Nairobi National Park & Samburu National Reserve

Travel information focused on the Nairobi National Park and the Samburu National Reserve. We can organise a safari for you to these great attracations in Kenya.


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Country Facts > Kenya > Visa Info >Travel Basics > Kenya Wildlife > History, Culture & Population > National Parks > Nairobi City > Kenya Mountain Climbing > Birdlife > Fishing > Golf in Kenya

Nairobi National Park & Samburu National Reserve

Are you planning to spend your vacation in Kenya? Our dedicated travel experts will organise for you a discount safari to Nairobi National Park or Samburu National reserve tailormade to your particular requirements. View our special Kenya Safari Itineraries.

10. NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK

The Nairobi National Park covers and area of 117km2 and it is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a major city. As expected, the park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi. The park also serves many residents and citizens living in the city.
The park has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora.

Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams have also added a further habitat, favourable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biota. The dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season.

The park has diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However all species are not always present and much depends on season. Northern migrants pass through the park primarily during late March through April.

Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya's rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the species former range. Due to this success, it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat. To the south of the park is the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration Corridor. These are vital areas for herbivores disperse over them during the rains and concentrate in the park in the dry season.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • Annual wildebeest and zebra migration in July/August
  • Black rhinoceros
  • Diverse birdlife
  • Large predators
  • Aggregations of large herbivores
  • Ivory Burning Site Monument
  • Walking trails.
  • Nairobi Safari Walk and the Animal Orphanage.

11. SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE.

When you see a camel train walking single file along a dry riverbed, you realise you are in a pretty parched area. The three National Reserves of Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba are at the beginning of the dry north where camels become commonplace. However, it is not a completely parched area as it is watered by the Uaso Nyiro River or 'River of Brown Water' in Samburu.

This is an essential and sometimes erratic water source for all the inhabitants, including a considerable amount of wildlife in the reserves and Samburu cattle and goats. Out of the north Kenyan tribes of Samburu, Rendille, Turkana and Borana, the Samburu dominate this area.

To the uninformed eye they could be confused with the Maasai - for they are closely related and wear similar bright clothing and jewellery and have the same cultural beliefs. They continue their nomadic pastoralist lifestyle as they have done for hundreds of years.The scrub desert, desiccated savannah and small hills of this region create overriding colours of muted greens, dusty creams, sand yellow, earthen ochre and every shade of brown. Perfect camouflage colours for the many animals that inhabit these parks.

BIRDS AND AMINALS AT THE SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE.
The reserves are relatively small and animals are easy to find, with a number of weird and wonderful species endemic to this area. Notably the gerenuk - also known as the 'giraffe necked antelope' because of its ridiculously stretched neck adapted for browsing high into the bushes. Another local inhabitant is the Grevy's zebra, which resembles an ass with wide stripes that don't quite go all the way under the belly. Reticulated giraffes are different from their southern cousins in their perfectly arranged pattern. A very common dwarf antelope in these parts is the tiny dik dik, who is devoted to its mate for its entire lifetime.

Many other species exist in these reserves and large crocs and hippos inhabit the river. Leopard, lion, cheetah and hyena are found here and an unusual treat is that leopards are commonly seen in daylight. Birds are numerous and 365 species have been recorded in Buffalo Springs reserve.

THE SPECILITIES OF SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE

  • Gerenuk 'giraffe necked' antelopeReticulated giraffe
  • Grevy's zebra
  • Riverside lodges
  • Leopards in daylight
  • Samburu people

Shaba & Shimba Hills National Reserve

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