To get to Samburu from Amboseli you will need to fly back to Wilson in the morning to get your connecting flight onwards to Samburu. Both flights are around an hour and even with the aircraft change the total travel time should be less than four hours getting you into Samburu in the early afternoon.
Once again you will be met with your private vehicle at the airstrip and your first impression will be just how different Samburu is to the grasslands of Amboseli. Samburu has harsher vegetation. More thorny and familiar to those who have been on safari in Southern Africa before. This difference in environment also means that the resident animals and birds are also different…and thats why we like to come and photograph here.
Samburu is home to the Samburu tribe who are traditionally nomadic cattle farmers. They are also some of the proudest and striking of all of Kenya’s tribes. The warriors are adorned with elaborate beadwork and headdresses and are incredibly impressive..not to mention photogenic!
The wildlife is no less captivating including some rarer species that you are unlikely to see elsewhere and especially not all of them in the same place. These are affectionally known as the Samburu Special Five – Grevy’s Zebra (only 3000 left in the wild), The Reticulated Giraffe, the bizarre looking Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx and Somali Ostrich.
All the big cats are found in good numbers including leopards, lions, cheetah as well as some of the smaller predators like serval. There is a healthy population of elephants and prolific birdlife including highlights like Golden Starling, several large raptor species, Somali Bee-Eater and Vulturine Guinea Fowl.
Our camp of choice in Samburu is Larsen’s which has recently been refurbished. The spacious tents are placed along the river which fills after rains in the highlands around Mount Kenya. When it appears dry you can see herds of elephants digging down a few feet to get to the groundwater. Great to watch and photograph from your room. The camp is built under a forest of palm trees which keeps the rooms cool and there is an amazing pool to enjoy during the heat of the day.
Samburu is not a very large reserve so its more common to do early morning and late afternoon drives with a return to the camp during the day. Should you wish to do a full day game drive however a packed lunch can be arranged.
An underground hide is under construction at Larsen’s which can be pre-booked for an afternoon leading into an overnight session if you wish. The hide is accessible on foot from within the camp.
Check out Toby’s video report from Samburu here.