Samburu Intrepids Heritage Hotels, Kenya
Samburu National Reserve, Northern Kenya
Dry, rugged and stunning, Samburu’s landscape is at once stark and sensual, with its iconic loaf shaped Lolokowe Mountain and hills spreading in every horizon. Its life lung is the Usao Nyiro River coursing through its craggy terrain full of stone, thorn bush and the forked doum palms. In this arid zone where water is scarce and the land baked by the eternal sun, herds of elephants and the big cats roam the plains with the Samburu special – the Reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and the long necked antelope, the gerenuk easily seen despite its harsh climes.
Located 345 kilometres north of Nairobi, the journey to the camp involves a 50-minute flight to the Samburu airstrip followed by a 20-minute drive through the reserve.
This luxurious tented lodge offers 30 modern and newly refurbished tents with a private view over the wildlife-rich riverbanks.
All the tents are large and spacious under palm-thatched roofs with netted screens to allow for the river breeze to keep them cool and give you stunning views of the land that is Samburu. Each tent sits on a raised deck overlooking the brown river where the elephants sometimes make an appearance or the crocodiles come out to lounge by the river’s banks. You can also choose to have private candlelit dinners on the deck of your canvas villa and should it get a trifle too hot, all tents are fitted with fans.
For families with children wanting more space, you have a choice of the family tents, an ensemble of two tents with a spacious lounge and a wide deck complete with lounging chairs and tables, ideal for relaxing and private meals. Beautifully styled with ethno-African and modern pieces, they are simply superb for family stays.
The bathrooms also offer twin washbasins, flush toilets, and sockets for shavers and battery charging.
Restaurants & Bars
Because of the warm climate, Samburu Intrepids’ public areas are all palm-thatched and open to the elements, raised on stilts to catch the cooling breeze blowing off the river.
The main dining room has a seating capacity of 60, and opens onto an outdoor terrace where buffet breakfasts and lunches are served overlooking the river. (Meals can also be enjoyed on your private veranda or at one of a series of specially selected ‘bush sites’ close to camp.)
Intrepids also boasts a spacious lounge and bar area, where our naturalists deliver fascinating slideshows on most evenings, and an intimate conference room with a television for viewing wildlife documentaries.
Behind the bar, surrounded by a shady sunbathing area, is our freeform swimming pool – a soothing drop of blue in this otherwise arid land.
Samburu is simply stunning – a photographer’s delight with its surreal settings and different lights to photograph it in. Guests at Samburu Intrepids can enjoy game drives in Samburu game reserve and the adjoining Buffalo Springs game reserve where you will see the natural spring pool believed to have medicinal properties.
Guests enjoy two game drives everyday in the reserve – the early morning from 6 am to 9 am; and the late afternoon from 3.30 pm returning to camp at sunset. Or you can indulge in a half-day game drive with breakfast on the plains and return to camp by mid-morning because after that it’s too hot even for the animals to come out of the shade.
With its unique blend of flora and fauna, a nature walk in Samburu is a must. The naturalist will tell you about everything that comes in the path whether it’s a bird (of which there are more than 350 species in Samburu) or the history of the land. The varied landscape – from the river to the forest and than the arid plains offer a rich profusion of birds and one can record more than a hundred species in a day.
The Samburu are a regal people related to the Maasai. Like the Maasai, the Samburu have a rich history, a people who tracked down the Nile many centuries ago and separate form the Maasai. Traditionally a pastoral people in search of water and grazing land for their god given cattle, the Samburu are also adapting to life in the 21st century.
Guests at Samburu Intrepids can visit the Samburu manyattas or kraals where a local Samburu guide will give you an intriguing account of the Samburu of their past and present with an eye to the future.
Samburu’s skies are stunning. Close to the equator and lying on the edge of the northern hemisphere so close to the southern hemisphere, the resident naturalist can take you on a celestial journey helping you to identify more than 60 constellations of the 88 known ones. You can spot the Southern Cross, the Scorpion and the Seven Sisters to countless others depending on the time of the year. The Samburu are respected star-gazers with many stories relating to the heavenly bodies, including the planets. Our guides will keep you looking at the heavens and make you night out in Samburu a celestial affair. more on Stars in the current months
A ride on a camel is a biblical affair crossing the Uaso Nyiro to the Samburu villages on the land opposite the reserve. With a high vantage point, you may chance upon the giraffes or the tiny dikdiks of the dry lands or have to cut back your ride when the elephants block your passage. But it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet the Samburu villagers whose camels you are riding and by doing so, helping them to raise income for their community projects like building schools and taking their children to school.