Samburu national reserve is located in the northern part of Kenya and is found in the rift valley province of Kenya and the south eastern part of Samburu district.

The reserve is also located about 345 kilometers away from Nairobi and Samburu national reserve is among the popular wildlife viewing destinations of Kenya. Samburu national reserve is also situated along the shores of the Ewaso Ng’iro river.

A number of wildlife species can be seen around Samburu national reserve include giraffes, gerenuk, oryx, elephants, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, buffalos, aardvark, antelopes, bushbucks, hartebeests, common elands, gazelles, impalas, dik dik, klipspringers, stripped jackal, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, warthogs, among others are found around the destination. There are also a variety of bird species which can be seen during a tour around Samburu reserve.

Samburu national reserve
Samburu Special Five

For a chance to see predators like lions during a Kenya safari Tour around Samburu national reserve, the water points are the best location to see these predators as they hunt for their prey which gathers to drink around the Ewaso Ng’iro river.

Samburu national reserve consists of acacia trees, doum trees, wild fig trees as well as savannah grasslands, hills, swamps and a riverine forest. The reserve also consists of conservancies such as the Kalama conservancy, the west gate community conservancy, and also Namunyak wildlife conservancy.

How to get to Samburu game reserve

During safaris in Kenya, you can access Samburu national reserve using gates which include the Archer’s gate, west gate, Kalama gate, Uaso bridge gate and also the central airstrip gate.

The Archer’s gate in Samburu national reserve is the main gate of the reserve and also the most developed gate for accessing the destination and it is located near the Archer’s post a few kilometers from the Marsabit highway and also on the main road from Nairobi.

The west gate when accessing Samburu national reserve is found on the western border of the destination. Kalama gate on the other hand is found on the northern side of Samburu national reserve and it is located in Kalama conservancy.

The Uaso bride gate is the fourth gate used to access Samburu national reserve during safaris and it is found on the southern banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river. This gate is used for tourists crossing the Ewaso Nyiro bridge from Buffalos springs national reserve.

You can access Samburu national reserve by road and also by air during Kenya safaris. Flights to the reserve land in the central airstrip which has daily flights to and from Nairobi as offered by airlines such as Air Kenya and also Safari link.

For those accessing Samburu national reserve by air the central airstrip gate is the best option. The drive from Nairobi to Samburu national reserve takes about 5 to 6 hours while the flight to the destination takes about one hour and a half.

Activities to do in Samburu national reserve

There is a lot to do when visiting Samburu national reserve including game drives, nature walks, cultural tours, hot air balloon safaris, horseback safaris, hikes, sundowners, bush meals among others.

  • game drives around Samburu national reserve

Game drives around Samburu national reserve during safaris are carried out at different times of the day and can also be done for a full day. There are morning game drives when wildlife species tend to be active making them easy to see during safaris and you can also take part in an afternoon or evening game drive around the destination in search of the different wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, lions, waterbucks, elands among others.

Samburu national reserve
Game Drives in Samburu

The morning game drives can start as early as 6:00 am and take about 2 to 3 hours of exploring the wilderness in search of the wildlife. During full day game drives around the reserve, after wildlife viewing in the morning, you take a lunch break before going for an afternoon game drive around the reserve.

The type of vehicle which is used for game drives around Samburu national reserve is the 4×4 safari land cruiser which can take up to about 6 passengers. safari vans are also used for tours around the destination.

  • Guided nature walks around Samburu national reserve

Another way to explore Samburu national reserve is by taking part in the guided nature walks. This activity involves walking on foot with a ranger guide and getting close to nature during a safari around the destination.

The nature walks can be done within the camp and also outside the Samburu national reserve. Walking within the camp takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour while walks done outside the reserve can take about 2 to 3 hours during safaris.

  • cultural tour

The cultural tour during safaris to Samburu national reserve involves interactions with the local community and visits to the villages.

The Samburu village tour experience costs about 30 USD to 50 USD and during this cultural tour, souvenirs such as local arts and crafts are also sold to the tourists. The Samburu have a nomadic way of life.

When visiting the village you can also enjoy seeing the beautiful jewelry such as earrings, shukas among others as you interact with the locals and get to know more about their way of life and culture.

The mentioned activities done during safaris around Samburu national reserve can be carried out at any time of the year.

Best time to visit Samburu national reserve

Safaris to Samburu national reserve can be done during different months of the year and the best time for the safaris is the dry season from June to October.

Samburu national reserve
Ewasio River

During the dry season wildlife species can be seen as they gather around the Ewaso river to drink which makes them easier to see during safaris around Samburu national reserve. For bird watching, the best month to go to the reserve is the months from November to April.

The two season which are experienced in Samburu national reserve include the dry season and the rain or wet season. During the dry season the weather is favorable and many tourists visit the reserve while during the wet season rains are received and the number of tourists on safari to Samburu national reserve is low.

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