Mid range Tented Camps and Lodges


4x4 Safari Van or Cruiser


In Nairobi


Private Safari

3 Days Samburu National Reserve Kenya Safari Tour

The 3 Days Samburu National Reserve Kenya Safari tour takes you from Nairobi to the remote location of the three adjoining game reserves of Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba make them some of the least visited in-game reserves Kenya. Being uncrowded also makes them among the most pleasant of the parks to visit. The three parks are often treated as one – not least by the wildlife itself. Situated in the hot and arid north, formerly known as the Northern Frontier District, with daytime temperatures reaching up to 40oC between January and October the land is baked a reddish-brown for most of the year.

The Samburu National reserve has as its backdrop the great table mountain Ololokwe. Vegetation is limited to a narrow stretch of doum palms tamarind and some woodland bordering the Ewaso Ng’iro River. Away from this is hot dusty scrubland and acacia woodland. Termite mounds and weaver bird nests are common Samburu sights. Some mammals are well adapted to this desolate landscape and are rarely seen in less harsh climes. The rare Grevy’s zebra, Beisa Oryx, and reticulated giraffe are among these. Crocodile and hippo dwell in the river. The long-necked gerenuk or ‘giraffe-necked antelope’ as it’s also known, can often be seen on its hind legs seeking food from desiccated bushes. Leopards are rarely seen, birdlife, however, proliferates with large flocks of guinea fowl drinking from the riverbanks in the afternoon. One downpour can turn the normally brown baked land green overnight. A daily highlight of the area’s dry season is the visits to watering holes called ‘Sarara Singing Wells’ by Samburu warriors. The warriors descend into the holes which can be up to 10m deep. They then pass water hand to hand up to the waiting cattle while chanting their traditional Samburu songs.

Buffalo Springs is linked to Samburu to the south by a bridge crossing the Ewaso Ng’iro which was built in 1964. It shares much of the same wildlife as Samburu but intriguingly is also home to the common zebra not found just over the bridge on the north side of the river. A crater in the park was created by some misjudged bombing by an Italian pilot in the Second World War. It has since become a clear water pool and is apparently safe to swim in.

The 3rd and largest of the 3 linked reserves is Shaba National Reserve (246 sq km). The park is named after the sandstone Mount Shaba which lies partially within the reserve and 5000 years ago oozed lava down the Nyambeni Hills. With 4 springs Shaba is ironically better watered than Buffalo Springs or Samburu. Heavy rainfall can make the tracks only suitable for 4 wheel drive vehicles which adds to its reputation of exclusivity for many travelers seeking a ‘genuine’ Kenyan experience. Heavy poaching has made the local wildlife shy although it is still possible to see elephant, cheetah, waterbuck, and leopard as well as the mammals which are adapted for the harsher conditions of the north as seen in the Samburu Reserve.

  • Park fees(For non-residents)
  • All activities(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation(Unless listed as upgrade)
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation(Unless labeled as optional) and in a custom made safari van/cruiser
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water(On all days)

Not Included
  • International flights(From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips
  • Personal items(Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees


  • Samburu Game Reserve - Local cultures, subsistence and commercial farming activities - Snow capped Mount Kenya - Different climatic and vegetation zones - Orynx, Gerenuk, Somali ostrich, Grevy's zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Elephant etc - Samburu tribes & culture
  • Shaba Game Reserve - Dramatic scenery including river-side forests, scattered woodlands and dry grasslands dominated by the Shaba Hill volcano - Endangered Grevy's zebra and the rare Williams's lark - Lots of Klipspringer and hyrax in the hills
  • Buffalo Springs National Reserve - Old lava flows and volcanic soils of olivine basalt. - Narrow band of riverine forest along the Ewaso Ngiro River - Alkaline grasslands with occasional springs and swamps
  • Game species common to Kenya's northern plains Oryx, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Grevy's zebra, Grant's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe
Day 1
Nairobi - Samburu

Our driver-guide will pick you from your hotel at 0730hrs or Airport and drive north to
Samburu National Reserve to arrive in time for lunch at the reserved lodge or camp. After lunch
proceeds for an afternoon game drive as from 1600hrs until dusk.
Dinner and overnight at
Ashnil Samburu Camp or similar

Day 2
Samburu/Buffalo Springs

This day will be spent exploring this amazing game reserve, with morning and afternoon game drives. You can also opt to visit the cultural visits within the area.
Samburu Game Reserve offers a wide range of attractions. It is home to the Samburu tribe who
are also pastoralists. Owasso Nyiro River which runs along the southern boundary is home to
crocodile and hippo with the many animals visiting to drink during the heat of the day. In
Samburu you are likely to spot buffalo, leopard, lion, cheetah, Grevy's zebra, Beisa Oryx,
reticulated giraffe, and other plains game.
Dinner and overnight at Samburu Ashnil or a similar lodge.

Day 3
Samburu - Nairobi

On this day you will have an early morning game drive, return to the lodge for breakfast. Later check out and depart for Nairobi with a stopover on the way for lunch to arrive in Nairobi late afternoon. Drop off at the hotel or the airport to catch your flight back home.

No Accommodation included as it is the end of the safari


  • Binoculars
  • Extra drinking water
  • Suitable clothing for a warm weather
  • Camera
  • Extra battery
Excellent Safari
This was our first time using this travel agency and the experience was more than appealing. Denis truly coordinated a unique experience that allowed us to appreciate so much of this beautiful country in a relatively short trip and also gave aridity to travel often. I highly recommend this company for the best tour experience. - Florence on TripAdvisor
Exceeded all expectations - excellent customer service from Africa Vacation Safaris
I spent over a year planning my trip to Africa which included a 2 week safari experience in Kenya for myself and my two teenage sons. I used safari bookings to research many of the options available, and was able to get an idea of prices and where we wanted to go. However, none of the ready-made options was exactly what I was looking for and several companies indicated that they were prepared to tailor a safari experience. I picked 7 with 5 star reviews and wrote each of them a (long) email about my goals for the safari and what I wanted, as well as my (fairly low) budget. 2 responded indicating that they were unable to fit with my budget, 2 didn't respond at all, and 2 referred me back to their web page to see options. Denis of Africa Vacation Safaris was different however - he responded immediately to say he had received my email but needed time to respond properly. He then got back to me within a few days with a very detailed email, identifying all of my "wants" and making suggestions for various options. He also made the (excellent) suggestion that based on what I wanted that probably a group tour would not meet our needs and that we could use more budget accommodations and have a private driver/guide for the duration of the safari. This proved to be exactly the right choice. Denis was responsive to all my inquiries and we exchanged hundreds of emails to get all the details right. I arrived for the safari expecting quite a lot.... I was not disapppointed. In fact, the safari exceeded all of our expectations and was the experience of a lifetime. Denis and our drive/guide Joseph were both exceptional. They had clearly taken a lot of time to plan a route that made sense logistically, gave us a huge variety of experiences, and highlighted all of the key things we had wanted to see (including some involvement directly with the park rangers in tracking a lion, visiting conservation facilities, exploring the diversity of Kenya's landscapes, and combined hiking, history, culture, and lots of wildlife. Each day was better than the last, and Joseph was a wonderful guide for us, sharing his knowledge and adapting each day to our preferences. My son is very interested in photography and Joseph helped him get some fantastic photos, moving the vehicle for a better angle or better light, being patient when we stopped for ages to get the perfect shot, and seeking out opportunities to get interesting and unique photos. - Tara on TripAdvisor
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