You can learn all about the Samburu people during Saruni Samburu’s Warriors Academy.

Saruni Samburu | Samburu Region Luxury Kenya Safari Lodge

Feel like you’re on top of the world at Saruni Samburu, where six luxury villas perch atop a rocky outcrop overlooking 8,000ha of pristine wilderness. With private game drives, indulgent massages, infinity pools and star gazing, this luxury Kenya safari lodge has it all.

The place

Perched along a rocky outcrop, Saruni Samburu has panoramic, 360-degree views over Kenya‘s Kalama Community Conservancy, making me feel like an eagle atop a mountain. I circle around, taking in the 8,000ha of pristine wilderness, before locking my eyes on Mount Kenya, which stands sentry over the land like a proud parent.We’re just north of Samburu National Reserve, so apart from the conservancy (which, as guests of this luxury Kenya safari lodge, we have exclusive use of) we have ample space to explore during our stay. As well as African wild dog, I’m hoping to spot the Samburu Special Five – Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk – found only in this part of the world. That said, I won’t stick my nose up at sightings of ‘run-of-the mill’ wildlife, like elephant, lion or leopard!

Perched along a rocky outcrop, Saruni Samburu has panoramic, 360-degree views over Kenya‘s Kalama Community Conservancy, making me feel like an eagle atop a mountain. I circle around, taking in the 8,000ha of pristine wilderness, before locking my eyes on Mount Kenya, which stands sentry over the land like a proud parent.

We’re just north of Samburu National Reserve, so apart from the conservancy (which, as guests of this luxury Kenya safari lodge, we have exclusive use of) we have ample space to explore during our stay. As well as African wild dog, I’m hoping to spot the Samburu Special Five – Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk – found only in this part of the world. That said, I won’t stick my nose up at sightings of ‘run-of-the mill’ wildlife, like elephant, lion or leopard!

The room

It’s quite a novel experience to have your own villa here at Saruni Samburu. It’s open at the front, allowing majestic and unobstructed views of the conservancy below. As I walk through it, I point out the things I love to my partner – the Tanzanian reed mats, the patterned rugs, the vintage chests…I take a moment to bounce on the huge four-poster bed like a child; it’s soft without sinking, and draped in mosquito nets. Hanging fabric adorns the earth-coloured walls. My partner calls me over to look at the tub and outside shower, which have the same spectacular views over the wilderness.The sultry warmth of the day invites a swim, so we follow the meandering paths to the higher of the two infinity swimming pools, passing a pair of inquisitive dik-dik on our way. After some splashing and cavorting, we swim to the pool’s edge, from where we can enjoy jaw-dropping views into the semi-arid desert, feeling as if we are suspended in space.Chris, our Samburu guide, comes over to check if we’re still keen to join the Warriors Academy. We do, so we dry off and change before meeting him at the safari vehicle. The experience is both educational and exciting. We learn about the lifestyle of Samburu warriors, and get a beginners class in tracking animals and crafting tools. We even get to try shooting a bow and arrow, throwing a spear, building a fire and tending cattle and goats. We end the day with a greater appreciation of survival in the Kenyan wilderness.

It’s quite a novel experience to have your own villa here at Saruni Samburu. It’s open at the front, allowing majestic and unobstructed views of the conservancy below. As I walk through it, I point out the things I love to my partner – the Tanzanian reed mats, the patterned rugs, the vintage chests…

I take a moment to bounce on the huge four-poster bed like a child; it’s soft without sinking, and draped in mosquito nets. Hanging fabric adorns the earth-coloured walls. My partner calls me over to look at the tub and outside shower, which have the same spectacular views over the wilderness.

The sultry warmth of the day invites a swim, so we follow the meandering paths to the higher of the two infinity swimming pools, passing a pair of inquisitive dik-dik on our way. After some splashing and cavorting, we swim to the pool’s edge, from where we can enjoy jaw-dropping views into the semi-arid desert, feeling as if we are suspended in space.

