Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves

Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves are set in the lands of the colourful Samburu pastoralists (Samburu means ‘butterfly’ in corrupted Maasai language), and are rugged, dry wilderness featuring bubbly hot springs, rolling savannah, miles of scrub and desert and the Ewaso Nyiro (brown river), which support a diversity of wildlife including elephants, leopards, lions, and the rare Grevy’s zebra.

A unique and life-enriching journey through Kenya’s most celebrated conservation areas with breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, diverse activities and truly Kenyan cultural experiences.

The warm and welcoming hospitality makes for an intimate and exceptional experience. 

Enjoy day and night game drives, photographic hide, bush meals, guided walks, birdwatching, spa treatments, picnics, swimming pools, helicopter excursions, Samburu cultural visits,walking safaris, camel trekking, mountain and quad biking, , sundowners & bush meals, croquet, boules and archery, and horse riding.

The area is home to the semi-nomadic Samburu people, ‘cousins’ of the Maasai. Arriving from the Sudan in one of the waves of Nilotic migration, they settled north of Kenya, and like the Maasai, their society has traditionally been organized around cattle.

Samburu (165 km2) and Buffalo Springs (131 km2) were separated in 1963, while the Shaba National Reserve (239 km2) was established in 1974. The three form the Samburu-Isiolo Complex, a trio of beautiful game sanctuaries, unsurpassed anywhere in the country. Shaba got its name from a massive cone of volcanic rock in the area, while Buffalo Springs is named after a sparkling oasis at the west of the park.

It was here that the conservationists Joy and George Adamson raised Elsa, the lioness of Born Free fame.

With the rains, the Ewaso Nyiro becomes an oasis of life. Large herds of reticulated giraffe, buffalo, and impala gather at the banks to drink. Elephant herds often wade across the river, stopping to wallow and bathe in the shallows.

The heavy traffic of game around the river banks means that lions are commonly seen hunting there.

The plains and surrounding hills are also well worth exploring and are the best place to find Grevy’s zebra and cheetah.

Large, domed termite mounds among the dry thorny shrub-lands make dens for aardvarks, warthogs, and bat-eared foxes, and lookouts for cheetahs – the latter commonly sighted in the open woodlands of Buffalo Springs. Succulent aloes, euphorbias, and desert roses grow on rocky ridges that shelter hyraxes, klipspringers, and leopards.

The Ewaso Nyiro is the lifeblood of hippos and Nile crocodiles.

Good pickings among 395 bird species, includes 47 birds of prey, Somali ostriches, vulturine guineafowls, Verreaux’s eagle owls, lilac-breasted rollers, grey-headed kingfisher.

The scarlet rump of white-headed buffalo-weavers in flight is a common sight; red-billed and Von der Decken’s hornbills are common, and sandgrouse drink at the river in the evening.

African orange-bellied parrots and the palm-nut vulture rest and feed on the doum palms, while the quick-flying Africam palm swifts are active along the river at dawn and dusk.

The scenic beauty is a highlight, together with the huge number of elephants. Also saw a lion, a leopard, giraffes... Highly recommended to make the most out of Samburu and Shaba, and especially experience the sunset over sundowners.
Svetlana. O
Moscow, Russia

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