Samburu Wilderness - Kenya
This safari lets you enjoy a less crowded park compared to Mara or Ngorongoro. We take you through the Maasai country towards Isiolo, with a 2 nights stay at the lodge in the Sambru Game Reserve and a further 2 nights in Shaba. Shaba National Reserve is where naturalist Joy Adamson, whose 1960 best-seller, Born Free, made a lion cub named Elsa as lovable as Winnie-the-Pooh. Shaba took its name from the Mount Shaba (1525 meters), a volcanic mountain that became extinct around 5,000 years ago. Mount Shaba lies on the border of the reserve.
We then move southwards to a luxurious lodge set on the lower slopes of the mount Kenya, 2,134 metres above sea level for a 2 nights stay. The lodge sails like an ark amid the primeval forests of Kenya's highest mountain overlooking its own water hole, which attracts a wide variety of game day and night.
Parks and Animals
Samburu National Park
Samburu is another of the less crowded reserves in Kenya, offering you an off the beaten path experience in the Northern Frontier. A place of endless skies, dust-red plains and palm-fringed rivers, Samburu National Reserve lies on the fringes of the vast, arid desert, once known as the Northern Frontier District. It is a great place to see large herds of elephant, who roam the hills during the day before returning to bathe on the banks of the river in the evening. The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the beisa oryx and the log necked gerenuk also known as 'giraffe- necked antelope’, an unusual browser that spends most of its time on its hind legs reaching up to the withered bushes – These are also referred to as Samburu Special Five. Samburu is also home to over 900 elephants, and other larger predators lion, leopard and cheetah (including Kamunyak, the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx is a resident in the reserve.
Samburu is also abundant in birdlife including species that are known to be vulnerable and rare making your experience in the reserve unique and memorable. Such bird species include the Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon African darter, great egret, white-headed vulture, martial eagle and the yellowbilled ox-pecker. The endangered pancake tortoise is also resident here.
Shaba National Reserve
Shaba National Reserve is separated from Samburu and the other reserve in the ecosystem, Bufallo Springs by the Great North Road from Isiolo to Marsabit. Shaba game reserve is a semi desert with a rugged hilly terrain, with great rocky kopjes (small isolated hills) and lots of springs supporting the abundant wildlife and one of the best places to view some of the rarer species in Kenya. The reserve is greener than Samburu, with a greater occurrence of riverine forests along the Ewaso Ngiro river with acacia trees, doum palms and a dramatic landscape. Shaba National Reserve itself is rich with extraordinary wildlife with a glimpse of Kenyan history as well. The Reserve was made famous by the late Joy Adamson and her lioness Elsa which and is often referred to as the Born free country. Animals commonly seen include the klipspringer and hyrax, elephants, lions, cheetahs, grevy's zebras, giraffes, gerenuks, buffalos, oryx, grants gazelles, dikdiks and waterbucks. Nearly all the bird species found in the dry Savannah woodland are represented in these reserves, where over 100 bird species are easily seen within a day. Large flocks of Helmeted and Vulturine guinea fowl are a common sight
Mount Kenya National Park
Mt. Kenya National Park is located to the east of the Great Rift Valley whose ecosystem lies in the Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya. Attraction in the park include Mt. Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa at At 5,199m. The lower slopes of the park are spectacularly domed with rainforest and dense thickets of bamboo, while higher up the flora changes dramatically: moorland and giant lobelia and heather.
The forests are home to elephant, buffalo, monkeys, antelope and giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, water buck and Eland. The birdlife around the mountain is also prolific, ranging from huge eagles to multi-coloured sunbirds.
Activities and Highlights
- A unique activity on offer at Samburu is the camel back safaris, a cultural visit to the villages to see their traditional dances and cultural activities.
- The gently flowing Uaso Nyiro river which traverses Samburu.
- Forest walks and bird watching in scenic Mountain Lodge.
Dates and Itinerary
Our tailor-made safaris give you the freedom to choose your program - tell us when you want to go and any preferences you have, and we will help you to design your safari holiday.
For those who are budget travellers we have mid range lodges and camps in and out of the Samburu National reserve and in the Mount Kenya Regions you can equally enjoy.