Chris, our Samburu guide, comes over to check if we’re still keen to join the Warriors Academy. We do, so we dry off and change before meeting him at the safari vehicle. The experience is both educational and exciting. We learn about the lifestyle of Samburu warriors, and get a beginners class in tracking animals and crafting tools. We even get to try shooting a bow and arrow, throwing a spear, building a fire and tending cattle and goats. We end the day with a greater appreciation of survival in the Kenyan wilderness.

What sets it apart

No matter what you’re doing at Saruni Samburu – swimming in the infinity pools, enjoying a spa treatment or just having a meal – you’re constantly aware of being in the wilderness. Try as you might, you can’t ignore the astonishing views.While my partner, a raconteur, delighted in the fireside chats with other guests, I’d have to say I prefered the quiet companionship I found in the wildlife. While we didn’t get to spot the complete Samburu Special Five on this trip (I’ll get you next time, Somali ostrich!), I had a moving encounter with a herd of elephant … I would have spent the whole day parked next to them if they hadn’t ambled off. And we both absolutely loved the Warriors Academy – what fun!I was also pleased to learn that the lodge has a good approach to sustainability, capturing rainwater and harvesting solar power.

No matter what you’re doing at Saruni Samburu – swimming in the infinity pools, enjoying a spa treatment or just having a meal – you’re constantly aware of being in the wilderness. Try as you might, you can’t ignore the astonishing views.

While my partner, a raconteur, delighted in the fireside chats with other guests, I’d have to say I prefered the quiet companionship I found in the wildlife. While we didn’t get to spot the complete Samburu Special Five on this trip (I’ll get you next time, Somali ostrich!), I had a moving encounter with a herd of elephant … I would have spent the whole day parked next to them if they hadn’t ambled off. And we both absolutely loved the Warriors Academy – what fun!

I was also pleased to learn that the lodge has a good approach to sustainability, capturing rainwater and harvesting solar power.

At a glance

  • Spectacular mountain-top safari lodge with six luxury villas (four doubles/twins and two family villas), two infinity pools, a shop and a spa.
  • Private concession, private vehicles available (additional cost), private dining available and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, birding, stargazing, bush meals, bush sundowners, helicopter excursions (additional cost), spa treatments (additional cost), Warriors Academy, rock art tours and Mount Ololokwe Excursion (additional cost).
  • Children welcome. Two family villas and two of the other villas can be booked together for a family.

  • Spectacular mountain-top safari lodge with six luxury villas (four doubles/twins and two family villas), two infinity pools, a shop and a spa.
  • Private concession, private vehicles available (additional cost), private dining available and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, birding, stargazing, bush meals, bush sundowners, helicopter excursions (additional cost), spa treatments (additional cost), Warriors Academy, rock art tours and Mount Ololokwe Excursion (additional cost).
  • Children welcome. Two family villas and two of the other villas can be booked together for a family.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is prime time for a luxury safari in northern Kenya. The weather is dry and cool, making conditions perfect in this arid part of the country. It’s just after the long rains, so while the bush is initially lush it gets progressively sparser, making wildlife easier to spot. A trip to northern Kenya at this time of year is best combined with a visit to the Masai Mara, where you’ll be able to see the Great Wildebeest Migration from July to September.

In this period following the short rains, the dry season takes hold and the vegetation thins out completely. The animals congregate near water sources – particularly the Ngiro River, which makes its way from the Laikipia highlands to Samburu and beyond – so the game viewing is excellent, plus there are fewer people around to share your sightings with. To round off your safari experience, visit Tanzania now too, where you’ll catch the southern Serengeti leg of the Great Wildebeest Migration, as well as the wildebeest’s dramatic birthing season.

Kenya’s long rains, which fall steadily throughout April and May, are followed by short rains in November – generally quick afternoon bursts. While muddy roads can make getting around a bit tricky, the drier north is the best place to be in Kenya at this time of year. It’s a quiet time for tourism, so wildlife experiences are exclusive, and as the vegetation is in a growth period, game sightings are plentiful. All in all visitors get good-value holidays now, provided they pack their sense of humour (and their gum boots!).

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