Samburu Wildlife- The Samburu Special Five

Majestic reticulated giraffes towering over the vibrant and diverse Samburu landscape, symbolizing its grandeur
Reticulated giraffe is one of the Samburu Special Five wildlife animals

Discover the Samburu special five wildlife of Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve on a Kenya Safari with Wild Springs Adventures. The Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya is home to some of the most iconic wildlife in Africa, including the Special Five. Kenya is popular for its Big Five wildlife animals. Besides the Big Five, Kenya has the Special Five, the Small Five, and even the Ugly Five.

The five species get their names from two aspects, the region and the specific location of their habitat. Firstly, the Samburu special five are wildlife on the north of the equator. In addition, it has a limited distribution across northern and northeastern Kenya. At the same time, some small populations are in southern Somalia and southern Ethiopia. Kenya has several places where you may have great sightings of the special five. For example, Olpejeta Conservancy Safari and Meru National Park.

Reticulated giraffe; Samburu Wildlife

Their specific patch pattern is made up of rich orange-brown patches surrounded by a network of thin white lines that continues down to their lower legs. Their distinctively patterned red coat makes them easy to spot in the wild.

A reticulated giraffes foraging for leaves amidst the verdant surroundings of the Samburu ecosystem
A Reticulated Giraffe; one of the Samburu Special Five wildlife animals

The Grevy’s Zebra

These zebras are the largest and rarest of the three zebra species. They have distinctively long, thin legs and a narrow stripe pattern. They resemble a horse, unlike the common zebra, which looks more like a donkey. 

A Grevy zebra enjoying a feast on Samburu's lush vegetation beside a sun-baked road
A male Grevy’s Zebra Equus grevyi, on uncharacteristic lush grazing.

The Somali ostrich

These ostriches are the largest birds in the world. The male Masai Ostrich has a featherless pink neck, thighs, and legs. While the male Somali Ostrich has a featherless blue neck, grey thighs, and grey legs.

Elegant Somali Ostrich confidently owning the stage amidst the wild Samburu landscape
Male Somali Ostrich in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Beisa Oryx; Samburu Wildlife

These antelopes are found in dry, arid regions of East Africa. They have long, straight horns and distinctive black markings on their faces and bodies. Beisa Oryx is an endangered species of the antelope family.

A solitary Beisa Oryx exuding grace and strength in Savannah expansive wilderness
Beisa oryx or East African oryx walking through grass in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Gerenuk; Samburu wildlife

These antelopes are known for their long necks, which they use to reach leaves and shoots from trees and bushes. They are commonly in dry, arid regions of East Africa.

A determined Gerenuk striving to reach new heights as it feasts on foliage high up in a tree
A large slender built Gereneuk Gazelle. Taken in Samburu National Reserve Kenya

The Special Five are all found in the Samburu National Reserve, which is located in the north of Kenya. The reserve is home to a wide variety of other wildlife, including lions, elephants, leopards, and cheetahs. It is also a popular birdwatching spot, with over 400 species of birds found in the reserve.

If you are looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience, the Samburu National Reserve is the perfect place for you. With its stunning scenery, diverse wildlife, and friendly people, the reserve is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

Here are some of the best ways to see the Special Five in the Samburu National Reserve:

  • Game drive Kenya Safari: This is the most popular way to see the wildlife in the reserve. Game drives are in open-sided vehicles, which allow you to get up close and personal with the animals.
  • Bush walk Kenya Safari: Bush walks are a great way to get off the beaten path and experience the reserve in a more intimate way. You will be accompanied by a safari guide who will help you spot the animals and learn about their behavior.

Facts on Samburu Special Five

  • The Samburu Special Five Wildlife: A unique group of rare animals native to the Samburu region of Kenya.
  • Beisa Oryx: A member of the antelope family, recognized for its striking horns and lean physique.
  • Reticulated Giraffe: Often called the world’s most beautiful giraffe, this species is easily identified by its square-shaped spot pattern.
  • Somali Ostrich: This remarkable creature holds the title of the world’s largest bird, growing up to a staggering 9 feet tall!
  • Grevy’s Zebra: Boasting a stunning coat pattern, this zebra species sets itself apart with its broad, white stripes and large, round ears.
  • Gerenuk Antelope: Distinguished by its elongated neck and ability to stand on its hind legs, this graceful antelope is perfectly adapted to reach high tree branches for food.

To capture the beauty and rarity of these exceptional animals, embark on a wildlife photography safari in the Samburu region, and immerse yourself in the unforgettable experience of the Samburu Special Five Wildlife.

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