Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park safaris, tours & holiday packages

Where Born Free's Elsa the lioness grew up

The sister reserves are a patchwork of riverine forests and gorges, palm groves and savannah plains where you'll find Kenya's Special Five animals

All three of these national reserves – Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba – are in Samburu country in northern Kenya. Samburu National Reserve is north of the Ewaso Ngiro River which provides much-needed water to the reserve's inhabitants during the long dry season. Buffalo Springs is just south of the river and Shaba to the east of these two, on the other side of the A2 highway or Great North Road, as it's known. The greater Samburu ecosystem is where Kenya’s endangered and rare Special Five can be seen – Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, gerenuk and Somali ostrich.

Popular Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates


Special Five Safari in Kenya's Samburu (8 days)

Even if you've seen the Big Five and the Great Migration, you'll appreciate the different beauty of animals like reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and bongo

$ 6,270

£ 4,998

R 99,043


per person

8 days

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More on Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park holidays

The sisters, Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve, sit on either side of the Ewaso Ngiro River, which flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests, providing water without which the reserves' wildlife couldn't survive in this arid region. Both Samburu and Shaba were made famous by conservationists George and Joy Adamson, who raised Elsa here – the lioness portrayed in the bestselling book and award-winning film, Born Free. Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting oryx calves, was also from Samburu – another heart-warming story from this special place. Shaba National Reserve is a beautiful part of the larger Samburu ecosystem. It brings together rocky river gorges, savannah plains, lush oases and beautiful views of Mount Ololokwe at the southern end of Matthew's range. There are just two lodges or camps on the reserve and only Joy's Camp offers game drives inside the reserve. Shaba offers privacy and a feeling of exclusivity. Here you'll find Kenya's rare northern species of wildlife – beisa oryx, gerenuk, Grevy's zebra – as well as the usual highlights of any park, reserve or conservancy in Kenya, from elephant and buffalo to lion, leopard and cheetah. Although animal density is lower here than at Samburu and Buffalo Springs, the presence of fewer visitors makes for an authentic safari experience.

Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park Map

Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park

Do I need any vaccinations when entering Botswana?

If you’re travelling to Botswana, you will need vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid fever, polio as well as medications for travellers diarrhea. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended when you're travelling to the northern part of… go there.

When is the best time to visit Samburu National Reserve?

The months of December through March and July through October are dry, making them by far the best months to visit the Samburu National Reserve. When the wildlife viewing is at its prime. go there.

When is the best time to see the Makgadikgadi Zebra Migration?

January to March is the best time to witness the Makgadikgadi zebra migration as well as the wildebeest. go there.

Botswana Currency

Botswana currency's official money is the Botswana Pula (BWP). Botswana money, the Pula is divided into 100 thebe. Botswana Pula is represented by the letter P. Botswana Pula is regarded as one of Africa's most powerful currencies. The… go there.

What types of plugs are used in the Southern and Eastern African countries?

Botswana: Electric plug M 230V and 50Hz Kenya: Electric plug G 240V and 50Hz Malawi: Electrical plug G 230V and 50Hz Mauritius: Electrical plug C & G, 230V and 50Hz Mozambique: Electrical plug C,F,M, 220V and 50Hz Namibia: Electric plug… go there.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Samburu Buffalo Springs National Park safaris

Since the beginning, agents and staff of Discover Africa already work in a professional way for me to plan the trip. Their quick responses to my questions help us a lot before departing from our place to the Africa continent. When we were…


from Hong Kong

This was my first safari. I didn’t expect to be so pampered. Everything was first class. We had everything provided for us before even asking. We had a dedicated team at our service. Megan was on call whenever we needed something and she…


from Nigeria

Tanya was an absolute delight to deal with. From the first phone call she was extremely polite, professional and very eager to facilitate my requests regarding our safari. Our 3 nights at the V & A Hotel were fabulous and Motswari Game…


from Australia

Perfectly tailor-made tours that take all your wishes and requests into consideration. All my expectations were beyond fulfilled.

Henrik Wetterstrand

from Sweden

Living afar and trusting in an organisation with whom you have no previous knowledge can lead to feeling of mistrust and wondering whether what we have paid for actually exists. A little more proactive communication would have eased those…

Tony Russell

I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…

Margaret Dean

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