Right in the middle of Kenya lies Samburu National Reserve, a destination that is unique to anywhere else in the country. Straddling the life-giving Ewaso Ngiro River, Samburu has incredible game viewing and nature activities, as well as their own fascinating tribe.
Because of its hot, arid, and semi-desert climate, Samburu is home to several species unique to the area. Nowhere else will you see multi-branch doum palm trees, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, and long-necked gerenuks. You’ll also see hundreds of species of birds and other species, including all the big cats (especially leopard) and plenty of elephants.
You will typically arrive by a small, local plane, which are plentiful, affordable, and a fast and affordable alternative to driving on Kenya’s often-bumpy roads.
The whole region is generally hot during the day and cool at night, but you’ll want to time it during its two dry seasons: either December-March or June-October (pro tip: September is a great time, to coincide with the Great Migration in the Masai Mara).
It should be noted that there are several large safari lodges in the area which all offer a generic and low-quality safari experience, exasperated by rough roads and poor traffic planning. In my opinion, it is absolutely worth a bit more to go to one of the beautiful boutique lodges that offer a smarter, more authentic experience.
Here are a few lodges and camps that I love in Samburu:
- Ashnil Samburu Camp. Ashnil Samburu Camp is one of my favorites because of its genuinely friendly service and the design of the camp, which combines pops of color and is a bit more modern than other, more traditionally-designed camps in the area.
Elephant Bedroom Camp. I think Elephant Bedroom Camp is pretty much perfect. The location, the amenities, and the herbal toiletries! And the food, service, decor, and ambiance is just right. The camp is perfect for introverts! In a few days there, I typically recommend a nice mix of activities, scattered with plenty of downtime to recharge. Be sure to include an early-morning game drive, since most of the wildlife is most active at night and in the pre-dawn hours.
Elephant Watch Camp. Elephant Watch Camp is one of my favorite places to recommend for true #NatureNerds! They fully embrace the wildlife and ecology of the area in a way that few others do. Most of the wildlife is well-accustomed to humans, but the camp is well-versed in safety and best practices for living up-close to wildlife, in a luxurious setting.
Saruni Samburu Camp. Aside from being a stunning property with impeccable service, Saruni Samburu Camp’s real strength is its remoteness. The only property in over 200,000 acres, the camp is totally secluded and absolute perfection for introverted travelers seeking isolation and privacy. I love it.
Samburu is the perfect place to start or end a Kenyan safari. If you’re an introverted traveler who is planning to go (and you should!), then get in touch with me!