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Samburu National Reserve

Samburu, Kenya

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Description

The Samburu National Reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro river in Kenya; on the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve in Northern Kenya. It is 165 km² in size and 350 kilometers from Nairobi and ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230m above sea level. Geographically, it is located in Samburu County.

In the middle of the reserve, the Ewaso Ng'iro flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests and provides water without which the game in the reserve could not survive in the arid country.

The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free.

The Samburu National Reserve is also the home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting oryx calves.

Samburu National Reserve can be entered via the Ngare Mare and Buffalo Springs gates. Once inside the reserve, there are two mountains visible: Koitogor and Ololokwe. Samburu National Reserve is very peaceful and attracts animals because of the Ewaso Ng'iro river (meaning "brown water" and pronounced U-aa-so-Nyee-ro) that runs through it and the mixture of acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation. The Ewaso Ng'iro flows from the Kenyan highlands and empties into the famous Lorian Swamp. The natural serenity that is evident here is due to its distance from industry and the inaccessibility of the reserve for many years.

There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its unique dry-country animal life: All three big cats, lion, cheetah and leopard, can be found here, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos.

Other mammals frequently seen in the park include Olive baboon, gerenuk, warthogs, Grant's gazelle, Kirk's dik-dik, impala, waterbuck, Grevy's zebra, Beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe. Rhinos are no longer present in the park due to heavy poaching.

There are over 350 species of bird. These include Somali Ostrich, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Sunbirds, Bee-eaters, Marabou Stork, Tawny Eagle, Bateleur, Vulturine Guineafowl, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Lilac-breasted Roller, Palm nut Vulture, Red-billed Hornbill, Secretary Bird, Verreaux's Eagle, Superb Starling, Yellow-billed Hornbill and various Vultures.

The Ewaso Ng'iro river contains large numbers of Nile crocodile.

Leopard in a tree at Samburu

Gerenuk at Samburu

Loxodonta africana at the edge of the Ewaso Ng'iro

Grévy's zebras and reticulated giraffes

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Nearest protected areas

Kotim Range

Ole Lengishu

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Official Record

  • WDPA ID2298
  • NameSamburu
  • Original NameSamburu
  • Country / TerritoryKEN
  • Sub locationKE-700
  • IUCN CategoryIIWhat is this?
  • English DesignationNational Reserve
  • Designation TypeNational
  • StatusDesignated
  • Status Year1985
  • Reported Area km2165.0
  • Marinefalse
  • Governance TypeFederal or national ministry or agency
  • International CriteriaNot Applicable
  • Management AuthorityNot Reported
  • Management Plan URLNot Reported

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Official Data Provider

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) (2012)


The boundaries and names shown, and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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  • Iucn_red_white_small Logogbif

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