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Samburu National Park

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... is an important conservation area lying to the west of the Great North Road around 100km north of Mount Kenya in Central Kenya.

A visit to Samburu is one of the iconic experiences in Kenya. This far north the land is hot and arid, providing an hypnotic collection of semi-desert landscapes. The area provides a wonderful contrast with the more heavily watered areas such as the Maasai Mara.

Critically the reserve is watered by the modest Ewaso Ngiro River, which winds its way through otherwise parched acacia scrub and sparse grasslands, fringed by a shock of verdant hardwood forests and characteristic doum palms.

The river and its fringing woodlands make it possible for a wide range of wildlife to survive and thrive in this otherwise harsh environment. As well as many of the usual suspects, Samburu is home to some of less familiar species which are characteristic of the area, notably including imperial zebras, gerenuks, reticulated giraffes and Somali ostriches. There is also a good range of predators, including lions, leopards and spotted hyenas.

Samburu contains a handful of very interesting small lodges offering high quality safari activities including vehicle safari, walking safari, mountain hiking, camel safari and cultural interaction.

The main potential downside is that Samburu is one of the most congested reserves in East Africa, with poor traffic management leading to major vehicle clusters in high season. This situation is exasperated by the fact that the reserve also contains some very large and poor quality lodges, whose by-the-clock approach to safari means that all the vehicles are out on the same roads at the same time.


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