Samburu National Reserve

National Parks

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve lies in the Northern part of Kenya. Count Telekis Companion Von Holnel, visited the area in the early 1860s and described it as teeming with game especially buffalos and rhinos. The Waso Nyiro became renowned early this century as “big game country” and attracted such famous hunters as Arthur Neumann who set up a camp on the site where Samburu lodge now stands.

Samburu National Reserve is one of the 56 protected areas in Kenya. It is famous North of the equator because of the richness of flora and fauna; it can be reached through Nairobi-Isiolo-Marsabit road and Maralal-Wamba-Isolo road. Lying on the flood plains and bottom land of Waso Nyiro drainage system in the Great Rift Valley. It rises to an altitude of 2785 ft above sea level and covers an area of 390 km2.Samburu National Reserve was established in 1948 as part of the enormous Marsabit National Reserve under the national park ordinance. Marsabit National Reserve was gazetted in 1961 and the Senior Game Warden of Samburu District Rodney Elliott suggested to the Samburu County Council that an area north of the river be set aside as a game reserve. It became a reality due to foresight of the County Council and generous assistance given by several individuals and foundations. In 1962 with the financial help from Elsa Trust, Samburu Game Reserve was formed. In January 1963 the Minister for Local Government recommended Samburu National Reserve to be administered by the African District Council of Samburu.

Climate

The climate for Samburu is hot dry with cool nights with an average annual maximum temperature of 30ºc (86F) and minimum annual temperature of 20ºc (68F).

Rainfall

Samburu National Reserve receives 350mm (14 inches) during peak rainfall in April and November (Variable). Long rains are expected in early April to the end of May and short rains from mid October to mid December. Dry conditions usually prevail from June to early October and from January to March.

Botanist have identified more than 2 dozen plants communities, but thorny scrubs cover much of the reserve and the most common are Acacia elator, Acacia tortolise, Salvadora pesica and the Down palms.

There are over 50 species of wild animals in the reserve including unique species of Gravy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Besia Oryx, Grater and Lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, Somali ostrich, pancake tortoise and others.
There are over 450 species of birds identified and aquatic species in the Waso Nyiro River.

The neighbouring communities to the reserve are the Samburu tribe a clan of the Maasai. They play a major role as part of tourist attraction in the area due to their unique cultural experiences by tourist through traditional ceremonies, food, dances and sale of traditional crafts.

Major attractions 

Its home to the big five 
Elephant 
Lion 
Rhino 
Leopard 
Buffalo
Other animals of interest are:
Gerenuk
Reticulated Giraffe 
Somali Ostrich 
Gravy Zebra 
Besia Oryx 
Wild Dog- Endangered 
Pun cake Tortoise - Endangered

It contains over 450 species of indigenous bird

There are variety of reptiles and aquatic species in the Waso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve