The climate for Samburu is hot dry with cool nights with an average annual maximum temperature of 30ºc (86F) and minimum annual temperature of 20ºc (68F).
Samburu National Reserve receives 350mm (14 inches) during peak rainfall in April and November (Variable). Long rains are expected in early April to the end of May and short rains from mid October to mid December. Dry conditions usually prevail from June to early October and from January to March.
Botanist have identified more than 2 dozen plants communities, but thorny scrubs cover much of the reserve and the most common are Acacia elator, Acacia tortolise, Salvadora pesica and the Down palms.
There are over 50 species of wild animals in the reserve including unique species of Gravy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Besia Oryx, Grater and Lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, Somali ostrich, pancake tortoise and others.
There are over 450 species of birds identified and aquatic species in the Waso Nyiro River.
The neighbouring communities to the reserve are the Samburu tribe a clan of the Maasai. They play a major role as part of tourist attraction in the area due to their unique cultural experiences by tourist through traditional ceremonies, food, dances and sale of traditional crafts.
Its home to the big five
Other animals of interest are:
- Reticulated Giraffe
- Somali Ostrich
- Gravy Zebra
- Besia Oryx
- Wild Dog- Endangered
- Pun cake Tortoise – Endangered
It contains over 450 species of indigenous bird
There are variety of reptiles and aquatic species in the Waso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve
Plants – botanist have identified 2 dozens of plants species
The dominant ones are
- acacia elator
- salva dora pesica
- Down palms.
In the 1960s and 1970s more than 160 fossil remains of early man including Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus were discovered, putting man’s origins back three million years. More than 4,000 fossil specimens of mammal and stone age artefacts have been discovered here.
The major Topographical features include
- The spectacular great Rift valley
- Lake lokipi hot spring the breeding site of flamingo and home to various reptiles.
- Lake Turkana (known as the Jade sea)
- Largest indigenous forest in Kenya is located here
- The amazing escarpments – Lolokwe, Ndoto, Nyiro (Mathew ranges)
Waso Ngiro River meanders through the rugged landscape and provides the only source of water in Samburu national reserve and
Visitors may stay either in:
- Lodges in SNR – Samburu Lodge (120beds), Samburu Heritage (54 beds), Larsen’s Luxurious tented camp (34 bed)
- Campsite in SNR – There are public & private camps
Outside the Samburu Reserve there are other nearby facilities such as:
- Maralal Safari Lodges
- Yare Safari Lodge
- Desert rose
- Sarara camp
- Kitich camp
- Umoja campsite
- Access is simple– by Air and Road
- Through the Isiolo – Marsabit A2 main road
- Nairobi to SNR 347 km
- Maralal to SNR 222 km
The access infrastructure is fairly complete.
Good and controlled game drive road network in the reserve.
Cultural and community attractions
Unique cultural experience of the Samburu (the butterfly people) by visitors
They have cultural villages where they sell their traditional craft
They dance traditional songs
They can provide traditional food
They accommodate visitors in their traditional huts and community campsites.
The communities around the reserve have started community wildlife conservancies for wildlife conservation outside the reserve.
The communities around the reserve receives revenue sharing which they put back toward uplifting their livelihood and conservation, through employing, training and equipping community game scouts to conserve wildlife in their area.
Through the revenue sharing they are encouraged to open up the corridors for the migratory species
Since the area is small it also encourage the communities to enlarge the dispersal areas for wildlife