Samburu County is a county set in the former Rift Valley Province. It lies on the edge of northern Kenya’s arid savannahs. This region is named after the Samburu people who are nomadic pastoralists and known for their beautiful culture. The Samburu National Reserve is the perfect place to visit if you are seeking an off-beaten destination that is home to plenty of wildlife in Kenya.
The Samburu Reserve stretches towards the rugged Chalbi desert and showcases the remote wilderness of Kenya. Running through Samburu is the Ewaso N’giro river surrounded by bountiful tamarind trees, acacia, and doum palms. Samburu’s game viewing is popular along with adventurous activities and cultural interaction.
The reserve is home to various animals such as large herds of elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, and impalas. It has big cats roaming in and around its savannahs and forests. One can catch sight of the rare and endangered wild dogs in the area. Lions and cheetahs aren’t far away either. Samburu has also recorded around 450 species of birds such as martial eagles, Somali ostrich, black-capped social weaver, and many more.
Samburu allows for rewarding safari experiences such as walking safaris, mountain biking, visits to local villages, big cat tracking, and much more.
Travelers can enjoy the incredible Samburu by opting for premiere accommodation available in the area. From tents to lodges, here are the top five hotels that are bound to upgrade your safari experience in Samburu:
The Sasaab Lodge is perched on the edge of a river valley and appears to be straight out of an Arabian fairy-tale. The lodge features a spectacular blend of Swahili and Moroccan architecture.
Sasaab Lodge has nine canvas-sided rooms which are massive and spacious. Each room comes with a private plunge pool and sun-drenched patio that offers breath-taking views across the Laikipia Plateau and Mount Kenya. The rooms are positioned above the river which naturally facilitates the elephants that frequent the river as well as other wildlife.
The lodge has airy living areas and open-plan dining that are decorated with Arabian-style lamps, traditionally craved furniture, and potted palms. Guests can indulge in the lodge’s spa which is built around an internal pool and the swimming pool ringed with sun loungers.
Guests can enjoy an array of activities that Sasaab provides such as thrilling game rides, cultural experiences, bush breakfasts, nature walks, and much more.
Elephant Bedroom Camp
The Elephant Bedroom Camp is an intimate accommodation that offers luxury in a beautiful wilderness setting. The camp is set along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River where guests can enjoy an authentic African safari experience.
The 14 roomy tents of the camp are raised on wooded decks, remain rustic, and have colorful African touches. Keeping comfort in mind, each unit offers all sorts of modern amenities, along with private plunge pools that are surrounded by beautiful doum palms.
The camp’s lounge and dining area are decorated with vibrant safari style décor while also providing an intimate setting where guests can relax comfortably after game drives. Guests can savor continental-style cuisines prepared by the camp.
Along with traditional safaris, the camp also offers sundowners, picnic lunches, cultural visits, lectures on Samburu culture, entertainment by local Samburu people, guided bush walks, and more.
Saruni Samburu provides enchanting views over Kalama Conservancy and Mount Kenya. Set at a considerably greater altitude, the reception area of the lodge is at the top of the escapement, affording gorgeous vistas of the Samburu plains below.
This lodge is the first and most exclusive lodge of its kind as it uses an eco-design in an architecturally fascinating and dynamic way. It is built into and around a giant volcanic rock, blending into the natural surroundings seamlessly.
Saruni Samburu has lavish and enormous villas, with en-suite bedrooms, a spacious living room, and verandas. While the open veranda has a fireplace ideal for chilly Samburu nights, the comfortable sitting and dining areas are great for private dinners.
Guests can enjoy unique activities at the lodge including day and night game drives, visit local caves, and guided bush walks. Aside from these, guests can truly pamper themselves by indulging in massages offered by the lodge. Guests can also lounge at the infinity pools and browse through the saruni shop at the lodge.
Samburu Intrepids Tented Camp
Samburu Intrepids Tented Camp is situated on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River and is considered to be a lush oasis. This tented luxury camp offers a calm atmosphere as it is surrounded by the river and the forest. The camp is set on raised decks and overlooks the river where elephants frequently visit and crocodiles come out to lounge at the river’s bank.
Samburu Intrepids has 28 modern and newly refurbished tents with a private view over the wildlife-rich river bank. As all the tents are elevated, each unit provides the best of the views of Samburu and the Ewaso Nyiro River. The units have mahogany furniture, parquet floors, and modern private bathrooms.
Guests can embark on guided walks, star gazing, cultural experiences, game drives, and many other activities. For families coming with children, the camp organizes an adventure’s club where kids can have exciting opportunities to learn about the wild from Samburu naturalists.
Ashnil Samburu Camp
Ashnil Samburu Camp is a luxurious tented camp situated in the towering backdrop of the Ol Olokwe Mountain fronting the Ewaso Nyiro River.
The camp has 30 exclusive tents that are spread out along the shady banks of the river under the thick doum palms. Each tent is beautifully decorated and has en-suite facilities. The spacious rooms are also accompanied by private decked terraces that offer views of the Ewaso Nyiro River.
Ashnil Samburu Camp has a restaurant that looks past beautiful views of Samburu and serves a variety of menus comprising of international, oriental, and traditional cuisines. The camp features an outdoor swimming pool neighboured by sun lounges, a beautiful garden, and a lounge bar overlooking the African savannahs.
Guests can request and experience a range of activities in the reserve such as game drives, nature walks, cultural visits, bush meals, and sundowners.
Whether you are a seasoned traveler or experiencing African safari for the first time, Samburu never fails to amaze visitors with its rugged beauty and diverse wildlife. Choose from the above-listed accommodation and enjoy a comfortable stay in the wild Samburu without any worries.
If you loved reading this story, then subscribe to our blog here (it will ask to verify your email) to get inspiring travel stories and trivia delivered to your email. Stories about wildlife trivia, cultural experiences, curated luxury hotel lists, underrated places to travel, polar journeys and much more.