SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK
Samburu National Reserve is situated on the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River in the dry northern reaches of Kenya. It is a hot and arid area characterized by a parched landscape of hills and plains.
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 presence, however, of the river - and its shady trees - attracts plenty of wildlife. Giraffe, buffalo, waterbuck and zebra (including the endangered Grevy's zebra) from the surrounding savannah plains trek to the water.
Lion, leopard and cheetah are also quite easy to spot, thanks in part to the lack of grass cover. Samburu is also home to large herds of elephants, and the reserve is well known for providing the opportunity to see wildlife that only lives in the dry north of Kenya.
For the birders, around 365 species have been recorded and the river area is particularly rewarding. Across the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. A bridge connects the two, and they are often grouped together by tour companies. Nearby is the swampy wilderness of the Shaba National Reserve.
The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free.
The reserve is also home to elephants and large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah. Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx was as 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.