Samburu and Buffalo springs safari destinations are national reserves adjacent to each other only separated by the Ewaso Ng’iro river in Northern Kenya. Samburu National reserve is 165km squared while Buffalo springs is 131km squared. It was established in 1962 and it is run by the local Samburu tribe through the county governments of Marsabit and Isiolo respectively.
The Ewaso Ng’iro river attracts wildlife to these reserves. The eco system is arid and this is one of the few places that the wild animals can get the life sustaining water. The brown waters of this river gives it the name and it originates in the Aberdares. The doum palms and riverine forests set a great contrast against the commiphora dominated hilly back drops making it a perfect wildlife and landscape photography safari destination.
Both Buffalo springs and Samburu National reserves boast of hosting the Samburu special five which are, the endangered grevys zebra, the baisy oryx, the reticulated giraffe, somali ostrich and the gerenuk. These are Northern Kenya specials that you will encounter only in the Northern hemisphere. There are also other wild animals like the African elephant. It is common to see them wallowing of the banks of the river or crossing the river which is a perfect setup for classic elephant photography. The big cats too call this great ecosystem home. Lions leopards and cheetahs roam the “streets” in search of resting places or hunting. The smaller cats too like the caracal are not to be left out, wild dogs on a lucky day or even the rare striped hyena. It is in Samburu National reserve where we had Kamunyak “the blessed one” the famous lioness who adopted at least 6 oryx calves.
The birdlife in this ecosystem is amazing and whether a keen bird watcher or not the beautiful colours will bring you to a halt every once in a while. May it be the woodpecker up in the trees or the Somali bee eater hunting on the wing, the beautiful red and yellow barbet on a gigantic termite mound or the African harrier hawk gliding above will all be seeking your attention. There are well over 350 different species.
The Area is generally warm and is a great travel destination most of the year other than the rainy season (March to May)
Things to do
Other than the game drives , there are cultural visits to the Samburu villages where you get to interact with the local people who have preserved much of their culture. Learn their ways of life.
Came treks with the Samburu people are also offered and is a great way of exploring the area
A day hike to Mt Lolokwe for the enchanting views of the magnificent landscapes.
A visit to Reteti elephant elephant sanctuary and learn more about the rescue care and community conservation initiatives for the gentle giants of Africa