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Samburu Complex: information
|Sunrise over the Uaso Nyiro river.||Elephants in the Uaso Nyiro River.|
| Unlike more northern (or southern) latitudes, the sunrise and sunset in Kenya don't give the photographer much time to hunt around for the 'right shot'.
"The day just starts.
Bob Geldof, Geldof in Africa
The three-reserve complex of Samburu/Buffalo Springs and Shaba lie in the semi-desert in the south of Kenya's northern Frontier District, north of the 'town with the pretty mosque' - Isiolo. The main local tribes are the Samburu (close relatives of the Maasai), the Boran and the Turkana.
The journey from Nairobi takes about four hours. Samburu and Buffalo Springs reserves were originally set up in 1948, re-gazetted in 1962/3 and the bridge over the Uaso Nyiro was built in 1964. Shaba was established as a reserve in 1974.
An important feature of all three reserves is the Uaso Nyro ('brown water')
river, which forms the boundary between Samburu to the north and Buffalo
Springs to the south of the river. Further east, it flows through the Shaba
reserve. Its main source is the Aberdare mountains. The river level can vary
a lot from hour to hour, and sometimes dries up completely within the
reserves. However, Shaba has several permanent springs, and Buffalo
Springs, as well as the eponymous springs, has several deep waterholes and
the smaller Isiolo river is permanent.
In the riverine forest, the most common trees are Acacia elatior, Tana River
Poplar, Populus ilicifolia and Doum Palm, Hyphanaene coriacea.
|Text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] v-liz [dot] com
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