The Samburu National Reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro river in Kenya; on the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve in Northern Kenya. It is 165 km² in size and 350 kilometers from Nairobi and ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230m above sea level. Geographically, it is located in Samburu District of the Rift Valley Province.
In the middle of the reserve, the Ewaso Ng'iro flows through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests that provides water without which the game in the reserve could not survive in the arid country.
The Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamsonraised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free.