Samburu Safaris

The sun-baked plains of Samburu are inhabited by rare dry-adapted species such as Grevy’s zebra as well as the nomadic tribespeople for whom this enchanting reserve is named.

The relatively small Samburu National Reserve lies in Kenya’s remote northern Rift Valley Province. Its landscape comprises mostly of open grassland, punctuated by the odd cluster of flat-topped thorn trees or thicket of acacia. The muddy Uaso Nyiro River cuts through the terrain, sustaining life.

Most of Kenya’s most iconic big game species are found in this reserve along with hundreds of different types of bird. It is also home to the endemic “Samburu 5”: gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx and Somali ostrich. As the animals tend to converge at the river, gameviewing here is consistently good.

The local tribespeople who call this region home are another key attraction. Closely related to but distinct from the Maasai, the Samburu people by and large still live a traditional lifestyle. Residing in mud huts known as “manyattas”, they are often seen wearing distinctive colourful beaded necklaces and sarong-like cloths known as a ‘kikoi’ wrapped around their waists.

Stay at a riverside camp to enjoy views of animals having their daily drink or choose a safari lodge on a private concession nearby for a chance to participate in activities such as mountain biking or fly camping, an unforgettable experience which immerses guests completely in the sights and sounds of the African bush.


Samburu Highlights

  • A rugged, dusty yet enchantingly beautiful reserve
  • In the shadow of Mt Ol Lolokwe
  • Home to the rare “Samburu 5”
  • Diverse big game from elephant to wild dog
  • Authentic Samburu cultural interactions

When To Go

The arid Samburu National Reserve can be visited all year round. Expect a little rain in November and December, with heavier falls March through to May. Bear in mind that rainfall is often limited to short afternoon or evening showers, which may have an impact on your safari schedule. However, the welcome water brings forth new plant growth, which in turn encourages antelopes in particular to birth.

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Samburu Accommodation

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Samburu region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Featured Private Kenya Sample Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Kenya experience.

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Kenya Overview

Why Kenya: Since the early 19th century Kenya has captivated visitors with its astounding quantity and diversity of wildlife as well as with its majestic scenery. The country has well-established tourist infrastructure and a good standard of accommodation.

Game Viewing: Excellent game-viewing year round. Jul-Sep is popular when the wildebeest migration is in the Masai Mara.

Culture: Maasai and Samburu pastoralists who continue their traditional way of life.

Climate: Temperate climate (22°- 25°C) due to high altitude but hot in low-lying areas like the Rift Valley (30°- 35°C). Hot and humid along the coast. “Long rains” take place in Apr/May, whilst “short rains” occur in mid-Oct to mid-Dec.

Combine With: Tanzania, which is situated on Kenya’s southern border and is easily reached by road or air from Nairobi. Mt Kilimanjaro straddles the two countries and Kenya’s Masai Mara is part of Tanzania’s Serengeti ecosystem, the arena for the wildebeest migration.

Getting There: The gateway to Kenya is Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Nairobi is linked by daily air services from Australia via the UAE or Qatar in the Middle East or via Johannesburg in South Africa.

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