Samburu National Reserve

Size: 165 sq km (64 sq miles)

The Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and is bordered to the south by Uaso Nyiro River, which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.  The main entrance (Archer’s Gate) is 345 km (214 miles) from Nairobi.

Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser known national parks, nevertheless it is teeming with life.  Situated alongside Ewaso Nyiro River, there is plenty to attract wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains.

There are various activities for visitors while residing at the reserve, including game drives, bird watching, sundowners, bush breakfast, nature walks, river rafting (depending on the river water level) and the Samburu cultural experience.


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 (sometimes referred to as Samburu Special Five).  The reserve has over 900 elephants and many large predators such as the lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dogs, along with over 450 recorded species of birds.  Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx is a resident in the reserve.


The climate is arid and semi-arid with hot days and cool nights.  The annual mean temperature is between 18°C (64°F) and 30°C (86°F) and the annual mean rainfall is 345 mm (13.5 inches) peaking in November and April.

Best time to visit: All year round.