Expert Reviews – Buffalo Springs NR
Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.
Buffalo Springs on the other side of the big brown river
Buffalo Springs is the sister park of Samburu National Reserve. They are on either side of the Ewaso Nyiro River, which is the lifeline for this arid area. Aside from the usual waders, I’ve seen some impressive big crocodiles on the banks of this brown river. Big animals can easily swim across and tourists can drive between the parks, so the distinction feels a little arbitrary. Buffalo Springs is named after hot springs, which you can visit. The springs itself aren’t much to look at, but the surrounding area is marshy, which often attract some animals.
Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
A continuous reserve of Samburu on the southern banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River
Buffalo Springs is located in dry, scrubby bush country on the richest stretch of the Ewaso Ng'iro River and is the continuation of Samburu, which lies on the northern banks. The two national reserves are connected by a bridge, although in some years of heavy rains this has washed away, but if the bridge is out of action there is the option to go back to the highway (A2), via Archers Post, and cross a bridge there. I visited Buffalo Springs on a game drive from Samburu (where most of the accommodation is), and obviously the types of animals seen were the same, making the two different in name only. These included many distinct northern species such as the reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich and Beisa oryx, and I saw plentiful elephant – their well-worn tracks around the river evidence of their numbers and they frequently splash across the floodplains to and from Samburu. The springs themselves were also a target; two pools of clear if weedy water, which (like the river) attract wildlife and I was lucky to spot a small pride of lion resting under the bushes nearby.