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Buffalo Springs National Reserve

Buffalo Springs National Reserve

Buffalo Springs National Reserve which has an area of 131sqkm is located South of Samburu National Reserve and it lies on the opposite side of the Ewaso Ng’iro River. The Reserve was named after an Oasis of Clear waters that is found at the Western end of the Reserve. It was established in 1948 as part of the Samburu – Isiolo Game Reserve and its present boundaries were established in 1985 to protect the Gravy’s zebra.

The reserve has a riverine forest along the Ewaso Ngiro, in some areas one can spot scattered grass and shrubs while other parts of the reserve have alkaline grasslands with occasional springs and swamps. Its terrain is made up of gently rolling lowland plains of ancient lava flows and the fertile volcanic soils of olivine basalt punctuated by proud termite mounds, acacia woodlands, scattered shrub, clumps of toothbrush trees and the iconic umbrella trees.

There are a variety of Wildlife  found in the reserve and they include; the common zebra, Beisa oryx, elephant, gerenuk antelopes, lions, impalas, reticulated giraffe, grant’s gazelles, leopards, buffalos, hyena, Maasai ostrich, cheetah and the endangered Grevy’s Zebra, also within the river, you may as well spot hippos and crocodiles.

Buffalo Springs is also a habitat to over 390 species of birds with notable bird species like the Acacia tit, African swifts, Ashy cisticola, Somali ostrich which is larger than the common ostrich, and the vulturine guinea fowls among others.


Activities in Buffalo Springs National Reserve

This Reserve has a variety of activities that Visitors can engage in during their visit and these activities include;

Game Drive

Game Drives in Buffalo Springs  a perfect way to explore the reserve’s serenity and done in the morning, afternoon and evening. These mammals best spotted around the river banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River like large herds of elephants bathing in the muddy waters of the river, prides of Lions as they wait to attack their prey and also Nile crocodiles.



Buffalo Springs National Reserve is a perfect birding destination in Kenya. The reserve is a habitat to a great concentration of birds with over 390 species including the Northeast African dry-country bird species. Bird watching in Buffalo springs game reserve offers a chance for birders to spot various bird species like the African palm swift, Bare-eyed thrush, Bristle-crowned starling, Black-bellied sunbird, Ashy cisticola, Brown-tailed rock chat and the Black-capped social weaver among many others.


Cultural Encounters

Buffalo Springs National Reserve shares borders with the Samburu local people who can be visited while on a Safari to Buffalo Springs for cultural experiences. The Samburu people are very friendly and welcoming therefore by visiting them, you get to learn more about their lives and appreciate their culture.


Nature Walks

A Safari to Buffalo Springs National Reserve is never complete without engaging in guided Nature walk safaris and since this activity is more of a leisure adventure, it offers a great opportunity to explore the numerous corners of the Reserve.


When to Visit

Visited all year round but the best time for wildlife viewing is in the months of June to October.


How to Get to Buffalo Springs National Reserve

Reached by both Road and Air Transport;

By Road

The reserve reached by a 4–5 hours’ drive from Nairobi via Nanyuki-Isiolo Road.

By Air

Reached through Charter flights landing at the reserve’s two airstrips.


Buffalo Springs Entry Gates

The Reserve has 3 Entry Gates and they include;

Choka Gate

Ngare Mara Gate

Uaso Gate


Accommodations in Buffalo Springs National Reserve

These Accommodations range from Luxury and Midrange to Budget and they include;

Luxury Accommodations

Elephant Bedroom Camp

Sarova Shaba Game Lodge

Ashnil Samburu Lodge

Larsens Tented Camp

Samburu game lodge


Mid-Range Accommodations

Northern Galaxy Hotel

Shamz Hotel

Josera Guest House

Samburu Sopa lodge