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Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserve

SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS AND SHABA NATIONAL RESERVE

Further north of both Mt. Kenya and Aberdare National Parks, are three interlinked National Reserves that are as colourful as a rainbow. At first glance, the landscape of Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film. Easily mistaken for a forsaken crater. Samburu is 7 hours' drive from Nairobi - or an hour's flight.

The barren plains stretch from one end to the other, with the horizon lined up with hazy blues of the surrounding hills and an infinite sky. The scorching sun seems to have burned everything to the ground save for the sporadic desert vegetation, particularly the Doum Palm (the only palm tree which has branches), which shows the only sign of life.

Further on, through the mirage, is the chocolate brown Ewaso Nyiro River, which meanders gracefully through all the three Reserves. It is the sole source of water for the plant life along its banks and a magnet for the resident wildlife – the Special Five (blue-legged Somali ostriches, chestnut coloured reticulated giraffes, black and white Grevy’s zebras, Gerenuk gazelles and Beisa oryxes), the Big Cats (leopards, lions and cheetahs), monolithic herds of elephants, buffalos, and various types of antelopes. The birdlife in this area, ranging from the Sand Grouse to the multicoloured kingfishers and spectacular eagles and falcons is striking for its diversity, as for its colourfulness…

SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS AND SHABA NATIONAL RESERVE

Further north of both Mt. Kenya and Aberdare National Parks, are three interlinked National Reserves that are as colourful as a rainbow. At first glance, the landscape of Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film. Easily mistaken for a forsaken crater. Samburu is 7 hours' drive from Nairobi - or an hour's flight.

The barren plains stretch from one end to the other, with the horizon lined up with hazy blues of the surrounding hills and an infinite sky. The scorching sun seems to have burned everything to the ground save for the sporadic desert vegetation, particularly the Doum Palm (the only palm tree which has branches), which shows the only sign of life.

Further on, through the mirage, is the chocolate brown Ewaso Nyiro River, which meanders gracefully through all the three Reserves. It is the sole source of water for the plant life along its banks and a magnet for the resident wildlife – the Special Five (blue-legged Somali ostriches, chestnut coloured reticulated giraffes, black and white Grevy’s zebras, Gerenuk gazelles and Beisa oryxes), the Big Cats (leopards, lions and cheetahs), monolithic herds of elephants, buffalos, and various types of antelopes. The birdlife in this area, ranging from the Sand Grouse to the multicoloured kingfishers and spectacular eagles and falcons is striking for its diversity, as for its colourfulness…