Set alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, Kenya's biggest northern river, Samburu has the lion's share of wildlife. Besides big cats and African wild dogs, you're likely to see some of the rare northern species such as Grevy's zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx, collectively known as the Samburu Special Six.

Highlights
  • One of Kenya's smallest, but richest, wildlife national parks
  • Home to the big cats; lion, leopard and cheetah
  • Healthy breeding packs of endangered African wild dog
  • Likely to see rare northern species, including "Samburu Special Six"
  • Birding hotspot with over 450 species recorded
  • Walking, mountain bike and camel-back riding safaris
  • Visits to local Samburu tribal villages

Samburu is one of Kenya's lesser-known national parks, yet it is one of its most rewarding. It may be fairly small in size, but it more than makes up for it with its wealth of wildlife. In fact, Samburu was listed as the second most beautiful place in the world by CNN Travel in 2019 for its landscapes and wildlife.

Samburu Special Six - rare northern species

The mighty Ewaso Nyiro River is a huge drawcard for the wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains. Some of the rare northern species have made this area their home, and you've got a great chance to see Grevy's zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx, aka the Samburu Special Six.

Samburu National Park Kenya Sundowners Ashnil Samburu Camp

Sundowners in Samburu National Park

(Image: Ashnil Samburu Camp)

Samburu National Park is also home to elephants, and larger predators like lions, leopards and cheetahs. Sightings of wild dogs are fairly common. Samburu is a birding hotspot with an impressive recording of over 450 species.

Explore on foot and by mountain bike

At Samburu, you'll have the opportunity to explore this vast, arid region on foot as well as by mountain bike. You can also get a taste of local culture and traditions by visiting one of the local Samburu villages.

Getting to Samburu National Park

Samburu National Park is generally a fly-in destination with a choice of several excellent lodges, from family-friendly lodges to remote honeymoon hideaways. Some also offer unique safari experiences like tracking big cats on foot, camel-back safaris and guided bush walks.

Best time to visit

By and large, the nights are cool and the days are hot and dry. The best seasons for game viewing in Samburu are from December through to March and from June to October. There are effectively two rainy seasons from late March until May, and again in November.

Elephant Bedroom Camp
Elephant Bedroom Camp - Samburu National Park - Kenya

Elephant Bedroom Camp is perfectly situated in Samburu National Reserve to get the best lion, leopard and rare northern species sightings the park is well-known for. There is also a wealth of unusual flora to look forward to.

Sasaab Lodge
Sasaab Lodge - Samburu National Park - Kenya

Sasaab Lodge near the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya's northern district offers you a great chance to view some of the rare northern species. These are locally known as the Samburu Special Six. They are Grevy’s zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx.

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Safari on Foot 7 Day Kenyan Adventure Safari
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7 days
From
$3,835
£3,203
€3,710
R65,185
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Our 7 Day Kenyan Adventure Safari Tour introduces you to the wilder side of Kenya on an affordable budget. Explore Laikipia Plateau's sweeping plains on foot where the last of Kenya’s African wild dogs have found refuge. Discover why the Masai Mara with its lush grasslands, acacia woodlands, rolling savannahs and abundance of wildlife is one of Africa's most iconic safari destinations. In season, witness one of the world's natural wonders, the Great Migration, where one and a half million wildebeest, zebra and antelope leave the Serengeti for the Masai Mara.

Sasaab Lodge - Samburu National Park - Kenya
Sasaab, Samburu

Sasaab Lodge near the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya's northern district offers you a great chance to view some of the rare northern species. These are locally known as the Samburu Special Six. They are Grevy’s zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx.

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