Samburu National Reserve is different from many of the other frequently visited areas. This forty square miles of reserve is not the often seen Kenyan landscape of savannah and flat-topped acacias, but harsh, dramatic terrain. The people from this area, the Samburu, are similarly dramatic to the outsider. Dressed in bright red, with their braided hair and skin daubed with red ochre, the "Moran", the youthful warriors of the Samburu almost always spear-in-hand, are a wonderful sight.

The permanent water supply of the Uaso Nyiro River is what attracts the game to Samburu National Reserve. Much of the reserve is arid, hilly landscape but riverine forest fringes the riverbanks and there are doum palms, the fruit of which is a great favourite with elephants. Crocodiles lie quietly in the mud and it is here that you will find abundant Birdlife, including palm-eagles, storks, hornbills, bee-eaters and plenty of weaverbirds.

Some species in the area are specially adapted to the arid environment, and are particularly northern - the magnificent Oryx, for example and the gerenuk, a rather odd looking long-necked gazelle which can stretch up to reach the lower branches of the thorn trees. You will also find Grevy's Zebra, larger than the more commonly seen Burchell's zebra, and reticulated giraffe, with their irregular netted pattern of white. Desert lion are found here, leopards can be seen, and the ostrich (Ethiopian) have blue legs! Elephant wander, browsing in family groups. Buffalo Springs has the Uaso Nyiro River as its northern boundary, and thus may almost be seen as an extension of Samburu National Reserve, which is bounded in the south by the river.

The game here is the same as Samburu National Reserve, but here there is more marshland and the large pools from the springs themselves. You may cross from one reserve to the other via a bridge over the river. Samburu and Buffalo Springs are becoming more sought after as a wildlife destination. They are only a couple of hundred miles from Nairobi and thus an easy hop on the light aircraft that fly from Wilson Airport, which itself is just outside Nairobi. In addition, the harsh beauty of the landscape is compelling.