Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve straddles the muddy Euaso Nyiro river and is one of the most picturesque parks of northern Kenya. Clusters of doum palms and acacia crowd the banks of the river and dry river beds that carve through the reserve. As the main source of sustenance, the river is a focal point for wildlife and birds, both of which are plentiful.

A wonderful morning can be spent just sitting in your open vehicle watching a family of elephants drinking, bathing and being sociable in the river. The baboons in this park seem to be particularly precocious and so antics involving the hard doum palm nuts and adolescent baboons scampering around on the banks of the river can provide endless entertainment. The park is hot and so activities are normally concentrated in the early morning and late afternoon, returning to camp for a big breakfast or hearty dinner.

The middle of the day is spent relaxing and birdwatching or snoozing in the shade. There are quite a few lodges here and so you will see minibuses around but your guide will know the main routes and it is possible to still enjoy a rewarding game experience without feeling part of a human migration. Buffalo Springs Reserve adjoins Samburu and a drive into this area can be a nice change of scene, focussing mainly around a series of fresh springs which act like a wildlife magnet in this arid territory.

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Samburu National Reserve's camps

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Vanessa Janion
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