Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser-known national parks in Kenya safaris, but is nevertheless teeming with life. Situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is plenty to attract wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains.
The reserve lies within ecological zone V – which is classified as arid and semiarid with a moisture index of 42 to 57, which indicates that evapo-transpiration is greater than available moisture. The days are extremely hot while the nights are cool.
The dry season starts in late May, and goes up to early October when a large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water to the Reserve and the nearby communities.
The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx also referred to as Samburu Special Five.
The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah are an important attraction (Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx is a resident in the reserve).
Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450
species recorded. Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species.
The Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are species of global conservation concern and they both utilize the reserve. Five species categorized as vulnerable have also been recorded in the reserve.
These are the African darter, great egret, white-headed vulture, martial eagle and the yellow billed ox-pecker. The critically
endangered pancake tortoise is also found in the reserve.
Wildlife – Rich in game with many rare species. Game includes Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, beisa oryx, elephants, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and over 450 species of birds.