Three small reserves lie up north on the arid edges of Kenya’s savannahs, namely, Samburu National Reserve, Shaba and Buffalo Springs. The Ewaso Nyiro River provides a lifeline to all the wildlife of these reserves. Samburu’s savannahs and forests make for diverse big game country. Home to all the big cats, it’s especially good for leopard as well as providing a haven for super-rare wild dogs and large numbers of elephants.
Samburu is also home to northern Kenyan desert-adapted specialists such as gerenuk (long-necked gazelles) and the Somali Ostrich. For keen ornithologists, there are over 350 different species of birds in the park.
This region is more off the beaten tourist track and it has only started being developed in recent decades. As such guests are more likely to have a more authentic safari and cultural experience. The region is home to the Samburu tribe who are renowned for their particularly decorative style of dress.
Smaller community-run conservancies and wildlife reserves around Samburu have proved to be important for conserving ancient migration routes which wildlife living in such an arid region find vital for survival. The recent increase in tourism to these areas helps fund local communities to keep these wildlife corridors.