Airstrips In Samburu National Reserve : Samburu National Reserve is one of the must visit wildlife destinations in Kenya, though it is less known. It offers some of the most rewarding and adventurous Kenya wildlife safari adventures.

Samburu National Reserve is famously known for its astonishing population of wildlife including several species which are unique to the region such as like the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, beisa oryx, Gerenuk and the blue legged Ostrich which are known as the Samburu special five.

Samburu National Park is found in the Samburu District North of the Equator in Northern Kenya covering an area of about 165 square kilometers, flying is one of the two main ways to get to Samburu National Reserve and it is preferred by most travelers because of its conveniency.

The reserve is served by several airstrips with Kalama and Buffalo Springs being the main and well-known airstrips serving the reserve and the neighboring conservancies, there are scheduled twice daily flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airstrip to Samburu’s airstrips.

Flights to Samburu National Reserve are operated by Airkenya and Safarilink.

When planning to fly to Samburu National Reserve while on a Kenya Safari, you need to know which airstrip you are using in Samburu when booking your flights, it is important to fly to the nearest airstrip to your accommodation to avoid unnecessarily long transfer which happen to be costly.

Commonly used airstrips in Samburu National Reserve are Kalama Airstrip, Buffalo Springs airstrip and Samburu Oryx Airstrip among others.

Below is the information about which lodges and camps are served by which airstrip in Samburu National Reserve.

Kalama Airstrip

The Kalama Airstrip is a private airstrip situated near the Kalama Conservancy Headquarters handling private chartered and commercial landing fights.

The Geographical coordinates of this airstrip are N 0°41’39”, 37°36’45” E (Latitude:000-41-40.668N (0.694630); Longitude:037-36-46.4832E (37.612912).

Kalama Airstrip mainly serves the Saruni Rhino Camp situated inside Kalama Conservancy and other lodges and camps in the neighboring conservancies.

Buffalo Springs Airstrip

Buffalo Sprigs Airstrip is located inside Buffalo Springs National Reserve, the airstrip is mainly used by camps and lodges situated inside the reserve such as Ashnil Samburu Camp and Samburu Intrepids Camp.

The Geographical coordinates of Buffalo Springs Airstrip are 0°32’06.5″N 37°31’47.0″E.

Samburu Oryx Airstrip

The Samburu Oryx Airstrip is located within the Samburu Game Reserve and conveniently serves all accommodations located within the reserve and those situated outside the reserve include Samburu Sopa Lodge, Elephant Bedroom Camp and Elephant Watch Camp.

The Geographical coordinates of The Samburu Oryx Airstrip are latitude -1.299666 and longitude 35.058746 ( Latitude DMS: 1°17’58.8″S, Longitude DMS: 35°3’31.49″E).

Airstrips In Samburu National Reserve
Samburu Oryx Airstrip

Wilson Airport, Nairobi (Code WIL)

Wilson Airport is a domestic Airport handling domestic flights to various regions of Kenya and protected areas including Samburu National Reserve, the airport is located along Langata road, close to Carnivore Restaurant and on the way to the Karen and Nairobi National Park.

This airport is relatively small but fairly busy and efficient, from the city center it is approximately 20 minutes of transfer traffic free, but about 45 minutes in normal traffic. Most local flights require that you be at the airport at least an hour before your flight.

Schedule Of Flights

All the main airlines in Kenya operating flights to Samburu National Reserve has morning and afternoon flights, the same aircraft turns back to Wilson after every flights. From Wilson Airport, its approximately 1 hour flight time to Samburu National Reserve, though the actual time depends on how many stops/hops the flight will make as they land to drop or pick up passengers from various airstrips.

Most of the flights limit stops to the fewest possible so the timing of an hour to Samburu National Reserve is practically fairly accurate,

Also, there are connecting flights from Samburu to Masai Mara via Nanyuki especially during the peak season.


Daily Flights to Samburu ( Approximate Timings)
Flights From To Dep Arr
Morning Flight Wilson Samburu 09:15 10:45
Samburu Wilson 10:55 12:40
Morning Flight Samburu Masai Mara 10:05 11:30
High Season: 16 December – 31 March & 1 July – 31 Octomber
Low Season: 1 April – 30 June & 1 November – 15 December

NOTE: during the peak season additional flight are added on the schedule due to the increasing number of passengers flying to Samburu National Reserve during the peak season from July to October. Safarilink and Air Kenya have additional midday flight to handle the huge passenger numbers.

Airlines operating flights to Samburu National Reserve

Flights to Samburu National Reserve are operated by Air Kenya and Safarilink.

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