​User Reviews – Samburu NR

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TheMrskoko   –  
United States US
Visited: August 2010 Reviewed: Aug 4, 2012

20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Beautiful Safari, Exotic Animals
Overall rating

We went to Africa for our honeymoon/first anniversary. Samburu was our first stop and it did not disappoint. We stayed at Saruni Samburu and it was amazing! Highly recommend it! Our suite overlooked a watering hole and the African plains. It was indoor/outdoor and huge with dining and living areas seperate from the bedroom and bath. The staff took amazing care of us while we were there.

The safari was great we saw leopard and her cub, lionesses hanging out in a tree, crocs, ellies and countless others. We rarely saw another car. It felt like we had the entire reserve to ourselves. Highly recommend Samburu National Reserve. It has five types of animals you will not see anywhere else.

Clive Cheeseman   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: September 2011 Reviewed: Apr 7, 2012

50-65 years of age

Enormous variety of animals in one relatively small park
Overall rating

Our first trip to Africa and we chose Archers Direct as our tour company. We have found them to be a good choice for other tours in the past. Samburu was the first park we visited on our tourand unknown to us, an amazing variety of animal and birdlife was waiting to be seen.

When we arrived at the Samburu Game Lodge we were delighted with the well appointed accomodation under a canvas roof'. The lodges are located within a few yards of the river bank with a decking verandah to view the animals by the riverside. These include monkeys, baboons, black buck and a large family of elephants (on the other side!) not to mention several species of birds including kingfisher. Our lodge was about 100 yards from the main buildings, restaraunt etc., but after the evening meal we were always accompanied to our lodge by one of the security staff with torch, just in case a baboon might be roaming around. Security staff constantly patrolled the perimeter, which made us feel very safe

The food was buffet style with a variety of cooked meals including good vegetarian choices and was of very good quality. All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful (as we found throughout our tour of Kenya).

When we were there most of the park was very dry and brown (unlike much of Kenya which was surprisingly verdant) but there was plenty of trees and bushes for animal cover. We were very excited at the start of the first ever game drive and were soon rewarded by the sight of several lionesses relaxing in the shade of an acacia tree. On this and subsequent drives we were regularly stopping to take photos of Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelles, various species of antelope, Elephant, Lions patrolling (super photo opportunity), birds (including bee-eater, eagles, goshawk, and various ground birds). It was wonderful to be so close to the animals, which for the most part ignored the presence of the vehicle (a six seat minibus). We saw more and more variety on each game drive and were lucky enough to spot a Leopard on the way back from our very last drive - Wow!

I recommend a long lens for your camera to get those close up and intimate shots and I found a camera bean bag for supporting the lens to be essential to avoid camera shake. All in all Samburu was a fantastic introduction to the Kenyan safari and I highly recommend a visit to this lovely place. We are looking forward to another safari trip in a few years time.

Debra   –  
Canada CA
Visited: March 2018 Reviewed: May 11, 2018

Email Debra

Samburu lived up to & exceeded all of my expectations
Overall rating

I visited Samburu National Reserve in the last week of February 2018. The weather was beautiful everyday. I stayed at Larsens Tent Camp which was a wonderful 5 star experience with exceptional service & food.
The very first day we arrived at Samburu we saw most of the wildlife we hadn't seen elsewhere, such as Greater Kudu, Somali Ostrich, Gunther's Dikdik, Beisa Oryx, Vulturine Guineafowl, Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated & Rothschild Giraffes as well as many different bird species and a special highlight was seeing a Striped Hyena, as well as seeing the usual, most still fantastic wildlife Samburu has to offer.
Our guides supplied by Rhino Safaris through Cheesemans' Ecological Safaris were outstanding. They were extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and great drivers.
I would highly recommend Samburu National Reserve to anyone interested in going on a safari in Kenya and I would love to go back one day myself!

