Wildlife & Animals – Samburu NR

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Samburu offers great wildlife viewing, and good densities mean that most safari animals can be seen within a couple of days. There are several habituated leopards, and sightings are not unusual. Elephants are plentiful, and there is a variety of antelope, including both the greater and lesser kudu, with their impressive horns. Only rhino is absent from the Big Five.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloOccasional
ZebraCommon
LionRare
LeopardOccasional
HyenaOccasional
Wild DogRare to none

Wildlife Highlights

Several dry-country adapted mammals that don't occur in most Kenyan parks can be found here. The Reticulated giraffe has a more striking pattern than the common Masai giraffe. Beisa Oryx is particularly well adapted to arid conditions. The gerenuk, with its elongated neck, is able to stand on its hind legs to reach sparse leaves. Both the common Burchell's zebra and the bigger Grevy's zebra are found next to each other.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

It doesn’t rain much in Samburu so it can be visited in any month, but the most productive time of year for watching wildlife is in the Dry season (June to October). The vegetation really thins out in the Dry season, and animals gather around the few remaining water sources. The wettest month is April, and rains at this time can make wildlife watching more challenging.

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