Samburu National Reserve, Northern Kenya, Kenya
At a Glance
Stunning views over Kenya's wilderness areas
Enjoy the drive up sheer rock faces to get to the lodge
Eat delicious Italian cuisine
Incredible game drives guided by Samburu warriors
Relax by the pool or have a massage
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The main season is in January and February, when the weather is hottest and driest. At this time, the animals in the wildlife parks tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot.
Northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40°C during the day to less than 20°C at night. Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month, and November the wettest.
To start planning your holiday to Saruni Samburu
Saruni Samburu is a deluxe lodge set in a breathtaking position in the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy adjacent to the Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya. The lodge has just six villas and offers a superb safari experience in pristine surroundings.
Like its sister camp in the Maasai Mara, Saruni Samburu is a small and personal lodge offering an intimate safari experience in a truly unspoilt environment. With incredible 360 degree panoramic views, the lodge, location and cultural experience offer lots of wow factor! Set just a few kilometres north of the Samburu National Reserve, a celebrated elephant sanctuary, the safari lodge is just off the beaten track while having easy access to excellent game viewing very close by.
There are several areas around the safari lodge which can be used as viewpoints over the waterholes which attract a variety of wildlife including elephant, giraffe, zebra lion, wild dog and oryx. Some rarer variations of common species can also be found here, such as the Somalian ostrich and the vulturine guinea fowl.
What makes Saruni Samburu so special is the hilltop position, offering spectacular views from every angle. The villas and main areas have been designed to make the most of the expanse of wilderness surrounding the lodge. The two infinity pools offer a welcome place to cool off in the hot season, and there is a Samburu Wellbeing Space offering relaxing spa treatments.
Saruni Samburu has two one-bedroom villas and four two-bedroom villas, all with large verandahs to drink in the stunning views, en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers looking over the reserve. The whole lodge has been cleverly built into the smooth rock and feels like an organic part of the landscape. Views stretch for miles, all the way to the Matthews Range in the distance.
The traditions and semi-nomadic heritage of the local Samburu people are an important part of the experience and guests are led by professional Samburu safari guides. As well as game drives, special experiences at Samburu include night drives, guided bush walks, a photographic hide, rock climbing, bush dinners and star-gazing. Guests can also explore some local caves close to the lodge where there is prehistoric rock art and visit a local Samburu village that only Saruni guests can visit where you receive a welcome dance and have a guided tour of a real working village.
There are six villas in total here, all unique in their design and built into the rock to blend into the surroundings. There are two individual villas, with either double or twin beds with lounge/dining areas, as well as four family villas, each containing two ensuite bedrooms and bathrooms with a private lounge and dining area. All come with stunning bathrooms and large wrap around terraces to absorb the incredible views.
Saruni Samburu is an ideal choice for family safaris and has an amazing two bedroom, two bathroom family suite situated only a few minutes walk away from the main lounge and dining areas. The property accepts children from all ages.
Food can be tailored to suit children and earlier meal times can be arranged where necessary. Babysitting can be arranged for those that require it.
Saruni Samburu has a huge cliff-top swimming pool with stunning views and a top infinity pool, too. The camp offers the lovely Samburu Wellbeing Space for guests to be pampered and rejuvenated. There is also a private airstrip if you are arriving or departing by charter flight. The Samburu guides and trackers at Saruni Samburu are all local and have a wealth of knowledge to share with you on your safari. They are well trained, warm, welcoming and hugely experienced at guiding in this area and you learn all about their history, traditions and culture. There is also a superb underground photographic hide where you can enjoy a ground-level viewpoint of wildlife drinking from the watering hole.
There are endless ways to fill your safari time at Saruni Samburu. The highlight is the day and night game drives with very experienced Samburu guides and trackers. The same guides will also enjoy teaching you to read the book of nature during one of the guided bush walks. Other activities include birding, cultural visits, visiting the local caves to view the ancient rock art, bush dinners and star-gazing. For those seeking the ultimate adventure, it is also possible to arrange helicopter excursions or trekking excursions up Mt Ololokwe, the Samburu tribe's sacred mountain.
