Frontier country is usually a wild place where battles are fought between established and new forces. In the north of Kenya it was the British trying to stop clashes between the fierce north Kenyan tribes of Samburu, Rendille, Turkana and Borana.
The colorful Samburu tribe dominate the area around Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves, and many visitors travel to experience this arid semi-desert which nevertheless contains considerable animal life. Camels are the perfect beast of burden in this desiccated scrubland but wildlife thrives in the reserves that are watered by the Uaso Nyiro River or 'River of Brown Water'.
These small reserves seem packed with animals, many of which have adapted to their harsh surroundings in strange ways. The Gerenuk for example, has gained the name 'giraffe necked Antelope' because it has grown a ridiculously long neck in order to browse higher into the bushes. Grevy's Zebras. are also endemic to this area and resemble asses with long ears and wide stripes that don't quite go all the way under the belly. Reticulated giraffe are also uniquely patterned with the most perfect square patterns of all giraffe species.
Animals have become fairly used to safari vehicles, which makes photography a pleasure and the "golden light" just before sundown is a photographers delight.
Unusually in such a dry place many lodges have a swimming pool and even tropical gardens. A Kenyan safari is not really complete without a visit to this enthralling area.
Samburu and Shaba Safari Lodges
See accommodation options below.