Buffalo Springs National Reserve Kenya : Buffalo Springs National Reserve is a protected area found in the Isiolo County in northern Kenya and was established in 1948 as part of the Samburu -Isiolo Game Reserve, and its present boundaries were created in 1985. More fact, it is managed by the Isiolo County Council and a number of Kenyan safaris operators offer a visit to the reserve, which has several safari lodges and safari camps.
The reserve sits south of the Samburu National Reserve, which lies on the other side of the Ewaso Ngiro river. It was named after an oasis of clear water at its western end. More so, Buffalo Springs covers an area of about 131 square kilometers and seated at an altitude of between 850 meters and 1,230 meters above sea level. The park is a gently rolling lowland plain of old lava flows and volcanic soils of olivine basalt.
Buffalo Spring offers the main features of the Champagne Ride in the southeast and an ancient lava-terrace. Note; Its climate is hot, dry and semi-arid.
The reserve stuns with great vegetation includes acacia tortillas woodland and large stretches of bushland dominated by Commiphora. In other areas lava rock is exposed, with scattered grass and shrubs. Then, other parts have alkaline grasslands with occasional springs and swamps as well as ‘’Desert Rose’’ can be found in the scrub, with bright pink blooms. There is also numerous tooth brush tree ‘’shrub’’ that provides food to elephants and its twigs are used as toothbrushes by the nomadic ‘’Samburu people’’.
Wildlife in Buffalo Springs National Reserve
They include; Grant’s zebra and endangered Grevy’s Zebra. Other mammal species to see include; Reticulated giraffe, the African bush elephant, oryx, gerenuk, African buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. The river is home to hippopotamuses and crocodiles.
Birdlife – Buffalo Spring National Reserve
The reserve is home to over 365 species of bird recorded and most spotted birds include Somali Ostriches, Masai ostriches, Vulturine guinea fowls, Red-faced Sandgrouse, Black Kori Bustard, Egyptian Vulture, Speckled Pigeon, Mourning Collared-Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, White-bellied Bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbills among others.
Activities in Samburu National Reserve
This is the most exciting safari activity in Buffalo Springs National Reserve. Visitors are recommended to use 4×4 wheel vehicle and knowledgeable guide. During game drives, expect to see sight range of wild animals such as Grevy’s zebras, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Elephants, Reticulated giraffes, Lions among others.
The best spotting area with the reserve is a long the banks of Ewasi Ngiro River and they are seen drinking water.
Guided nature walks
The natural lovers we highly recommend you to engage in walking safaris to the game which helps you connect with beautiful nature during your Kenya Safari Tour to Buffalo Springs National Reserve. This activity is done on foot with guidance of an armed safari guide for visitor’s protection, the walking experience takes you through the short grasslands of the reserve and be able to enjoy the scenic landscape of the reserve ,visit the Buffalo Springs and get to enjoy of animal species life herds of buffaloes ,elephants ,giraffes elands many more which can be sighted along the banks of Ewaso Ngiro River.
The reserve is a great location to do birding and a paradise to birders thus making it a perfect Kenya Birding Destinations for birder enthusiast.
Some of list of birds to sight see during bird watching in the reserve include; African Cuckoo, White-bellied Bustard, Red-faced Sandgrouse, Mourning Collared-Dive, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Black Kori Bustard, Somali Ostrich, Vulturine guinea fowls, Abyssinian ground hornbills, Egyptian Vulture, Speckled Pigeon mentioned but few.
Well, the reserve is a great location for cultural tours since it is surrounded by Samburu communities-whereby it offers travelers a high chance to visit the Samburu local people in their communities located along the borders of the reserve.
Through visiting the Samburu communities expect to discover much of this culture, learn and enjoy the lifestyle, traditions and their amazing cultural practices like watching women gather vegetables and prepare meals, Samburu men rearing their livestock, huts built using local materials like hide, mud and grass mats which are strung over pole many more.
Accommodations in Buffalo Springs National Reserve
The fact is that, Buffalo game reserve hosts limited accommodation facilities but perfect with comfortable amenities that suits for your stay in the amidst of wilderness, ranging from luxury, Mid-range and budget; Samburu Simba Lodge, Ashnil Samburu Camp, Lion King Bush Camp many more.
Accessibility; The reserve can easily be accessed by road and air means of transport from Nairobi city.
The reserve can be reached by chartered -domestic flight from Wilson Airport which sits 6 kilometers south of Nairobi to Buffalo Spring Airstrip ‘’serving the reserve’’
From Nairobi city to get the reserve, drive through Nanyuki on a tarmac road to Isiolo then drive on 22 kilometers on a murram road to the reserve.
Best time to go
Buffalo Spring is all year visited though the best time to visit for wildlife watching starts from June to September and January to February.
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