Larsen’s Camp is named after Eric Larsen, a famous adventurer who camped on the very place where the property was constructed, in 1987. Since 2003, Larsen’s has been owned and operated by Wilderness Lodges, which runs two camps in the Samburu. Both receive regularly great reviews! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi, parking, and a laundry service.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via 30 minutes’ road transfer from the local airstrip. Most travellers fly in from Nairobi, which takes 1 hour and 30 minutes approx. Larsen’s is fully fenced and gated within a fabulous location close to the Ewaso Nyiro river. The grounds feature a large lawn and plenty of indigenous trees.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of 20 tented rooms. Each one takes its name from a type of bird! The tents are spaced parallel to the river, on either side of the communal buildings and in the shade of trees. Each is elevated above ground level on a sturdy stone base. A few steps lead up onto the veranda, which is set with a small table and a couple of campaign chairs – this is a great spot for relaxing and enjoying your views! Inside, there’s a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, two upright chairs and a coffee-type table, a large trunk, and hanging space. There’s a mini-bar too, and a fan – although the camp’s generator is active only during the day. The generator’s working hours also affect use of lighting and Wi-Fi. En-suite facilities are found behind a pair of curtains at the back of every tent, and they comprise flush toilet, washbasin, and walk-in shower.
Larsen’s lounge, restaurant, and bar all occupy a spacious mess tent. Positioned approximately 20 metres from the Ewaso Nyiro, this too boasts lovely river views! In the lounge, wood-framed cream-cushioned seating surrounds occasional tables. The dining room features variously sized tables flanked by orange-cushioned upright chairs. This is often the setting for delicious buffet breakfasts and light lunches, with highlights including freshly baked bread and delicately grilled chicken or fish. The camp’s lavish four-course dinners are served al fresco, under the stars. A good selection of drinks is available from the bar. You can also tuck in to breakfast and lunch on an outside dining deck, situated almost on the banks of the river. This deck incorporates Larsen’s convivial fire-pit! There’s a viewing deck too, and a small spa for anyone in need of a little pampering. The spa is next to the camp’s swimming pool and adjacent Jacuzzi, altogether offering pleasant respite from the heat of the Samburu!
The main activity from Larsen’s Camp is expertly guided game drives, which take place during early morning and late afternoon into evening to avoid the hottest times of the day. The Samburu National Reserve contains a real wealth of wildlife! The Ewaso Nyiro river runs from the glaciers of Mount Kenya and provides a permanent water supply. The area is also characterised by sandy savanna, abundant acacia forest, and doum palm groves. Foremost among species to spot are the five that make up the Samburu’s own Big Five, consisting of Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, and Somali ostrich. Four of the traditional Big Five are also in residence – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can look out for cheetah too, as well as hyena, wild dog, hippopotamus, crocodile, an exciting assortment of antelopes, and even olive baboon. Larsen’s also offers bird walks, along the banks of the river. With almost four hundred species of feathery friend setting up home in the reserve, there’s certainly a lot to see on an hour- or two-hour stroll. Finally, although there isn’t a specific kids programme, staff are happy to keep the little ones occupied with various games and treasure hunts, when parents wish to take some time to themselves.