Samburu National Reserve
Elephant herd in Samburu National Reserve
Samburu tribesmen performing a traditional dance
The Ewaso Nyiro river in Samburu National Reserve
Samburu game reserve is essentially lava plain that features
steep sided gullies and rounded hills wherein the 32-kilometre
Uaso Nyiro River provides both the central feature of the
landscape and the lifeblood of the ecosystem. The vegetation
comprises predominantly acacia woodland interspersed with bush,
grass and scrubland, which is broken here and there by small
rugged hills whilst the meandering loops of the river are
bordered by a narrow gallery of riverine woodland in which
acacia and doum palm flourish. This is a dry country ecosystem
and is, therefore, prone to large variations in the animal
populations as they move in search of water and pasture.
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). Thereserve is also popular with a
minimum of 900 elephants.
Large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah are an
important attraction (Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted
the baby oryx is 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. Birds of
the arid Northern bush country are augmented by a number of
riverine forest species.
The Lesser Kestrel and the TaitaFalcon are species of global
conservation concern and they both utilise the reserve. Five
species categorized as vulnerable have also been recorded in the
reserve. These are the African darter, great egret, white-headed
vulture, martial eagle and the Yellow billed ox-pecker. The
critically endangered pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri)
is also found in the reserve.