Samburu Intrepids has a lovely situation on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River, and the overall feeling is of a place that is shady and cool, peaceful and relaxing.
Elephant Bedroom Camp
This laid-back camp has a rustic style that places you firmly in the African bush, using dark wood, burnt-orange fabrics and authentic African ornaments. Set among doum palms next to the seasonal Ewaso Nyiro River, it has 14 spacious canvas tents, each with a private deck and plunge pool. Vervet monkeys scamper overhead (make sure to lock your tent) and, true to its name, elephants often pass right through camp.
The main mess tent is made of canvas and has open sides leading to a spacious deck where á la carte lunches and dinners are served. Just in front of it is a boma area where you can sit around a campfire when the stars come out.
Game drives with local guides give you a chance to see the reserve’s large herds of elephant and seek out the Northern Five (gerenuk or giraffe antelope, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, besia oryx and Somali ostriches) — rare subspecies that are only found in northern Kenya.
Bush walks are a good alternative to a game drive, giving you a chance to stretch your legs and notice smaller aspects of the bush you’d otherwise miss. And, you can visit a nearby Samburu village to see the way of life in this remote region.
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The 14 canvas tents are raised on wooden decks facing the river and set beneath shady trees. Each is furnished with a double or two double beds, a dressing table, wooden chest, safe and a private deck complete with plunge pool. The en suite bathrooms include a warm shower and flush toilet. While most tents have space for an extra bed, there are two deluxe tents designed for families, featuring two bedrooms and a living area.
The camp is situated within Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya, right on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River and surrounded by doum palms. The reserve is known for its arid orange-red soil and rock formations, its large elephant population and for being home to the Northern Five.
Food and drink
- Three-course lunches and dinners are served á la carte on individual tables out on the main deck, and there’s always a vegetarian option.
- You can often enjoy bush breakfasts in a scenic spot when out on your morning game drive, usually comprising pancakes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt and fresh fruit.
- You’ll enjoy sundowner drinks and snacks at least once during your stay (drinks are an additional cost).
- Families can stay in the two-bedroom deluxe tents, which provide enough space for up to six people.
- The camp is unfenced, so children must be supervised at all times.
Facilities and activities
The camp has a spa facility where you can arrange for a massage (additional cost) and free Wi-Fi is available in the main communal area. Activities include morning and afternoon game drives through the reserve with experienced guides, as well as bush walks focusing on smaller fauna and local flora. You can also visit a nearby Samburu village for a glimpse into the local culture.
We like the laid-back atmosphere of this camp, and its location is the best inside the reserve. Being next to a water source in an area with an arid climate, the wildlife will come right to you. There’s a constant feeling of being close to nature, and you’ll sleep to the chatter of the birds and primates that live in the forest of doum palms and the crunch of twigs breaking as elephant amble through camp to feed. The tents have everything you need and the beds are enormous.
Samburu National Reserve tour ideas
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Enjoying a jaw-dropping location high on rocky kopje overlooking the Samburu region’s rust-red landscape and the green mountains of the Mathews Range, Saruni Samburu offers large villas, two pools and a spa.