Samburu National Park lies to the north of Kenya.It is located in Samburu district in Rift Valley Province of Kenya. The park is located close to the home of Samburu tribe who are known to lead a nomadic life. The landscape of the park comprises of open savannah covered by acacia trees, thorn forest and grassland vegetation. The park is famous for tranquility and attracts wildlife due to Ewaso Ng’iro river (meaning “brown water” ) that meanders through the park. It is a home to unique fauna including the long necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa onyx. The elusive Kenyan leopard can be seen in evenings. In the southern part of the park, one is sure to see prominent wildlife such as cheetahs, lions, leopards, impalas, buffalo, hippos, and dik-diks. The Samburu National Reserve is also the home of Kamunyak, a lioness known to adopt oryx calves.
The park also offers a glimpse into the lives of Samburu tribesmen. Their life is centered on their livestock, which are their traditional means of survival. After initiation, boys become ‘morans’ and it becomes their duty to protect both the humans and the livestock from predators. The park is also a haven for birds. Birds found here include grey-headed kingfisher, sunbirds, bee-eaters, Marabou stork, tawny eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, bateleur, vulturine guineafowl, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starling, northern red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, and various vultures including the palm-nut vulture.
When to go
The best time to visit the park is from December to March or July to October when the season is dry.
The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness . It was henceforth made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free.
Also Samburu is famous for its different variety of Zebra and Giraffe – Grevy’s Zebra and Reticulated Giraffe.