Tourism in Samburu County is Breathtakingly Scenic and Refreshing

Tourism in Samburu County
Written by See Africa Today

You have probably heard of the beauty of arid areas in Kenya and how charming they are. What you may be oblivious about is that tourism in Samburu County and Samburu National Reserve is fascinating and adventurous. Despite being in Northern Kenya characterized by aridness, Samburu tourist attractions abound.

If you want to have a different Kenyan safari far from the usual, heading up north is a good choice. The landscape in Samburu leaves you stunned and speaks of Kenya’s beauty and Samburu National Reserve is testament enough.

Moreover, thousands of tourists visit the county every year as word gets out that it is a magical destination. This article explores the hidden gem in Northern Kenya that you should know about.

Ewaso Ngiro River in Samburu

Ewaso Ngiro River in Samburu. Photo/See Africa Today

Is Samburu Worth Visiting?

By every means, Samburu is worth visiting. The county’s landscape has a lot to offer in wildlife, bush safari, riveting road trips and amazingly, the cultural exchange.

The Saruni Samburu community here add to the spice of tourism in Samburu County. The Saruni Samburu is a sub-tribe of the Maasai, where culture is a real charm, one punctuated by ancient beliefs and the traditional way of doing things. And nothing beats the feeling of learning about the way of life of a people and practising their set customs too.

The county raises the curtain on the other side of the Kenyan wildlife safari in the dry land. It exceeds expectations the minute you set foot at the Samburu National Reserve.

What is Samburu National Reserve Known for?

Samburu National Reserve is a different treat for adventurers because it houses rare wildlife species. The rare species found in the reserve include the Somali Ostrich, Grevy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx and Gerenuk.

There are at least 900 elephants roaming in the bushes of the reserve that an Elephant Watch Camp was set up. The reserve is 165 square-kilometre and sits on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River.

Samburu is 350km from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The dry season sets in between September and October and vegetation thins out. This is the time the reserve’s colours itself with wildlife at the watering points. Hippos, cheetahs, leopards, buffalos, antelopes and giraffes take turns to quench their thirst.

Greater and lesser kudu antelopes add to the beauty of tourism in Samburu County. They are more in Samburu than they are in any other game reserve in the country.

Beisa Oryx

Beisa Oryx in Samburu. Photo/See Africa Today

The Reserve has about 450 species of birds among them, sunbirds, hornbills, kingfishers, bee-eaters and bishops. Others are barbets, marabou storks, martial eagles, herons, egrets, doves and fiscal.

Samburu Reserve is considered among the best wildlife reserves not just in Kenya but also in Africa.

What to Do in Samburu

Samburu County tourist attractions leave you mesmerized with their goodness. Interestingly, this arid county with erratic rainfall patterns – getting 500-700mm of rainfall per annum – has a lot to explore.

So, how do you spend time in Samburu? Here is what to do.

Game drives

Explore the width and breadth of Samburu County via designated tour vans that can handle the region’s terrain. Game drives are timed for when animals are most active which is early mornings and late afternoons.

Usually, the drives last 2 to 3 hours per drive in the morning and afternoon hours.

Camel Trekking Safari

Camel trekking is a lot of fun and is refreshing. Contrary to using a vehicle to view wildlife at the reserve, a camelback safari takes you to the plains. You watch zebras, giraffes and antelopes up close.

Camels also take you to scenic but remotest parts of Samburu.

Visiting Samburu Villages

Walking into a manyatta – a Maasai homestead – is incredible. Women and children welcome you with open arms.

Notably, Maralal town is the heartbeat of tourism in Samburu County. It is the county’s headquarter. Over and above it all, the annual Maralal International Camel Derby is the icing of the cake.

The derby attracts thousands of visitors from Kenya and beyond who either participate in the race or grace the occasion as spectators.

The camel derby has shaped some people into professional camel racers. Nonetheless, the non-experienced derby lovers also immerse themselves into the race with one thing in mind; winning against all odds.

Madonna Visiting Samburu

American pop star Madonna in February 2021 visited Samburu and interacted with locals of the area.

Describing her stay in Northern Kenya, she said, “Spending time with the Samburu tribe is always an honor.”

She went on: “They are nomadic warriors and here the men are singing, dancing and telling stories to attract the attention of the females.”


About the author

See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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