Traveling to Samburu had been on my mind since 2018. Being the planner I am I fixed it for mid-2019 (the same way I have my 2020 travel calendar already planned out) for little traveler’s birthday weekend because there was no way I was traveling there alone from some of the stories I’d read.
Samburu is a county in the former Rift Valley Province in Nothern Kenya where the Samburu, Turkana and some other tribes live and it’s in the South of Lake Turkana.
Before traveling to a new place always do an extensive research about the place, so some of the reasons I’d heard or read that instilled some fear in me included the state of the road. I think back then the road that led to the hotel we intended to book was bad and there was a possibility that you could get stuck if it was the rainy season. I also read that once you arrived at the gate of the park, during security check you are supposed to ask for police escort just in case you could get attacked by bandits.
Due to those reasons, we had weighed the options of going by flight or using the services of a travel agent and their travel vans because they would be familiar with the road and how to deal with the insecurities if a need would arise. They ended up being too expensive though and way out of our budget. For that reason we decided that we would drive down and we made payments a month in advance.
May being a rainy season in Samburu, we were mostly concerned about the state of the road in case they experienced the heavy rains, so we kept in touch with the camp and they would always update us on how it was. They also assured us that we would be safe and that the banditry cases had since reduced.
The distance from Nairobi to our hotel; Samburu Intrepids took us six hours. We left early morning arriving at the hotel almost at 1pm. You always need to start your journey early, especially if you are going to a place you know nothing about.
Samburu National Reserve:
It is a game reserve on the banks of river Ewaso Ng’iro in Samburu County which is the main source of water for the wild animals here.
‘Elsa the lionesses of the book “Born Free” was also raised at Samburu National Reserve by George and Joy Adamson.
It was also the home of the lioness ‘Kumanyak’ who was famous for having adopted 6 Oryx calves.
The big five of Samburu are easily spotted here, namely: Reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa Oryx and Gerenuk.
Other animals that are found here include: Elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs and several birds.
The park is managed by the County council of Samburu.
Where we stayed:
Samburu Intrepids Tented Camp.
Located within Samburu National Reserve, Samburu Intrepids is a tented camp that’s perfect for that weekend getaway if you want to hide in the bush. We did enjoy our stay.
Park fees: KSH1200 for adults and KSH600 for children.
We fueled full tank on our way @ KSH6000 but we had to fuel again in Nanyuki on our way back and the cost would definitely depend on the car you have.
Game drive offered by the camp was KSH5000 per adult.
You can also do a self-game drive.
Being a low season, the camp wasn’t any busy and I still remember we were less than 10 guests in the camp that weekend, I know because I asked. They charged KSH26,000 per night on full board basis.
We loved our hotel, food was delicious at all times and the presentation was always enticing . We looked forward to breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Overall service was amazing as well. No complaints at all because we were well taken care of.
The tented room was not big enough but very cosy. They provided us with a baby bed for little miss traveler, so if you happen to book them you can request for one.
The camp is within a bush but very safe, quite tranquil and perfect for a short getaway for bush getaway lovers. At night you hear all the animals making noise around but the tents are very safe and well secured.
Overall I can say we enjoyed our stay. I miss the monkeys stealing our snacks at the swimming pool area and us chasing them away with a catapult. Sadly I can,t find most pics from this trip, not sure what happened.
Also it’s said to be a luxury tented camp but if I compare it to all the luxury tented camps we have been to, I would give it a 6 out of 10. That does not mean it was bad, it was really good and we had an exciting and adventurous weekend but my comparison is of it against the other luxury tented camps.
I hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to contact me if you need any more information.
eve j, the traveling mom.