Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Ewaso Nyiro River which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
The reserve covers an area of 165 Km² and is located around 345Km from Nairobi.
Samburu National Reserve lies within ecological zone which is classified as arid and semi- arid with moisture index of 42 to 57 whereby evapo-transpiration is therefore greater than available moisture. The days are extremely hot while the nights are cool. The annual mean temperatures range between 18ºC and 30ºC, while the mean annual rainfall is 354mm with peaks in November and April. The dry season starts in late May, and goes up to early October during when a large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water to the Reserve and the nearby communities.
The reserve is rich in wildlife with fame for the abundance of the rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (Also referred as Samburu Special). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs are an important attraction. Also, Kamunyak the Miracle Lioness that adapted the baby Oryx is a resident in the reserve). Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded.
Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are species of global conservation concern and they both utilize the reserve. Five species categorized as vulnerable have been recorded in this reserve. These are African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle and the Yellow-billed Ox-pecker. Critically endangered species under CITIES – Pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is found in this reserve too.