Rugged and remote, these wildlife reserves lie within the fascinating semi-desert area of Kenya’s Northern Frontier District.
The Samburu National Reserve – a lava plain with steep-sided gullies and rounded hills – is physically dramatic with the great Ololokwe table mountain in the background. The central feature of the reserve is the winding and looping Ewaso Nyiro River.
On either side of the river, a green ribbon presents a gallery of forest acacia, doum palm and Tamarind, which act as host to a multitude of birdlife. Some of Kenya’s rarer species like the long-necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx and blue-shanked Somali ostrich can be seen here.
The Buffalo Springs Reserve butts onto Samburu in the south and is more or less an extension of the same kind of environment. However, as the name implies, the major source of relief in this reserve is an outflow of clear spring water which attracts migrant game and predators from miles around. This reserve is bounded in the north by the Ewaso Nyiro which doesn’t reach the sea but buries itself into the Lorien Swamp to the east.