This 6-days safari experience at Saruni Samburu is intimate and truly exceptional. Travelers have the unique opportunity to witness, interact with and learn from one of the oldest remaining tribes in Africa. Saruni Samburu is the only lodge in Kalama Conservancy, and the sole source of income for the communities found in the area. Since its opening, Saruni Samburu has provided jobs, income, training and guidance for the local Samburu people in the area. Tourism directly supports conservation – by visiting Saruni Samburu, you are directly giving back to the community who protects this beautiful land, improving their quality of life, while at the same time encouraging the purpose for conservation.
Transfer from Nairobi to Saruni Samburu. As the only lodge in over 200,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness teeming with wildlife to explore exclusively, and guided by Samburu warriors passionate about their land and culture. The nearest town to Saruni Samburu is Archer’s Post, a dusty settlement still with the flavor of a remote frontier post.
The Samburu are the indigenous nomadic tribe and custodians of the area where the lodge is found. Our guides are Samburu warriors who are professionally qualified, but more importantly, who share their authentic local knowledge, ancient traditions and customs with guests.
During your stay at Saruni Samburu there are a variety of activities available to you each day. Of course, one of the main reasons people come to stay at Saruni Samburu is the wildlife. Guests have the remarkable opportunity to see the Samburu Five – five rare and endemic animals to the Samburu ecosystem. They are the Gerenuk, the Reticulated giraffe, the Somali ostrich, the Grevy’s zebra, the Beisa oryx. Kalama Conservancy, the wildlife sanctuary where Saruni Samburu is located and which borders Samburu National Reserve, has an abundance of other rare species, like the leopard, the Striped hyena, the African civet and African Wild dog or Painted hunting dogs.
Trained by Lewa and the Northern Rangelands Trust, the Kalama rangers have been protecting this area for several years and have been reporting a steady increase in wildlife numbers and sightings. The waterholes built by Saruni and by the Kalama community, with water coming from Buffalo Springs, are bringing to the area a precious element that is often missing from this arid part of Kenya. The constant availability of water will make the Saruni area an unavoidable stopping point for all the wildlife of this large and still pristine area, where there are no roads, no people, no buildings and no signs of human civilization.
Saruni Samburu’s location is one of a kind; the panoramic backdrop, dramatic hills and cascading landscape make for an unforgettable safari. The scenic safari experience goes beyond our location as we offer ‘Sacred Mountain’ day excursions up Mount Ololokwe (additional surcharge).
Standing proud at Saruni’s doorstep, Ololokwe is a pillar of cultural significance to the Samburu and an exciting trekking venture to many others. Stretch your legs on one of our day excursions up Ololokwe’s slopes in the company of our professional Samburu guides.
Setting off at dawn, you drive to the foot of Ololokwe (30 mins from the lodge). Whatever your pace, our guides are at your side throughout, teaching you about the mountain and all of its wonders. Half way to the top, you stop for a Saruni breakfast of eggs, bacon, fruit and pancakes with tea and coffee (or, to your liking). Now, full of energy, you reach the top and admire the magnificent view of Samburuland. You begin your descent with the prospect of a delicious lunch of fresh pasta and salads in the shade of the ancient Moran’s cave.
Today’s wildlife viewing takes on a different aspect, one that is much closer to the Samburu community. The ‘Warriors Academy’ is a special interactive wildlife safari with a strong educational flavour, designed especially for families or small groups (additional surcharge). It is a fun learning experience that allows you to explore not only the wildlife, but also the authentic lifestyles of one of Africa’s last remaining and culturally fascinating tribes – the Samburu. Under the tutelage of their ‘Moran’, or warriors, our guests get to know, enjoy and understand these unique people and see the Kenya bush from a completely different and unique perspective – through the eyes of the people who have called this wilderness their home for centuries. During this time you will Learn and experience at first hand the bush skills, folklore and ancient wisdom needed to survive in one of the richest wildlife regions in Africa. Share time with real Masai and Samburu warriors while they walk, sing, track and live the traditional life in this phase of their existence.
Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Take another opportunity to see the abundant wildlife around Saruni Samburu today. Visit Reteti, the first community-owned and run elephant sanctuary in Kenya. Orphaned and abandoned elephant calves, along with other wildlife, are fostered with the principle aim of releasing them back into the wild when they are ready. Reteti is a ‘sanctuary’, not an orphanage. The North is filled with wells, a precious water source for both the wildlife and communities in the area. Many calves fall into these deep holes and struggle to get out. Reluctantly, mothers are forced to abandon their little ones to find food and water with the rest of the herd. A professional team from Reteti step in to rescue the calves and bring them back to the Sanctuary. Visiting The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is not only a unique addition to your safari but one of the best things you can do to support the local community and help protect all the animals who are cared for there. Guests get the chance to witness feeding and playtime at The Sanctuary, as well as an in-depth look behind the scenes. The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is open to visitors daily for a small entrance fee of US$20 per person. This money goes directly back to the project, helping to buy milk formula, bottles for feeding, and various medicines for the animals. A typical excursion includes a two-hour, scenic drive in the comfortable ‘Northern Express’ to The Sanctuary in time for a briefing by one of the keepers, a tour of the kitchen where they prepare the milk formulas and a chance to talk to the vet on duty. Guests then get a unique opportunity to witness the infants’ feeding and play time. On the way back to the lodge, stop for a delicious picnic lodge. Then there is time for one last evening at Saruni to enjoy the sounds and sights around the lodge and a final delicious dinner.
Depart Saruni Samburu and return to Nairobi.