KENYA, SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS & SHABA NATIONAL RESERVES
In depth guide to the seasons, animals, birds and wildlife habitats of the African safari region
of Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba in Kenya.
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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
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.
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 of years.
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.
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.
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.
are numerous and 365 species have been recorded
in Buffalo Springs reserve.
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.
· Gerenuk 'giraffe necked'
· 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 area
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and game reserves
Reserve Index | Wildlife