live in a semi- nomadic life and they occasionally pass through the reserve with their culture which at times drives away the wildlife.

Game viewing. This activity in Buffalo Springs is done in the open protected land available where the wildlife species move around freely between the reserves and among the livestock animals are sighted in Buffalo Springs on a game drive for example like the elephant, Beisa Oryx, Olive baboons, Gazelles, Leopards and among others.

Best Time For Wildlife Viewing In Buffalo Springs.

Buffalo Springs does not get a lot of rain and can be visited throughout the year, but the best wildlife viewing is in the Dry season from June to October, at this time, the vegetation is minimal and animals congregate around predictable water sources. April is the wettest Month, and wildlife viewing can sometimes be more challenging at this time.

Buffalo Springs offers the greatest wildlife watching opportunities which one would not miss out when he or she is a guest or a visitor during the Kenya Wildlife safaris, that is it’s the key area for seeing all the Kenya’s northern varieties including the Grevy zebras, Generuk, Antelope, Beisa Oryxes, Reticulated giraffes, Grant’s gazelles, Elands, greater and lesser kudus and also various bird species like Somali ostriches and among more.

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