Anna Thomas (Staff)
At Saruni Samburu, every room has beautiful decks and views that look out over the Kalama Conservancy and further toward Samburu National Park. If youre lucky you may be able to spot the local leopard that frequents around the camp. The camp is located on top of a hill place between the rocks so the views are the real show stoppers of the lodge. The sunrise in the morning is absolutely stunning as its rises up over the mountains in the East as you sip on your coffee and watch the sky turn pinks and oranges. During the heat of the day, you can cool off in one of the two pools on the property or visit the spa to get a massage. The superb game viewing is located in the Samburu Reserve which is about a 45 minute scenic drive so the departure time for game drives start a little earlier than normal, but worth it because the game is exceptional in this park. Activities such as bush walks, hikes, village visits, and night drives are all some of the activities offered. My stay at Saruni Samburu was magnificent with great service, food, game viewing and a variety of activities, I would recommend it to people of all ages alike.
Camilla Whitworth (Staff)
At Saruni Samburu it really is about the views and they really will completely blow you over! The lodge is in the most extraordinary location with endless untouched wilderness in front of you. For a first stop in Africa, this is the most magical place to begin. For me, it is a honeymoon or couple destination; start the holiday here and just unwind and relax with this incredible scenery around you. The rooms are perched on the edge of the cliffs and the perfect place to just stop and relax for a moment! You can head into the main Samburu reserve to see some great game viewing, I would also highly recommend the hike up the Thumbs up Mountain which actually only took about an hour to get to the top, and what views when you got there! You can also visit local schools and villages for a proper authentic insight into the local people and culture. However, after that, return to the pool, the beautiful massage room, or your room and enjoy the incredible remoteness of this special place.
Hannah Dawson (Staff)
The location of Saruni is very special, standing proud with Mount Kenya one side and the Mathews Mountain Ranges on the other, it provides stunning 360 views. Luxury tents provide panoramic views with a Moroccan influence and the main areas feature a living area and separate bedroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor shower. With two pools and a spa this is the perfect place to unwind after a day of safari. For game viewing it is a slightly longer drive but there is plenty to do around the camp. Set off on foot on a walking safari or visit the local elephant orphanage. With both communal and private dining available, it is a great option for couples and families.
Sian Frost (Staff)
This almost invisible lodge is perched on the edge of an escarpment with the most fabulous views over the Kalama Conservancy. There are plenty of areas to while away the days relaxing by one of the two pools or instead just marvelling at the incredible views. The guides here are superb and offer a real insight in to the Samburu culture, I quizzed our guide for hours and he loved telling about all of the details of life as a Samburu and the intricacies of their culture. The food here is wonderful, owned by Italians, expect lots of Italian cooking which is perfect after a long day walking through the conservancy on a different kind of safari.
Fly Fishing in Northern Kenya
If you want to try something really different during your holiday then why not take a fishing trip up to Lake Rutundu or Lake Alice. Situated at 10,000 feet above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Kenya this is a totally unique fly fishing experience.
Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Samburu is famed for its impressive elephant population. Go on game drives in search of these magnificent animals and for real enthusiasts a visit to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is an absolute must!
A scenic flight is the ultimate way to enjoy Kenya's spectacular landscapes, whether by helicopter or in the wonderful Waco bi-plane, it is an experience of a lifetime.
Samburu, Masai Mara, Diani Beach
from SGD $12100 pp 11 nights
- Samburu is home to endemic species of wildlife, such as the Beisa Oryx, found nowhere else in Kenya.
- This trip really takes you off grid as your safari is spent in private conservancies, allowing you plenty of opportunities to enjoy wildlife sightings all to yourself.
- Meet the semi-nomadic Samburu tribes in northern Kenya and learn the bush safari skills of the Samburu Warriors.
Location & directions
Samburu National Reserve, Northern Kenya, Kenya
Saruni Samburu perches on the top of the Kalama mountains with an all-round view of Northern Kenya all the way to snow-covered Mount Kenya. Built on the pristine land owned by the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy in 240,000 acres-large Gir Gir Group Ranch, it is only seven kilometers - and 20 minutes of exciting game drive - away from the Northern border of Samburu National Reserve, a celebrated elephant sanctuary.
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