Samburu takes its name from the colourful semi-nomadic tribesmen of the area. Situated north of Mount Kenya, the land is hot and dry with arid landscapes. An important conservation area, Samburu is home to some of the rarer northern species of zebra, giraffe and ostrich. There’s an impressive elephant population and plentiful sightings of predators including lion and leopard.
The hot and dry Samburu National Reserve has a desert-like landscape, watered by the Ewaso Ng’iro River, the lifeblood of the region. Along the banks of the river, the long green stripes of acacia forest and doum palm, provide both food and shade for the wildlife, of which there is plenty.
Along with impressive populations of elephant, lion, spotted hyena and leopard, you’ll also have the chance to see some of the rare and unusual northern species, known as the Samburu Five. These comprise the pin-striped Grevy’s zebra, a long-necked antelope known as a gerenuk, the jigsaw-coated reticulated giraffe, the beisa oryx, and the blue-necked Somali ostrich. For added excitement, look up to see pygmy falcon and martial eagle swooping overhead. Or, for a pulse racing experience, we highly recommend a walking safari to track black rhino in the Sera Rhino Sanctuary, the first rhino tracking experience in East Africa.
For the culture vultures among you, this stark and rugged land, north of Mount Kenya, is home to the colourful Samburu tribe. Samburu means ‘butterfly’ and we think it’s a great description of the beauty and colour of these semi-nomadic people. Adorned in elaborate beaded headdresses, necklaces and jewellery, you will be captivated by their exuberant singing and dancing.
We love Samburu for its remoteness, silence and sense of space. It is a place to experience the more rugged side of Kenya, where you can take a camel trekking trip alongside the Samburu and get up close to some of Kenya’s rarer species of wildlife. We recommend combining Samburu with a more traditional Big Five safari like you’ll find in the Masai Mara and with direct flights between the two, it couldn’t be easier.