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Shaba National Reserves A Sanctuary on the Arid Lands of Samburu, Kenya.

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On the banks of the palm-lined Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba Reserves lie in an arid region in the remote north of Kenya. Shaba National Reserve is one of two areas where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lioness, made famous in the film Born Free. The wildlife in all three reserves depends on the waters of the river to survive, and many species are specially adapted to the parched conditions, such as Grevy’s zebras; Somali ostriches; and gerenuks, the long-necked antelope that stand on two rear legs to reach the fresh shoots on upper tree limbs.

Shaba National Reserve in northern Kenya offers the astute African traveler 92 square miles (239 square kilometers) of breathtaking scenery amidst arid grasslands and sparse woodland set against the backdrop hills of Shaba, a volcanic extinct highland. The reserve is named for the 1525-meter Mount Shaba that was the yesteryear source of varied lava flow across the reserve. Along the northern border, the Ewaso Nyiro River winds through deep gorges, along sandbanks, then cascades down Chandler’s Falls and finally draining it all at Lorian Swamp. Shaba and its two interconnecting reserves – Samburu and Buffalo Springs – encompass a large ecosystem, and with varied natural springs, Shaba enjoys the greatest abundance of water amongst the three.

The water and marshes enrich the soil with moisture to nurture vegetation upon which herbivores graze and forage, including the endangered grevy’s zebra, the most distinct in its stripes. Other rare species include beisa oryx, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe and Somali ostrich. While these animals are endemic to Shaba and its surrounding wilderness, visiting guests are also sure to see common species such as buffalos, elephants, grant’s gazelles, dik-diks, hippos, waterbucks and many more! Predators survive well with numerous prey animals, so you are likely to see cheetahs, lions, leopards and even Nile crocodiles to nocturnal fauna like aardwolves and striped hyenas. The forests and arid areas attract more than 450 species of birds. White-throated bee-eaters, palm nut vultures, verreaux’s eagles, yellow-necked spur fowls, red-billed hornbills and secretary birds are just some of the avi-fauna that have been recorded in Shaba.

The reserve is also the southern limit for three arid country species – Donaldson’s Smith sparrow-weavers, bristle-crowned starlings and shining sunbirds. Visit from October to April, and you can also record migratory species. From the action-adventure tours of Shaba of game drives to the more leisurely and intimate exploration of nature walks, the reserve fits your personal style of discovering a remote and wild landscape. Game drives are offered every day in the morning and afternoon, whereas a full-day game drive can be arranged as well which includes a delectable bush lunch. These drives are exceptional options for photographers as you cross the varied terrain under different light conditions to capture some of the most iconic images of East Africa. Guided nature walks are customized to your pace to suit your fitness and interest level. Guides describe small aspects of the ecosystem that are easily missed during high-paced game drives.

We highly recommend that you schedule time for a village visit to interact with the local Samburu tribe. While you learn about some of the native cultures during game drives and nature walks, being in a village is quite a different experience. You may be invited into a home for meal preparation, learn traditional jewelry making, cattle herding and even attend an elder’s counsel. Members of the local villages are especially accommodating to children and arrange unique activities to fit their age level and curiosity. A top the attractions in Samburu National Reserve are the Sarara Singing Wells, local watering holes where Samburu warriors sing traditional songs while hauling water for their cattle to drink. You might also be rewarded with sightings of big cats and wild dogs.

All this wouldn’t be possible without a good climate and thanks to the geographical position of the east African country. Kenya lies on the equator and has a warm, tropical climate, but factors such as altitude and regional location can affect climate. Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius, but it is warmer on the coast. Making it possible to roam around without much problems.  Due to its positioning on the equator, Kenya does not have a specific summer and winter, but seasons can be distinctly divided into dry and wet seasons.

During the dry season (June to October) the sky is clear and the sun is shining, although these include the coldest months of the year. Early mornings can drop to around 12 degrees, so it is advised to pack warm clothing as morning game drives in open vehicles will be cold. During the wet season (November to May) daytime temperatures vary between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius, depending on altitude. A period of ‘short rains’ occur between November and December, while the main rainy season, called the ‘long rains’ arrive after a short dry spell, in March April and May.

Holidays are always a great chance to relax and helps us to gain a healthy mentally, lots of refreshment by both mentally or physically. Whenever you get the chance don’t miss to go out from your residence for few days, travel new places and live your life differently from regular. Most often our relatives, friends and knowing person goes for travelling and we wish them by our well wishes and say enjoy your vacation in Samburu, Kenya. This post offering such kind of vacation ideas and places where you can stay with loved ones and enjoy your trip.

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