When you see a camel train walking single file along a dry riverbed, you realise you are in a pretty parched area. The three National Reserves of Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba are at the beginning of the dry north where camels become commonplace. However, it is not a completely parched area as it is watered by the Uaso Nyiro River or 'River of Brown Water' in Samburu.
This is an essential and sometimes erratic water source for all the inhabitants, including a considerable amount of wildlife in the reserves and Samburu cattle and goats. Out of the north Kenyan tribes of Samburu, Rendille, Turkana and Borana, the Samburu dominate this area. To the uninformed eye they could be confused with the Maasai - for they are closely related and wear similar bright clothing and jewellery and have the same cultural beliefs. They continue their nomadic pastoralist lifestyle as they have done for hundreds of years.
The scrub desert, desiccated savannah and small hills of this region create overriding colours of muted greens, dusty creams, sand yellow, earthen ochre and every shade of brown. Perfect camouflage colours for the many animals that inhabit these parks.