Saruni Samburu is one of those all-rounder properties, with its fabulous location, outstanding accommodation, excellent activities, and superb service! Without doubt, one of the best camps in Samburu. Like sister lodge Saruni Mara, it offers loads of exciting activities, including things for children to do!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is approached via a road leading up into the rocky hills. It is situated on top of an enormous red rock in the heartlands of the Kalama Conservancy, 7km from the northern border of Samburu.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The spectacular views over the Conservancy are not visible until guests walk into the main building, so that provides a dramatic beginning to your stay! The main building is open fronted, with a roof that extends only partly over lounge and dining area to create some outdoor spaces. The lounge has a couple of groups of comfy cream sofas, padded benches, and coffee tables strewn with various reading material. There is even a telescope positioned close to the edge of this area, so guests can really appreciate those amazing views of the plains! The dining room has elegant upright chairs around two wooden tables. Further seating is available outside. There is also a separate shop selling both local curios and pieces from Nairobi – and all proceeds from sale are given back to the local community. Finally, the main swimming pool is located below the lodge, with the smaller pool at an elevated position adjacent to two of the villas. Both pools are surrounded by sunloungers and are wonderful for relaxing and getting to know your fellow travellers!
The guest accommodation at Saruni Samburu consists of six luxurious villas, all with backs carved into the rock face and fronts taking in truly breathtaking vistas. Four are Family Villas, two of which can be halved to create four Standard Villas. The remaining two are described as Villas – one is set up as a double (also known as the Honeymoon Villa) and the other has twin beds yet can also be set up for a sharing couple. All options have lovely whitewashed walls and ceilings, with gauze curtains to keep out insects at night. There is a veranda with well-cushioned chairs, while the furniture inside each villa includes wrought-iron beds, bedside tables, lamps, freestanding fan, ample storage space, and a few authentic touches such as a big Zanzibari clothes chest! The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, and indoor and outdoor shower – and some of the villas have a bath too!
Saruni Samburu’s activities list is every inch as impressive as the lodge’s accommodation. Game drives are possible not only in the Kalama Conservancy but also in the Samburu National Reserve. Both areas are awesome for wildlife! Samburu is famous for its own Big Five (Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, and Somali ostrich), while Kalama is perfect if you love the big cats as loads of lion and leopard live here. There are very impressive populations of birds, resident and migrant species, so if birding is your thing do not forget to pack those binocs!
The lodge’s guided walks are also popular, offering opportunities to get close to nature and learn about all the small things on safari with assistance from the guides. Guests hoping to give their legs a good stretch will be keen to take a trek up Mount Ololokwe, the sacred mountain of the Samburu people. You can also enjoy exploring the local caves, full of intriguing rock art. Further encounters with culture are available via a visit to local village Kiltimany – or you can venture as far as Mount Kenya or Lake Turkana on board a helicopter or bi-plane! There really is a lot to do! And anyone in need of a spot of pampering is well accommodated here, as the spa provides a variety of wellness treatments and massages – bliss!