ACTIVITIES TO DO WHILE IN SAMBURU
Kenya’s Samburu region is a land with diverse scenery and unique wildlife. Boasting 3 game reserves in close proximity to each other, and various conservancies close by, this region leaves everyone in awe. From the special 5 to the buffalo springs, there’s much to do in Samburu. Here are just our top picks.
- Meet the Samburu Special 5
Most people know about the big 5 animals of Africa, but what about the special 5? The special 5 is a group of some of the rarest species only found within the northern region of Kenya. While in Samburu, you get to see all of these rare and beautiful species referred to as the Samburu special 5. This group comprises of the Grevy’s Zebra, Somali Ostrich, the Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, and the Beisa Oryx. These animals can be found at Samburu National Reserve, Shaba National Reserve, and Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
2. Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery of the Shaba National Game Reserve
This reserve has beautiful scenery with river-side forests, scattered woodlands and grasslands, waterholes, marshes, and game species such as Masai giraffes, zebras, impalas, gazelles, lions, Somali ostrich, leopards, elephants, and hyenas.
3. Swim in the Buffalo Springs Natural Pool
The history of this site is quite fascinating. During WWII, an Italian fighter plane squadron flying back to Ethiopia noticed a large herd of buffalo drinking from the spring. They mistook the buffaloes for British tents advancing towards the Ethiopian border and dropped a bomb on them. Over time, water from the springs collected at this point, and a natural pool was formed. Today tourists in the area often visit for a swim at this pool.
The Spring Campsite is one of the best, with expansive views across the Ewaso towards Samburu and shaded by a tangle of acacia trees. Its proximity to the gate makes it easy to visit the Samburu and Shaba National Reserves.
4. Play with Baby Elephants at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
The Namunyak community in Samburu County owns the elephant sanctuary. It was founded to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned and abandoned elephant calves. Once the elephants are strong enough, they are returned to the wild.
5. Ditch the 4×4 and saddle up a camel to explore the scrubland.
Be adventurous and do like the Samburu do; ride a camel through the African wilderness. Enjoy a breathtaking camel ride along the bank of the Ewaso Ng’iro River. A camelback safari is a fun alternative to traditional game viewing and allows you to get up close and personal with animals such as zebra, giraffe, and ostrich.
6. Get to know the difference between the Samburu culture and the Maasai.
The Samburu are still very conventional and attached to their old traditions and customs compared to the Maasai. They also practice gerontocracy more compared to the Maasai. When you visit the local community, you have the opportunity to interact with them and learn about their culture. It’s also the best time to buy Samburu art, souvenirs, and collectibles.