The Reserve covers an area of 165 square Kilometers, located in the southeastern part of Samburu County. Samburu National Reserve is 360km from Nairobi and it is bordered to the south by the Ewaso-Nyiro River which separates it from Buffalo springs National Reserve. Samburu National Reserve is very peaceful and attracts many animals because of the Ewaso Nyiro River that runs through it and the mixture of acacia, riverine forest and grassland vegetation.
A variety of animals and birdlife can be seen at Samburu National Reserve including unique rare species like Grevy’s zebras, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Oryx and Somali Ostrich. The reserve is also popular with a large number of elephants and other predators like lion, cheetah and African Leopard. 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 recorded in the 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 the reserve.