This is a Reserve rather than a National
Park and it belongs to the Masai people
Samburu National Reserve. When you see a camel train walking single
file along a dry riverbed, you realise you are in a pretty parched area.
The three National Reserves of Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba are
at the beginning of the dry north where camels become common place.
However, it is not a completely parched area as it is watered by the
Uaso Nyiro River or 'River of Brown Water' in Samburu. This is an essential
and sometimes erratic water source for all the inhabitants, including
a considerable amount of wildlife in the reserves and Samburu cattle and
goats. Out of the north Kenyan tribes of Samburu, Rendille, Turkana and
Borana, the Samburu dominate this area. To the uninformed eye they could
be confused with the Maasai - for they are closely related and wear similar
bright clothing and jewellery and have the same cultural beliefs. They
continue their nomadic pastoralist lifestyle as they have done for hundreds
The scrub desert, desiccated savannah and small hills of this region
create overriding colours of muted greens, dusty creams, sand yellow,
earthen ochre and every shade of brown. Perfect camouflage colours for
the many animals that inhabit these parks
ANIMALS & BIRDS
The reserves are relatively small and animals are easy to find, with
a number of weird and wonderful species endemic to this area. Notably
the gerenuk - also known as the 'giraffe necked antelope' because of
its ridiculously stretched neck adapted for browsing high into the bushes.
Another local inhabitant is the Grevy's zebra, which resembles an ass
with wide stripes that don't quite go all the way under the belly. Reticulated
giraffes are different from their southern cousins in their perfectly
arranged pattern. A very common dwarf antelope in these parts is the
tiny dik dik, who is devoted to its mate for its entire lifetime.
Many other species exist in these reserves
and large crocs and hippos inhabit the river. Leopard, lion, cheetah and
hyena are found here and an unusual treat is that leopards are commonly
seen in daylight.
Birds are numerous and 365 species have been recorded in Buffalo Springs
Temperatures reach 104°F (40°C) in the day with a low of 68°F
(20°C) at night
Rainy Season: It may rain anytime during the hot months of April to
June, then again in November and December. November is usually the wettest
Dry Season: January through to March are very hot and dry, and again
from July to October. July is normally the driest month.
SAMBURU-SHABA-BUFFALO SPRINGS SPECIALITIES
• Gerenuk 'giraffe necked' antelope
• Reticulated giraffe
• Grevy's zebra
• Riverside lodges
• Leopards in daylight
• Samburu people
The altitude of this area is between 2,500-4,000 feet (762-1,219 metres)
This is a malarial are