Airstrips in Samburu

Samburu National Park is one of the lesser known National Parks in Kenya, but nonetheless it's home to an astonishing population of wildlife including several species unique to the region like the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, beisa oryx, Gerenuk and the blue legged Ostrich (also known as Samburu special five). Kalama and Buffallo Springs are the two main and well known airstrips that serves the reserve and the neighbouring conservancies. There are scheduled twice daily flights from Nairobi to Samburu. Some of the airlines that serves this route are Airkenya and Safarilink.

Travelers would need to know which airstrip in Samburu they should use when booking their flights, as it is imperative to fly to the airstrip nearest to your accommodation to avoid unnecessarily long transfers which also happen to be rather expensive. Some of the most common airstrips include Kalama, Buffallo springs and Oxyx Samburu and we have detailed below which lodges and camps are served by each airstrip.

Kalama Airstrip, Samburu

Kalama Airstrip is a private airstrip near the Kalama Conservancy Headquarters for private chartered and commercial landing flights. The geographical coordinates of this airport are: N 0°41’39”, 37°36’45” E (Latitude:000-41-40.668N (0.694630); Longitude:037-36-46.4832E (37.612912). The airstrip mainly serves the Saruni Rhino Camp inside Kalama conservancy as well as other lodges and camps neighbouring the conservancy.

Buffalo Springs Airstrip

Buffalo Springs Airstrip is located inside Buffallo Springs National Reserve and its mainly used by the camps and lodges inside the reserve including Ashnil Samburu Camp and Samburu Intrepids Camp. The geographical coordinates of this airport are: 0°32'06.5"N 37°31'47.0"E.

Samburu Oryx Airstrip

Samburu Oryx Airstrip is located within the Samburu Game Reserve and conveniently serves all properties located within the reserve and those just oustide including Samburu Sopa Lodge, Elephant bedroom Camp and Elephant Watch Camp. The geographical coordinates of this airstrip are: latitude -1.299666 and longitude 35.058746 ( Latitude DMS: 1°17'58.8"S, Longitude DMS: 35°3'31.49"E).

Wilson Airport, Nairobi (Code WIL)

Wilson airport is the domestic airport of Nairobi, located along Langata road, fairly close to Carnivore Restaurant and on the way to Karen and Nairobi National Park. The airport is small but fairly busy and efficient. Transfer time from city center is 20 minutes traffic free but more like an 45 minutes in normal traffic, and most local flights require that you be at the airport at least an hour before the flight.

Schedule of Flights

Typically all the main airlines have morning and afternoon flights, with the same aircraft turning back to Wilson after every flights. The flight time is approx. 1 hour though actual time depends on how many stops the flight will make, ( known as ''hops'') as they land to drop or pick up passengers from various airstrips. Most flights limit stops to the fewest possible so the timing of an hour to the Samburu is practially fairly accurate. There are connecting flights from Samburu to Masai Mara via Nanyuki during the peak season. See the schedule below.

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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

Additional Flights during Peak Season

Due to the sheer volume of passengers flying to Samburu during the peak season months from July to October, both Safarilink and Air Kenya place an additional midday flight service to handle the passenger numbers. During these months we recommend booking early enough to secure seats.


As mentioned above these include Air Kenya and Safarilink. These airlines generally have an excellent safety record and operate to high standards with professional staff.

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Samburu Fly~In Safaris

Flying Safari package to Samburu are convenient due to the short one hour flight versus the 6 to 7 hour road journey from Nairobi. Flights to Samburu being readily available, a flying package safari is possible to book for most Camps and Lodges. Flying to the Samburu is also recommended for those who are short of time or want to enjoy game drives in Open sided safari vehicles.

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