Like most countries, Kenya has specific tourist tailored destinations including the Kenyan Coast, Maasai Mara, Lake Naivasha and perhaps even Nakuru. Some areas, especially those at the northern part of the country are stereotyped as unsafe and barren. Most tourists, local and international therefore steer clear of said areas, leaving the areas unexplored. Below is a post about one of such areas; Samburu. Here is all you need to know about the area. We hope the post gives you all the more reason to visit.
Where is Samburu County?
Samburu County lies within the Nothern part of Rift Valley and is bordered by Laikipia, Baringo, Turkana, Isiolo and Marsabit Counties. Maralal town is the county’s capital. Other towns in Samburu County are Archer’s Post, Kisima and Baragoi.
How to get to Samburu
There are several options on how to get to Samburu depending on where you are. One option is by flight, from Nairobi to Samburu Airport. The other option is by driving or taking public transportation. There are several routes from Nairobi. You can pass through Isiolo, Laikipia or Baringo to get to Samburu. One popular route is the Nairobi-Naivasha-Olkalau-Nyahururu-Kisima-Maralal route.
Who are the Samburu
Samburu County is home to different ethnic groups including the Samburu, Turkana, Rendille, Borana and Pokot. The Samburu, however, make the majority population. The community is one of the few ethnic groups that have held on to culture and traditions that can be seen in their food, colourful dress code and general way of life. The Samburu are still semi-nomadic. They move only when necessary in search of water and pasture for themselves and their livestock. The Samburu speak the Maa language which is similar to what the Maasai Community speak.
Samburu Way of Life
Apart from Maralal and other upcoming towns, most of Samburu County is considered rural. You, therefore, have to be ready to give up city life once you are in the county. You can find tips on what to know before visiting rural Kenya in our site here. The Samburu people live minimally with handmade clothes, houses and jewellery. Their wealth is measured in the number of cattle head they have and for them, that is all they need.
What to do in Samburu
The county is a hub of wildlife, culture and amazing scenery. There are several reserves and national parks including Buffalo Springs Reserve, Shaba National Park, Samburu National Park and Reteti Elephant Sanctuary among others. If you are in Samburu County in August, you might be lucky enough to catch the Annual Maralal Camel Derby. You should not leave the county without mingling with the Samburu locals, hard as it may be thanks to language constraints. Remember to ask for permission before taking people’s photos.
What to carry for Samburu
Samburu is a hot and mostly dry place. You are therefore advised to carry light and comfortable clothes during your trip. Mornings and nights can be chilly and windy and having layers or shukas will go a long way. Carry bottled water and a lot of snacks due to lack of many eateries especially in interior spaces. Mosquito repellents, sunscreen, a camera, phone chargers and a sense of adventure should not be left behind.
Where to stay in Samburu
The accommodation sites are limited in Samburu with camps and hotels being the best bet. Luckily, most national parks and reserves have these facilities and it is up to you to choose what suits your budget and comfort.