An endless pageant of rare wildlife with a chance of seeing a leopard family, you get to enjoy traditional culture of the Samburu and between game drives pleasant lodge hospitality
|1||5.5 hours||Nairobi to Samburu: Drive across the agricultural rich Central highlands, with pineapple, coffee and tea plantations to the semi-arid National Reserve of Samburu. Have lunch enroute the scenic drive. Evening gamedrive. Dinner and overnight at lodge.|
|2||Morning game drive. After lunch, relax in the afternoon and unwind at a jacuzzi or sunbathe at a swimming pool. Evening game drive. Dinner and overnight in Samburu.|
|3||2hours||Discover the beauty of the Northern Frontier landscape as you drive to Shaba National Reserve. Dinner and overnight at lodge.|
|4||2.5hours||Early morning game drive. After breakfast, drive to the slopes of Mt Kenya National Park. Lunch at Serena Mt Lodge.relax in teh afternoon enjoying the spectacular views of the of game from the comfort of your veranda. Dinner and overnight at Serena Mountain Lodge.|
|5||Visit Ol Pejeta Game Conservancy on the plains below Mount Kenya. In the evening enjoy dance displays by the local traditional Mwomboko dancers. Dinner and overnight at Serena Mountain Lodge.|
|6||Enjoy a last day on safari as you journey back to Nairobi. On arrival in Nairobi, you will be dropped off at a hotel or transferred to the airport for your flight to Mombasa for beach holidays or for your departure flight.|
Samburu Wilderness cost: £745.00
- Safari Vehicle for 6 days (with pop up roof for game viewing) including fuel
- Driver & Guide for duration of your trip
- Park and conservation entry fees as per the itinerary
- Food (3 meals per day) and bottled water in your safari
- Accommodation in lodges or tented camps
- UK/Kenya Administration and Staff Support
- Any activities not mentioned in the inclusions
- Personal expenses, such as souvenirs, alcohol/additional drinks and food, laundry, phone calls, etc
- Safari Staff Tips (estimate £20)
- Vaccinations/personal medication
- International Travel/Visa/Personal Trip Insurance
Your presence in the reserve contributes to income for the community who manage the park enabling them to conserve the area as the nomadic Samburu people live and tend their livestock in close proximity to wild animal populations (Grevy’s zebras, elephants, antelopes, Waller’s gazelle, cheetahs, lions, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs, birds, and many invertebrates). There are no fences to keep wildlife within certain areas, and human-wildlife conflict over critical resources (water, food, etc.) contributes to a greater dispersal of wildlife.
The Samburu’s pastoral way of life promotes the conservation of important indigenous breeds of livestock alongside wildlife. They continue to live according to their values that promote the sustainable use of our livestock while ensuring conservation of the wider environment.
Type of Terrain
Samburu National Reserve lies north of the equator, on the arid fringes of Kenya, here water means life. The waters of the great Ewaso Nyiro river draw wildlife in great numbers to its banks. The river flows through three great northern reserves, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba. The samburu are nomadic, they live in temporarily manyattas - mud-walled, grass-thatched huts. A typical Samburu village normally includes several manyattas belonging to a group of five to 10 families.
Adventure Alternative Support
The growing human populations and changing settlement patterns has put human and wildlife communities at risk, therefore Adventure Alternative ensure that whenever we visit a village we assist the families by promoting sustainable economies.
The following should give you a good idea as to what is required clothing worn during a safari. You will want to blend into the environment so think greens, browns and khakis, loud colours are not advised.
- Short & Long Sleeve Shirts - Long sleeved shirts will protect your skin from the sun and from insects in the evenings.
- Shorts & Trousers - Long trousers will protect you from the sun & insects.
- Safari Hat - Wide brimmed works best, but a cap is a good alternative!
- Jacket/Fleece -It can get cold in the evenings and on the early morning game drive and in Mountain Lodge as it is close to the Mt. Kenya
- Footwear - Comfortable trainers/shoes and a pair of sandals. You will need some type of hiking/safari boot if you plan on any walking safaris.
- Personal first-aid kit
- Small daysack-To carry personal belongings, water bottle, camera, sunscreen, etc.
- African/Kenya Guide Book
- Money belt
- Torch- Very important if going on our camping safari.
- Water bottle
- Insect Repellent
- Adventure Alternative is a well run trusted company. We’ve been recognised by a number of industry awards for the work which we do, such as the Responsible Tourism Award in 2009.
- We are active members of industry bodies such as Fair Trade Volunteering and Tourism Concern, and your money is protected by AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators).
- Adventure Alternative is an organically grown company which is fresh and inspirational.
- We really make a big difference and promote a type of tourism which is sustainable, developmental and fair.
- We don’t use third party ground suppliers or external sources; we have developed our won in-country presence.
- Adventure Alternative runs its own company in Kenya called Adventure Alternative Kenya.
- This company is a registered tour operator and headed up by Kelly Kioko (see our staff page). The company looks after all of your daily needs and manages you whilst in Kenya. The company has a large set up in Nairobi with regional bases all over the country. It has qualified and experienced staff, vehicles and a large store of equipment and the expertise to ensure your trip runs smoothly, professionally and safely.
- All the staff have been with us for over a decade and have been trained to a very high standard. They are well used to working with Westerners and will enjoy showing you their country and making sure you have a great time.
- Adventure Alternative is the real deal! We do things the way they should be done and your safety and enjoyment is paramount.