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Samburu and Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves

Just north of Isiolo are three national reserves, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba, all of them along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River and covering an area of about 300 sq km. They are mainly scrub desert and open savannah plain, broken here and there by small rugged hills. The river, which is permanent, supports a wide variety of game and you may see elephant, buffalo, cheetah, leopard and lion as well as dik-dik, warthog, Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe. Crocodiles can also be seen on certain sandy stretches of the riverbank. You are guaranteed close up sightings of elephants, reticulated giraffe and various species of smaller gazelle in both Samburu and Buffalo Springs but another game is remarkably thin on the ground, particularly on the route into Samburufrom Archer’s Post. The rhinos were wiped out years ago by poachers. If you are driving around it is useful to have a map. The roads inside Buffalo Springs and Samburu are well maintained and it is easy to get around, even in 2WD, though you might need a 4WD on some of the minor tracks. Even though there are continuous, if you drive from Buffalo Springs to Samburu or vice versa in one day then you will have to pay two lots of park entry fees. However, if it is very late in the afternoon when you cross the boundary, the guards will generally postdate your ticket for the following day. These parks are much less touristed than Amboseli or Masai Mara so, once you are out of the immediate vicinity of the lodges and campsites, you will frequently have the place for yourself.