Samburu National Reserve:
This is currently my favourite National Park in Kenya. It is located in Samburu District in Samburu Countywhich is dominated by the Samburu people.It is about 345 km from Nairobi and can be accessed via Isiolo which is the route we used.One can easily drive(5hrs),public transport,tour firms or even fly to the parks airstrip(45min.)The Samburu are a very cultural community that still holds on to its traditions.They are mainly pastoralists and thus are seen moving around with their cattle.
You get the actual feel of Life in the Jungle even if its aboard a vehicle. Kindly, do not attempt to walk or get a closer shot or selfie with the animals, they are wild, they can/will eat you. The challenge of visiting National Parks is that you are not assured 100% that you will see the animals you wish as the animals roam freely or hide freely.
At Samburu National Park, we chose to camp , yes tents,sleeping bags and all. The evening game drive yielded so much beauty, pictures and memories. The animals seemed to be outdoing themselves to allow us a photo opportunity as well as just observe them. First was an elephant herd that blocked our road and slowly walked ahead of us.
Next, we met two lions that chose to be our escorts for quite a distance, a lioness to the left and a lion on the right. Perhaps they were hoping we would get off and they would have a ready meal. Thereafter, we saw another pair, this time seducing each other. The male walked over to the lioness, went around her and returned to its spot a few feet away. The lioness then arose, walked over to the lion, went around it and then returned to its spot. This seduction went on for a while until finally the lioness gave in and went and sat near the lion. Thereafter, we were granted front row seats to lions mating.(blush,blush.)
The next morning, we went for the morning game drive and met an elephant herd going to drink water. The herd had lots of calves and it was interesting watching the bulls spread out around the heard while the women guided the calves. The sight is a beauty to behold and a true reflection of community. The climax however was when two lionesses actually attempted to attack the herd-targeting the calves. Serenity was shattered, the elephants blew their trunks loudly, they stamped the ground, soil flew on all sides, they shook their heads making their large ears flap from side to side and they charged at the lionesses as the mothers surrounded the calves even more. I could hardly breath, it’s a mixture of awe and fear and eventually the lionesses were driven away leaving the herd to enjoy their morning drink.
To cap it off, we had the rare chance of actually seeing a cheetah. These animals are very shy and will usually hide in bushes but this one walked freely in the open.We also got to see the usual Zebras ,gazelles, buffalos among other animals.
Now, do you see why I say you should travel anywhere and everywhere? The places you least expect to impress you end up giving you experiences to last you a lifetime. Go on, head to Samburu National Park, seeing it for your self is so much better.