Inland Mission

Pray for the
Samburu people

The Samburu are a semi-nomadic people living in the arid areas between Mount Kenya and Lake Turkana in central northern Kenya.

Who are the Samburu?

The Samburu are a semi-nomadic people living in the arid areas between Mount Kenya and Lake Turkana in central northern Kenya. They number nearly 240,000 people. Traditionally the Samburu are a pastoralist community that depends heavily on cattle, sheep, goats and occasionally camels. They are related to the better-known Maasai people. Their culture encourages a strong adherence to its traditions. Samburu people are generally friendly and hospitable, however, it is difficult for them to leave their traditions and shift their loyalty to Jesus.


What do they believe?

Most Samburu practise a traditional religion which focuses on a multi-faceted divinity (Nkai). It is not uncommon for children and young people, especially women, to report visions of Nkai. A few children gain a reputation for prophecy throughout their lives. Samburu also have ritual diviners, called ‘loibonok’, who divine the causes of individual illnesses and misfortune, and guide warriors. Although ritual life focuses especially on cattle, other kinds of livestock figure in ceremonies.

What is being done to reach them?

Recent years have seen the fast growth of a variety of Christian churches, but the congregations tend to be small and committed members are few. Remote areas have been left behind and remain very traditional and mostly unreached. From 2014-16 a Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team was based in Lchakwai, led by Martin & Joy Koch (Germany). After the TIMO team finished in March 2016, Martin & Joy Koch returned to Lchakwai, to continue the work the team started there.

Prayer Resources


If you are organising a prayer meeting or just looking for material to help you pray with more insight for some of Africa’s unreached people, why not download a printable Prayer sheet on the Samburu of Kenya.


Latest prayer updates…

Below are some of the latest prayer updates on the Samburu of Kenya.

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Related articles:

  • Stepping out in faith - A missionary who has recently returned to the UK shares their mission story with us, and how it began with joining a TIMO team in Samburu, Kenya. 
  • “Jesus speaks Turkana!” - “Jesus speaks Turkana!” exclaimed a woman while watching the Jesus Film in a mostly Turkana area of Maralal, Kenya.
  • Serving the Samburu - After living in Kenya for six years, Joy Koch met her husband, Martin, serving short term. After a few years in Germany, they moved back to Kenya in 1994 with four young children. They live among the Samburu in Lchakwai, building relationships, serving practically, and sharing the gospel. Joy explains her journey to becoming a missionary.
  • Why is discipleship so important? - Despite being the biggest county in Kenya, Marsabit County currently has no Bible training facilities. The local church has requested that someone come and set up a Bible training college, which will serve the many different people groups in the area.