": Protecting a combined 440km2, this trio of near-contiguous reserves flanks the perennial Ewaso Nyiro River as it flows through the austere badlands north of Mount Kenya. It’s a bit of a mixed bag in crude Big Five terms, but the main attraction to seasoned safarigoers is the opportunity to see a variety of peculiar dry-country variations on familiar safari mammals and birds at the southern extent of their range. ”

- Philip Briggs

Samburu, Buffalo Springs & Shaba National Reserves

Protecting a parched scrubby landscape of rocky plains and bare termite mounds bisected by the lushly forested Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu and Buffalo Springs were gazetted as a single entity in 1948 and split in half 15 years later, while Shaba, less than 5km to their east, was gazetted in 1974 and is where the conservationist Joy Adamson lived up until her death in 1980.

The reserve’s ecological lifeblood is the Ewaso Nyiro River, a perennial waterway which is fed by the permanent glaciers of Mount Kenya, and whose Samburu name – literally ‘Brown Water’ – refers to the topsoil it carries down from the Laikipia Plateau. Elephant, buffalo and lion are present and most likely to be seen close to the river, as are leopards, which are very habituated to safari vehicles. The riverside tracks are also the best place to look for hippo, crocodile, waterbuck, bushbuck, olive baboon and vervet monkey.

For many, the biggest attraction of these reserves are the long list of range-restricted and/or endangered dry-country specials associated with the open plains. These include the endangered Grevy’s zebra as well as reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, lesser kudu, Guenther’s dik-dik, the stretchy-necked gerenuk, and local races of Grant’s gazelle and impala with unusually long-horns. It is also home to a long list of localised dry-country bird species, including vulturine guinea fowl, Somali Bee-eater, Bristle-crowned starling, Rosy-patched shrike, golden-breasted starling and black-capped social weaver, and it’s the most reliable site in East Africa for the striking Egyptian vulture. The tallest mountain in the region, the 1,880m Ol Doinyo Sabache, on the north bank of the river opposite Shaba, is the site of a rare Rüppell’s vulture breeding colony.

When to go

Find out when is best to visit

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DRY SEASON

A brief drier interlude before the more intense ‘long rains’ in March, April and May.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

DRY SEASON

A brief drier interlude before the more intense ‘long rains’ in March, April and May.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

TRANSITION FROM DRY TO WET SEASON

The exact start of the rains is always a little uncertain, March can start well but it is worth bearing in mind that the weather will become more unpredictable as the month progresses.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

WET SEASON - 'LONG RAINS'

The exact start and end of the rains are always a little uncertain, but generally, this period is the wettest time of the year, making travel to and from lodges potentially a little tricky at times. This wet season is also often characterised by overcast skies and consecutive days of rain.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

WET SEASON - 'LONG RAINS'

The exact start and end of the rains are always a little uncertain, but generally, this period is the wettest time of the year, making travel to and from lodges potentially a little tricky at times. This wet season is also often characterised by overcast skies and consecutive days of rain.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

TRANSITION FROM WET TO DRY SEASON

By June the country should generally have moved into the dry season, which marks a more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. The weather can however still be a little unpredictable, especially at the beginning of the month.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

DRY SEASON

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

DRY SEASON

A more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. All in all the perfect time to visit the vast majority of the country.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

DRY SEASON

A more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. All in all the perfect time to visit the vast majority of the country.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

DRY SEASON

A more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. All in all the perfect time to visit the vast majority of the country.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

WET SEASON - 'SHORT RAINS'

A rather unpredictable time of the year with the occasional heavy shower or thunderstorm, but usually plenty of sunshine in between. While technically the wet season the rains are not as intense during this period as the ‘long rains’, it can therefore still be a great time to visit.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

WET SEASON - 'SHORT RAINS'

A rather unpredictable time of the year with the occasional heavy shower or thunderstorm, but usually plenty of sunshine in between. While technically the wet season the rains are not as intense during this period as the ‘long rains’, it can therefore still be a great time to visit.

Its location so close to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent, the variable in play is often altitude, which varies greatly across Kenya, this, therefore, has a corresponding effect on both temperatures as well as rainfall. It is incredible just how climatically varied a country Kenya is for its size.

In general daytime temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year, yet mornings can be surprisingly cool. So, if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we could always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Kenya, the first known as the long rains take place between March and May, the second wet season is known as the short rains which also tend to be a little less intense, these take place between November and December. There are of course exceptions to this, such as the central highlands which have very high rainfall amounts throughout the year, arid regions such as Meru which have just one distinct wet season and coastal areas which have a more tropical oceanic climate.

The best time for a safari in Kenya is very much defined by the type of experience you are seeking. Many parks are good all year round, although you will find that one’s chances of a good sighting improve during the drier months of the year. If however, you are seeking a more wilderness experience, the best birdlife or simply better prices it the wetter month may, in fact, be a better time to visit.

Experiences

See the Samburu ‘special five’

Along with elephant herds, prides of lion and great leopard sightings, this region also has its own ‘Special Five’: Grevy’s zebra, long-necked gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich and Beisa oryx.

Visit the Samburu to learn about their cultures and traditions

What People Say

★★★★★
  • The personalised service provided was far beyond my expectations. A three week trip visiting four countries in Africa, multiple game reserves, wineries and much, much more was flawless. While a close encounter with a leopard and her cubs…

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  • We got in touch after hearing about Hide & Seek from a friend. Have to say hats off to Jamie, he was so patient throughout, even through our indecisiveness! Ultimately we ended up with the most incredible holiday of our lives. Thank you again, we will be back!!

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  • Thank you for arranging our Safari holiday in Kenya and Tanzania for us. It was to celebrate our 40th. Wedding anniversary which was on July 1st. 2018, and through your arrangements, we have had a holiday that we will never forget...

    Margaret and Stephen

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  • Thanks so much for a truly unforgettable once in a life time holiday. Hopefully we will be in touch again soon!

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  • Spot on in terms of itinerary . We not disappointed by any of the suggestions and had the best holiday ever! Thank you!

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  • Jamie was very helpful throughout the booking process and recommended the perfect holiday. There was nothing we would change having now been out to Tanzania. I would highly recommend Hide & Seek to friends and relatives.

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  • Jamie was excellent. Once I described what we wanted I knew he would come up with the business. ..and he did!!! 5 stars

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  • We spoke to numerous travel agents over the period we looked at booking our honeymoon and only hide and seek gave me the confidence I was looking for. Really pleased with our decision.

    Glen and Amanda Crawford

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  • Hide and seek dealt with our last minute travel plans extremely well. Obviously, our accommodations shifted as availability diminished but ultimately they came up with a vacation that we will never forget.

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