Elephants at a water hole with lush green vegetation behind them at Samburu National Park

Safaris to Samburu National Reserve

About Samburu National Reserve

Situated in the northern part of Kenya in the dry lowlands that sprawl out beneath Mount Kenya, the Samburu National Reserve was set up in the late 1960s and is known for its scenic beauty and excellent game viewing opportunities during the dry season. The Ewaso Nyiro (or Uaso Ngiro) River flows through the thick riverine forests of the reserve and provides a near-constant source of water for a variety of fauna including unique species of zebra, giraffes, oryx, ostriches and tortoises. The three big cats - Masai lion, Tanzania cheetah and leopard - stalk the indigenous forests in Samburu as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos. The reserve is also home to over 350 different species of bird.

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Few parks in Kenya surpass Samburu's natural beauty, which consists of a stunning desert-like landscape punctuated by the sharp hill of Koitogor with the flat-top of Ol Olokwe mountain looming on the horizon. The reserve is mostly covered with thorny shrubs though botanists have identified more than two dozen plants communities. Doum palm trees, dramatic escarpments and hot springs add further variety to the natural landscape, providing a visually rewarding safari destination.

The semi-nomadic Samburu tribe populate the lowlands and like their Masai cousins in southern Kenya live a pastoral existence revolving around their cattle of cows, sheep, goats and camels. Samburu families may move to new pastures every five weeks following the rain. Their dress is very similar to that of the Masai tribes and in order to bring funds to their small villages have set up cultural villages for foreign visitors to learn more about their traditional way of life.

Samburu National Reserve Tours

Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Samburu National Reserve

Leopard in the shade | AfricaTailored To Suit You

Kenya Up Close

8 days FROM $5,195
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Samburu National Reserve Hotels

If you are planning a Samburu National Reserve holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:

Larsens Camp Samburu National Reserve

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: Deluxe Camp

Larsens Camp is a small, luxurious tented camp set in unspoiled landscape within the Samburu National Reserve. The tents are elegantly furnished with solid floors, bathrooms and a private terrace where guests can enjoy views of the grounds. Facing east, the camp receives beautiful morning light. Guests can dine under fig trees, by the river, the campfire or high in a tree house for a unique dining experience. The property also boasts a swimming pool and river decks from where you can spot wildlife. The camp is set in lush lawns on the bank of the Uaso Nyiro, a river in Samburu National Park.

Samburu Game Lodge Samburu National Reserve

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Lodge

The Samburu Game Lodge is a comfortable and serene lodge. The 61 cottages, rooms and suites are beautifully decorated and all have a private balcony offering a beautiful view over the river. The Lorokushu restaurant, part of the lodge, is a gourmet venue decorated in an unmistakably African fashion, serving guests with delicious meals. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool and dancing arena, where traditional performances often take place. Overlooking the Nyiro River, the lodge is in the heart of Samburu National park.

Samburu Intrepids Samburu National Reserve

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Lodge

Set in the semi-arid landscape of Samburu, the Samburu Intrepids Camp offers newly renovated modern tents with four poster beds and private bathrooms. The tents are raised on stilts to catch the breeze and maximise the views of the river where you may spot a thirsty elephant or resident crocodile. A host of activities are offered including star gazing, nature walks and cultural visits. The riverfront dining deck is the ideal spot to enjoy dinner with the open-air lounge area perfect for a sundowner. The property also features a free-form swimming pool. Samburu Intrepids is situated on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River in the arid heart of Samburu National Reserve.

Samburu Sopa Lodge Samburu National Reserve

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Lodge

Built on high ground for excellent panoramic views of the surrounding shrub land, the Samburu Sopa Lodge reflects the local heritage in its architecture with fifteen cottages built around a waterhole where animals frequent. The high ceilings of the reception and lounge areas create a breezy and spacious environment with a large free form swimming pool in which to unwind. The equally as airy cottages are tastefully furnished with a well-appointed bathroom and veranda. The lodge is built on top of raised ground, with panoramic views of distant Samburu hills and Mt. Kenya.

Samburu National Reserve Tailor made suggestions

Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Samburu National Reserve.

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