Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu is inhabited by the nomadic tribespeople for whom this enchanting reserve is named, as well as rare dry-adapted species such as Grevy’s zebra.

The relatively small Samburu National Reserve lies in Kenya’s remote northern Rift Valley Province. Its landscape comprises mostly of open grassland, punctuated by the odd cluster of flat-topped thorn trees or thicket of acacia. The muddy Uaso Nyiro River cuts through the terrain, sustaining life.

Most of Kenya’s most iconic big game species are found in this reserve along with hundreds of different types of bird. It is also home to the endemic “Samburu 5”: gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx and Somali ostrich. As the animals tend to converge at the river, gameviewing here is consistently good.

The local tribespeople who call this region home are another key attraction. Closely related to but distinct from the Maasai, the Samburu people by and large still live a traditional lifestyle. Residing in mud huts known as “manyattas”, they are often seen wearing distinctive colourful beaded necklaces and sarong-like cloths known as a ‘kikoi’ wrapped around their waists.

Stay at a riverside camp to enjoy views of animals having their daily drink or choose a safari lodge on a private concession nearby for a chance to participate in activities such as mountain biking or fly camping, an unforgettable experience which immerses guests completely in the sights and sounds of the African bush.

Our Recommended

Kenya Sample Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Kenya experience.

Our Recommended

Luxury accommodation in Samburu

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Samburu region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Elephant Bedroom

Shaded by doum palms on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River, upscale Elephant Bedroom Camp occupies a prime position in the stunning Samburu National Reserve.

Larsens Camp

Featuring elegantly furnished tents, excellent cuisine, and a stunning bush setting, Larsens Camp is located in Kenya's famous Samburu National Reserve.


Ultra-luxurious, Moroccan-themed Sasaab is a stylish oasis in the heart of Kenya’s desert-like northern wilderness, lying just west of the breathtaking Samburu National Reserve.

Find out more about our tailor made African safaris.
Get in touch with one of our Destination Specialists.

Find out more about our tailor made African safaris

Samburu FAQ

What are the Samburu “Special Five?”

The Samburu “Special Five” are five rare and unique animals that can be seen in the Samburu National Reserve. These are the beautiful reticulated giraffe, blue-legged Somali Ostrich, the long-necked gerenuk, Besia Oryx and the thinly-striped Grevy’s Zebra.

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