Samburu National Reserve

The true wilderness of Africa - One of the earliest Europeans in the area was famous elephant-hunter Arthur Newmann, whose camp was on the edge of the Uaso Nyiro River below the giant Newtonia trees and Doum palms.

Samburu National Reserve is a semi arid area situated to the north of Mount Kenya and the equator. The complex formed by Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Reserves is one of the most stimulating and challenging of wildlife areas in Kenya. They are the most accessible and visited of the protected areas in the country's rough north, right at the edge of the evocative NFD or Northern Frontier District - a vast and little visited region where travelling is rough and the nomadic tribes have changed little over the centuries.

The countryside in Samburu is characterized by thorn scrub interspersed with wide lava strewn plains. Acacia and Dom Palms shade the broken ridges and sand rivers. The Uaso Nyiro River, which has its origins in the moorlands of the Aberdares Mountains to the south, is the main feature of this habitat and it supports a large variety of wildlife and Game birds. Even in times of drought its 32 km (20 miles) of permanent water provides succour to the local game. When the water levels are very low the elephants dig into dry sand in order to create small water holes.

When the river is higher they are a common sight bathing all along the river, their young playing and the squeals rumbles and trumpets thrilling their human observers. The Uaso Nyiro waters countless humans and animals in Samburu District, before its sleepy brown waters head north-east, where several hundred kilometres later the life-giving river sinks into the Lorian Swamp.

Samburu National Reserve