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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Kenya

Tour Samburu and meet the Special Five

The Special Five are the stars of a Samburu game drive and uniquely-adapted to thrive in this arid environment…

By Vicki Bramley
Sales Manager for Alfred&

Samburu is a land of desert-like scenery home to animals you won’t spot anywhere else in Kenya. The Special Five, as they’re known, are the stars of a Samburu game drive and uniquely-adapted to thrive in this arid environment. Look out for the Somali ostrich with its blue-tinged skin, as well as endangered Grevy’s zebras and reticulated giraffes grazing the plains. If you’re lucky, you’ll also notice the spear-horned beisa oryx and long-necked gerenuk, a type of gazelle that stands on its hind legs to snag leaves from the trees.

Set in the heart of Kenya, this scorching landscape and its rare wildlife can be explored in Samburu National Game Reserve. The relatively small park has an untamed feel, with crowd-free jeep trails and private animal sightings, particularly around the Ewaso Ngiro River. Samburu’s Wild West scenery is so dramatic that it has served as a movie backdrop and setting for the US reality TV show Survivor. While you traverse this wilderness in a 4×4, look out for the jagged top of Mount Kenya and ask your guide about the lioness Kamunyak, who famously adopted six baby oryxes in the park– a phenomenon that was documented by the BBC and Animal Planet.

The game reserve is named for the native Samburu community, who’ve lived here for generations. Like their closely-related Maasai cousins, the Samburu are a nomadic community whose culture revolves around astrology and their sacred cattle, which are a source of food, clothing and wealth. Today, it’s likely that your safari guide will be from the local Samburu community and you’ll get the chance to visit a traditional village. Here, you’ll meet locals clad in brightly-coloured robes with beautiful beaded jewellery and headdresses. You can even take a walking tour with a Samburu naturalist to get an insight into their culture.


  • Community
  • Culture
  • Places to go
  • Scenery
  • Wildlife

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Vicki Bramley

Vicki was already well travelled when she joined Kuoni, fast forward 18 years and that experience has grown dramatically. Initially inspired by a two-year backpacking trip around Australia and New Zealand, her wanderlust led her to venture further and further afield. More recent adventures in South Africa, Kenya, Zanzibar, and Rwanda have positioned her perfectly as an Africa expert. Trekking the slopes of a volcano to spend time with gorillas in Rwanda is one of her favourite memories.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Becky, who's travelled extensively in Kenya. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the safari rangers, local village chiefs and camp managers you'll be talking about for years to come. Start planning today, call us, email an enquiry or arrange a phone or video appointment for ideas and advice.

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