Remote, hot and arid

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu is remote, hot and arid with rugged hills and undulating plains. And like most wildlife areas in such environments Samburu’s life blood is the Ewaso Ngiro River, and its riverine forests, which forms its boundary with the Buffalo Springs National Park.

This is one of the few areas in Kenya where you can spot southern and northern dwelling species together with highlights being reticulated giraffe, the long necked gerenuk, Somali ostrich and Grevy’s Zebra. Samburu was one of the homes of Elsa the Lioness, star of the bestselling book and award winning movie Born Free.

Samburu National Reserve is a park in the Samburu area, located in the Rift Valley province of Kenya. The Samburu tribe, who are known for their nomad way of life, lives in this park. As the park is located in a remote area and as it was inaccessible for many years, there is a overal serenity and natural calm. Besides many wild animals, many different species of bird live in Samburu as well.

Samburu is about 350 km from Nairobi and covers an area of about 105 km2. In the southern part of this park you will guaranteed find most of the Kenyan animals, like cheetha, lion, leopard, impala, buffalo, hippo, zebra, giraffe and different species of antelope. During the dry season most animals will gather around the Usaso Nyiro River, as this is the most important source of fresh water. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can spot elephants near the river. You can also find the Nile crocodile in the river. Samburu National Reserve is also a paradise for birdlovers, as over 350 different species of bird are registrated. 

Try to visit one of the local Samburu villages as well, where you have the opportunity to meet the Samburu people. You will find them in their traditional life environment, so you can really experience their culture. You also have the opportunity to buy some traditional Samburu souvenirs or art. If you do this, you contribute to the local economy! 

Best time to travel to Samburu

The months of December through March and July through October are dry, making them by far the best months to visit the Samburu National Reserve, this is when the wildlife viewing is at its prime.


Animals that roam in Samburu Game Reserve include leopard, giraffe, elephant, hippo, zebra, hyena and the occasional lion and cheetah. Samburu is know as the leopard destination of Kenya.

Special interests? Talk to us and we can include these in your itinerary.


National Parks & Highlights

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Kenya has almost 50 different national parks. It makes it the most diverse African safari destination.

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African Travels will send you to the most beautiful and unique accommodations in Africa. They are not only runned by excellent staff, they also give back to the local community and operate as eco friendly as possible. Located in the most beautiful locations, they will contribute to the your ultimate safari experience.

From tented safari camps to luxury boutique hotels. We will make sure they tick all the boxes!

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The Sands at Nomad – Kenya

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A luxurious stay at The Sands at Nomad on the dazzling shores of Diani Beach provides the ultimate beach getaway!

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp – Kenya

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In central Kenya’s Laikipia region lies the atmospheric Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, a great base from which to explore this amazing conservancy.

Severin Safari Camp- Kenya

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Severin Safari Camp is a family-friendly camp located in Tsavo West National Park, the biggest game reserve in East Africa.


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