Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves
‘The Plains of Darkness'
Vast, magnificent and still largely unexplored, these three neighbouring reserves offer an evocative cocktail of uniquely contrasting habitats, veering from stark cliffs and boulder-strewn scarps to lush swamps and muddy sandbanks; and from bone-dry bush to fronded riverine forests. Hot and arid, this area is known by the local nomadic tribe, the Gabbra, as ‘the Plains of Darkness', whose heat-scorched scrublands extend all the way to the jade-green waters of Lake Turkana.
Uncompromisingly rugged yet vividly beautiful Samburu, verdant Buffalo Springs, and the wildly volcanic Shaba (once the home of Joy Adamson of ‘Born Free' fame, and famous for its large prides of lion), all offer virtually guaranteed wildlife encounters, while elephant roam in large herds and are best seen crossing the river at dusk. Finally, while these rugged, hot and arid ‘badlands' of north-eastern Kenya constitute more than one third of Kenya's total land area, yet they are home to less than five per cent of her people; most of whom are hardy nomads.