Samburu County has plenty to offer the curious tourist

Leopard in Samburu. Image from

Samburu County is found in the Rift Valley of Kenya. Maralal town is the Samburu county capital and is the largest town in the county. Samburu county is known for its three main attraction sites but it has much more to offer.

Part of the attractions in Samburu are the Elephant. Image from
Part of the attractions in Samburu are the Elephant. Image from

Samburu Game Reserve

Samburu Game Reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River which translates to ‘brown water’ in Maa language. It is only 350 km from Nairobi. It is also where George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lioness of the Born and free books and sequels and the movie by the same name. Samburu is also home of Kamunyak (blessed one) the lioness who against all that is natural adopted six Oryx calves.

Where to stay:
1. Samburu Game Lodge – the oldest lodge in the area.
2. Elephant Bedroom Camp.
3. Elephant Watch camp.
4. Larsen’s tented camp.
5. Samburu intrepid camp.

Buffalo Springs National Reserve

It takes its name from an oasis of clear water at the Western end of the sanctuary. During the fight for independence the Mau Mau hid here. General Mathenge passed through here when fleeing to Ethiopia.

You will be able to see a lot of animals including but not limited to 365 species of birds, reticulated Giraffes, Grevy’s Zebra, Elephants, Lions, Cheetahs, Beisa Oryx, Somali Ostrich, and Gerenuk.

The activities you can be involved in are bird watching, hiking, camping and game drives.

Where to stay:

1. Ashnil Samburu
2. Samburu Simba

Shaba National Game Reserve

You can enjoy hot springs and a waterfall here. There is also a solitary mountain that rises to 2145 meters from an otherwise flat area. It is only 314 km from Nairobi.

You will be able to see the Gravy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffes, Gazelles, Lesser Kudu, Leopards, Lions, Elephants and birds.

Leopard in Samburu. Image from
Leopard in Samburu. Image from

Where to stay:

1. Sarova Shaba Lodge
2. Joy’s Camp

Kalama Conservancy

The conservancy was established in 2002 in an effort to draw increasing numbers of wildlife into the area by providing water sources and improved security. It also wants to improve livelihoods through sustainable enterprise development. The wildlife here includes Elephants, Grevy Zebra, reticulated Giraffe, wild Dog, Cheetahs, lesser Kudu, Gerenuk and Leopards.

Where to stay:

Saruni Samburu

Festivals and periodical events


In the months of May or June, there is the annual Lake Turkana Festival. The festival was initiated by the German Embassy and coordinated by National Museums of Kenya. The Borana, Burji, Dassanech, El Molo, Gabbra, Konso, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana and Wata gather in their thousands in their traditional garb to dance and sing. In the evenings, a message-driven drama, fashion show in traditional costume and then a disco capped by a famous local singer are presented. The festival is completely free and you can take photos.

Maralal International Camel Derby

The Camel Derby happens every second week of August. Competitors come from East Africa, Europe, china, Australia and South Africa and battle it out over 12km amateur and 42km semi-professional stages. There is also a partnership with the Kenya Amateur Cycling Association at organizes mountain-biking and amateur cycling races. The events are based at the Yare Camel camp.

The county government of Samburu has a website to promote its Samburu tourism activities so check out some other great places to go to or activities to do. The treasure blog has some pretty awesome pictures of Samburu County.

Check out the Marvels of Maralal to find out more about Maralal.

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Rachael is a writer, book reader, TV series fanatic, cat person and a sarcastic friend. She writes because she likes to tell stories and give her views on most things. She also runs her own blog at