The Samburu National Reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river in Kenya. The park is 165 km² in size and is situated 350 kilometers from Nairobi. It ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230m above sea level. Geographically, it is located in Samburu County.
In the middle of the reserve, the Ewaso Ng’iro flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests. It provides water, without which the game in this arid region could not survive.
The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best-selling book and award winning movie Born Free.
Samburu National Reserve is very peaceful and attracts animals because of the Ewaso Ng’iro river meaning “brown water” that runs through it and the mixture of acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation.
There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several large game species common to Kenya’s northern plains can be found in abundance here, including the following dry-country fauna: gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, Oryx and reticulated giraffe. All three big cats, lion, cheetah and leopard, can also be found here, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos.
Other mammals frequently seen in the park include olive baboon, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, and waterbuck. There are over 350 species of bird. These include Verreaux’s eagle, bateleur, vulturine guineafowl, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starling, red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, and various vultures including the palm-nut vulture.The Ewaso Ng’iro river contains large numbers of Nile crocodile.