Encounter rare wildlife on a unique safari experience
In Kenya’s dry north, Samburu offers a less crowded and unique safari experience for wildlife lovers. Its arid landscape is home to ‘dry country’ animals rarely found outside the park, including the long-necked gerenuk, Grant’s gazelle and reticulated giraffe.
Samburu National Reserve is situated on the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River in the Rift Valley province in northern Kenya, 45 minutes flight or approx. five hours’ drive from Nairobi. Lesser visited than its more southerly neighbours, this relatively small reserve’s main attraction is its ‘dry country’ animals, rarely found in other regions. Species include the long-necked gerenuk, Grant’s gazelle, beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra.
The landscape here is arid, with open plains and clusters of acacia trees. But the river provides a life source for a number of animals as well as playing host to a large population of Nile crocodile. Lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, elephant and diverse birdlife – including the Somali ostrich, Verreaux’s eagle and vulturine guinea fowl – can all be found here.
The Samburu people are a warrior tribe of farmers. Semi-nomadic and closely related to the Maasai, they live in manyattas surrounding the reserve and, traditionally, regularly relocate to find fresh grazing ground for cattle. Visit a Samburu community to meet the local people and gain an insight into their fascinating culture.
The long rainy season is from April to May, with short rains falling in November. July to October and December to March are typically hot and dry.
At first glance, it appears that something is hanging from the tree – perfectly sleek and straight.
On closer inspection, it becomes clear: a long-necked antelope is standing, fully outstretched from its hind legs to its elongated neck, to feed on the branches. It’s a mesmerising sight. Spotting a new species for the first time is a wonderful experience, no matter how seasoned a safari-goer you are.