Samburu National reserve is located 325 kms north of Nairobi in the hot and arid northern region of Kenya. The reserve is placed within the ancestral lands of the Samburu, who are close relatives of the Maasai. Despite being so far flung, the reserve harbours a number of species rarely found anywhere else. Among these are Grevy's zebra, the reticulated giraffe and the beisa oryx, all of which are only found north of the equator.
For most of the year Samburu is under the unsympathetic glare of the equatorial sun. The reserve's thirst is quenched by the wide swathe of the Ewaso Ngiro river which rises hundreds of kilometres away in the Aberdares only to vanish beyond Samburu in the recesses of the Lorian swamp.
The river has a large population of crocodiles which can be seen at virtually every bend on the river's sandbanks. At its lower reaches, where permanent pools have formed, hippos are a common sight. Elephants roam the gaunt hills which punctuate the scrubland. These elephants seek solace and contentment in the shallow waters of the Ewaso Ngiro and from time to time, a visitor finds herds bathing and drinking in a spectacle worth the while.