Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser-known national parks, but is nevertheless teeming with life. Situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is plenty to attract wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains.
The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (also referred to as Samburu Special Five).

The reserve is also home to elephants and large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah. Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby Oryx was as a resident in the reserve.
Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded.  Samburu is bordered by Shaba, and Buffalo Springs, often regarded as the same protected area. The area includes woodland, a large amount of bushland, and grassland home to many different African icons, such as Zebra, Giraffe, Bush Elephants, Oryx, Buffalo, Maasai Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, and Hyena. The rivers are then home to hippos and crocodiles. There are around 400 different birds to find in the area making it a great place for birders and there are even Somali ostriches commonly found within the reserves.

The Shaba reserve is particularly good for fantastic scenery surrounding the Shaba Hill volcano and contains grassland and woodlands. The waterholes here are often visited by zebra and this particular section was the focus of the book and film Born Free and the movie Out of Africa making it a very popular tourist destination. Shaba is a bit greener than the Samburu area and doesn’t see as many giraffes or Grant’s Zebra. You can find warthogs, Gazelles, Kudu, oryx, and the larger prides of Masai lions, which are the stars of this section. Because of its arid nature, this is some of the best places in Kenya to see cheetah and ostrich.

The Shaba National Reserve is located at the eastern side of the total protected area with the Samburu Reserve to the west. Buffalo Springs National Reserve is then at the south west of the area just south of the river.

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