Kenya’s Samburu – The Home of The Special Six

Written on Sunday, September 22, 2019 by

Africa is well known for the ‘Big Five’ but Samburu has its own ‘Special Six’ which are only found in the Northern Hemisphere. They are the Grevy’s zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther’s dik dik and the beisa oryx.  We were lucky enough to see 4 of the 6 just on the drive from the entry gate to our lodge!

The reticulated giraffe is one of the rarest giraffes however their hexagon pattern is surprisingly the most common depiction for giraffes on clothing and in illustrations.  We often found these guys spending time with the beautiful Grevy’s Zebra, which are different to the common zebra due to their cute round ears and white bellies.

Samburu is an 8-hour drive from Nairobi or a 1 hour flight and it is a must for any Kenya itinerary.

The landscape of Samburu is very different to the flat grassland plains of the Maasai Mara, it is quite mountainous with dense forests in areas, as well as being located on the banks of a river which creates great viewing for crocs, birds and elephants.

Samburu is one of Kenya’s smallest reserves however I found it to be one of the quietest during game drives which made a huge difference when finding animals without a large number of jeeps fighting for the best view.  This reserve has an abundance of animals and they are known to have one of the highest concentration of elephants in Kenya.

During one of our drives we found a large herd of elephants, around 30 including quite a few calf’s.  They were quite far off in the distance eating and playing and we sat for ages watching them. All of a sudden, they started moving and came closer and closer to us.  Then before we knew it, they had split up and surrounded our vehicle, watching us the entire time as they passed us.  It was such an amazing experience to be so close to these magnificent animals, we were all silent during this time (a little terrified) but all in complete awe.


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