The word Samburu is derived from the Maa (a tribe in Kenya) word saamburr which stands for a leather bag that the people usually carry around on their shoulders.

Samburu is a County located about 350 kilometers from Nairobi in the former Rift Valley Province. It has an altitude range of between 2500ft and 4000ft.


Its arid and semi-arid landscape is quite beautiful, scenic and photogenic. It is composed of grassland vegetation, riverine forest, thorn trees and acacia.

It is famous for being featured in a 1966 British drama film Born Free, starring Virginia Mc Kenna and Bill Travers as Joy and George.

Samburu National Reserve is located on the banks of Ewaso Nyiro River. It means brown water and contains Nile crocodiles that regularly basks on its banks, fish eating birds skimming the surface and elephants bathing. Across the river lies the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

Samburu National Reserve


It is mainly populated by the Samburu people, who are Nilotes of Northern Kenya. The Samburu are semi nomads keeping mainly cattle but also sheep, goats and camels.

Samburu People


It is host to five rare species of wild animals that are endemic to its environment including, the somali ostrich, grevy’s zebra, the reticulated giraffe, Gerenuk and Beisa Oryx. Samburu hosts a variety of other wildlife including Lions, impala, cheetah, waterbucks, warthogs and the African leopard.oryx calves

oryx calves                  oryx calves

Samburu is also home to Kamunyak, a lioness famously known for its unlikely behavior of sparing its prey by adopting and protecting the oryx calves that stray away from the herd as depicted in the documentary ‘Heart of a Lioness’


Samburu has a number of accommodation options you can choose from. You can choose from luxury premier, mid-range deluxe and value budget accommodation choices.

Some of the luxury and mid-range accommodation properties located in The Samburu National Reserve that offer amazing staycations and wildlife view include Elephant bedroom camp, Larsen’s Camp, Samburu lodge and Samburu Intrepids luxury tented camp.

Ashnil Samburu Camp

Ashnil Samburu Camp

Accommodation options located in Buffalo Springs National Reserve include Ashnil Samburu Camp and Samburu Simba Lodge.


Getting to Samburu from Nairobi is either by air or by road. Samburu has access to a nearby single asphalt runway Airport, The Samburu Airport, located 355km(220miles) north of Jomo Kenyatta international Airport giving tourists an easy access to local daily scheduled flights. A drive from Nairobi is an easy option which takes an average time of about six hours.

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