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We mostly get to hear about Masai Mara in Kenya but do you know that there are 54 national parks in Kenya and one of those lesser known ones is Samburu National Park on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river.

Samburu is 350 kms  from Nairobi and this was our first  & one of the most unforgettable African jungle experience after landing in Kenya. As first timers, entering Samburu was literally like watching national geographic episode live in person. What beauty ! Dancing Giraffes to elephant families taking mud bath to jumping Gerenuks.  It was a dreamland for me, a place of eternal joy. Jungle lovers can truly understand what I mean. Oh I so love Africa!

Samburu Kenya –  home to rare flora and fauna – Samburu big five

Samburu park hosts an abundance of rare northern animal species within its area of 165 Sq km such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx  known as Samburu Special Five. You won’t necessarily find these in other parks, not even in Masai Mara. Here are a few snapshots of those

Somali Ostrich in Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts
Somali Ostrich in Samburu Kenya

 

Grevy’s zebra & Reticulated giraffe in Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts
Grevy’s zebra & Reticulated giraffe in Samburu Kenya

 

Beisa oryx in Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts
Beisa oryx in Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts

 

Gerenuk in Samburu Kenya
Gerenuk in Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts

So, now you know why it makes a lot of sense to include Samburu in your travel plan to Kenya?

About Samburu National Park

As Masai Mara is the homeland of Masai, Samburu is the traditional homeland of the Samburu people, who were drawn to this region by the reliability of the Ewaso Nyiro river, northern Kenya’s biggest and least seasonal river. Samburu people are quite similar to Masai in terms of their lifestlye & dressing and speak the same language. They mostly maintain the park alongside the local administration.

The river determines much of the character of the Samburu national park. Scrubby, open bush country is the dominant theme in most of the park area, with the fringing riverine forest of acacias, figs and palms extending anything from 50m to 200m away from the edge of the river.

The wildlife is plentiful here for the same reason. You will find dozens of species of plains grazers and browsers gathering in the thick acacia and doum palm forest along the river banks to drink and seek shade.

Game drives too often follow the winding, sandy tracks close to the meandering river, where almost anything – from a pride of lions to a herd of elephants , gazelles or a flight of graceful, leaping impala – can appear at any moment.

We we lucky to see many other animals apart from Samburu big five including big herds of elephants, Gazelles, waterbucks etc and of course witnessed some amazing wild plays.

Animals of Samburu National Park, Kenya

Family time among elephants in Samburu Kenya
Family time among elephants – Mud play at Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts

 

Gazelles in action in Samburu Kenya by Travel Jaunts
Gazelles in action in Samburu Kenya

 

Waterbuck in Samburu Kenya
The Curious Waterbuck in Samburu Kenya

 

Birds of Samburu National Park Kenya

Clicking birds too was quite a fun in Samburu given that the park has more than 350 species of birds. We saw grey-headed kingfisher, sunbirds, bee-eaters, Marabou stork, variety of eagles, vulturine guineafowl, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starling, northern red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, and many others. Have included some pictures below.

Yellow-necked spurfowl at Samburu, Kenya by Travel Jaunts
Yellow-necked spurfowl at Samburu, Kenya

 

 

How to plan a trip to Samburu national park, Kenya

Samburu national park can be included in your Masai Mara tour if you have enough number of days at hand. Nairobi to Samburu, Samburu to Nakuru and then Nakuru to Masai Mara.

Best season – Dry season June to October or December to March. In fact we were here in May which is almost end of rains or you get short rains. The jungle was beautiful and greener that time.

Visa- Visa is on arrival and you do need to take yellow fever vaccination proof to visit Kenya. They usually ask for the vaccination proof during the departure.

For more details and to plan your perfect trip to East Africa and to parks like Samburu, please connect with us at traveljaunts1@gmail.com/contact@traveljaunts.in

About the author

The author is a Marketing Management graduate,currently living in Bengaluru India.Has traveled to more than 24 states in India and has been to 25+ countries apart from her extensive travel within India. She has the experience of traveling alone, traveling with her kid, and traveling in groups, with family or friends. She believes, traveling, photography and writing makes her life not only beautiful but also meaningful. Visit her blog at https://www.traveljaunts.in/blog-travel-jaunts/ for more

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