The Ewaso Nyiro river flows through three great northern reserves,
Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba. The waters of this great
river draw wildlife in great numbers to its banks, creating
an oasis of green.
The verdant riverine forest is a stark contrast to the arid thorn
studded plains. Samburu is visited by large herds of Elephants, drawn by
the promise of water.
In the dry season, the elephants use their tusks
to dig deep into the dry river beds, unearthing precious water. These
waterholes then become a focal point for other game.
The Samburu region is the best place to find several endemic Northern
species, including Gerenuk, the Reticulated Giraffe, and Grevy’s Zebra.
The forests along the river banks are home to many birds, including
local species such as the Palm Nut Vulture and the Vinaceous Dove. These
forests are also home to many Leopards, often seen at dusk.
of one of these beautiful and elusive creatures is always a rare treat.
Lions are also frequently seen on the riverbanks, and Cheetah can be
found on the open plains. On rare occasion, packs of African Hunting
Dogs are sighted passing through the reserve.
Shaba was where Joy
Adamson, author of Born Free spent her final years, returning a leopard
to the wild. This was the subject of her final book, Queen of Shaba.
More recently, Shaba served as the location for the hit series Survivor
Africa, which pitted its contestants against the challenges of this wild
remote country. The Ewaso Nyiro is also an important water source for
the Samburu villages surrounding the reserves. The Samburu culture is a
truly fascinating one, sharing a great deal of ancestral and linguistic
ties to the Maasai.
The Samburu are herders of Camels and Goats, and are often seen on the reserve boundaries bringing their animals to water. In areas around the reserves, there are several private sanctuaries working closely with the Samburu to protect both their tribal lands and the local wildlife. These sanctuaries are open to guests, and are well worth visiting for those interested in Samburu culture.
The entire Samburu region is a place of breathtaking and magical beauty, a place where the vision of a deep red sunset silhouetting the doum palms along the river as a leopard emerges to hunt brings the perfect end to a day on safari.