Cookswell Jikos   –  
Kenya KE
Visited: April 2016 Reviewed: May 4, 2016

Email Cookswell Jikos  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

On of the best National Reserves in Kenya!
Overall rating

One of the best places I have been in Kenya in 31 years of traveling around Kenya! The wildlife is prefuse and qutie friendly and accustomed to vehicles. The roads are fine as far as park roads go and the river is magnificent! We stayed at the nicest campsite under huge old acacia trees with a very helpful campsite attendant who much to our amazement was able to source cold beers and fresh bread and milk from out of thin air.

The drive to Samburu from Nairobi is an easy one, there is a very good cafe mid-way just before Nanyuki - One Stop Cafe opposite Barneys airfield. Camping and park fee's for what the experience is worth should be much higher as it is in almost all Kenyan parks.

If you want to see the South of the North of Kenya - Samburu is your park - if you dont like camping, Elephant Bedroom Camp is the best place to stay by a mile.

glynis2   –  
Kenya KE
Visited: March 2012 Reviewed: Dec 16, 2012

20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Great Safari Destination!
Overall rating

My entire safari tour took me to 3 different reserves/parks in Kenya, but overall I think I enjoyed Samburu National Reserve the most. The landscape is beautiful and we saw a wide variety of wildlife; lots of elephants, many types of antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, warthogs, crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, ostriches, grevy's zebra (different from a regular zebra, and this type is only found on Samburu if I remember my safari guide correctly). Samburu is particularly great for elephant viewing (they are my favorite animals). We saw many herds on our game drives and my personal highlight was the morning they took us to watch all the elephants trek to the river for their morning drink/bath. We parked our jeep and watched as an endless number of elephants (including some adorable little babies) passed in front of us probably less than 20 yards from our vehicle! Our safari guide was fantastic; incredibly knowledgeable about all the wildlife and had reference books to consult when unsure of the names of some of the many types of antelope or birds we saw. The lodges we stayed in were wonderful. I was really expecting to "rough it" so I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely upscale tents on raised wooden floors we got to stay in complete with all the amenities of a nice hotel room. There were lots of baboons wandering around the camp and just outside our tents, which provided fun viewing from the decks. The food provided was pretty good and all the bottled water we needed was always available. The dirt roads throughout the park were in much better condition than I was expecting, but the roads throughout Kenya which you need to drive on to reach the reserve are pretty bad (important to note if you get motion sick like I do- make sure to bring motion sickness remedy with you.) The weather in March was fantastic, being the end of the dry/hot season and just before the cold/rainy season. It was sunny and 80-90F the entire time! Not very many mosquitos at that time either. The entire experience exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend making Samburu National Reserve a stop on your safari!

Lynn   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: January 2014 Reviewed: Nov 22, 2016

Email Lynn  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Just that bit different and special.
Overall rating

We are travelling back to Samburu in January 2016, for our 7th visit, which has to say something about the reserve. We have spent time in the Masai Mara, Nakuru, Amboseli, Tsavo all of which are beautiful and have been privileged to witness some amazing game viewing, but for me Samburu has a special place in my heart and I feel as if I am 'home'. It probably has a lot to do with the number of elephants and the close encounters we have experienced in their company, but Samburu is special and totally different to all the other reserves, mentioned above, that we have visited.

Sue Green LRPS (suebg1)   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: December 2013 Reviewed: May 26, 2015

Email Sue Green LRPS (suebg1)  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

Samburu will always be a very special place for me. The scenery especially after rain is especially colourful. There are many many species of animals and it is home to the gerenuk antelope unlikely to be seen any where else in the wild. Samburu also has an amazing variety of bird species. I have been there a few times now and have photographed the bateleur eagle,pygmy, kingfishers, hawks and several species of bee eaters on many of my visits. Also home to a large number of elephant families one is able to observe up close.
Samburu is always warm and the staff very welcoming. I have loved every moment spent there and I know I will go there again.

axda73   –  
Germany DE
Visited: January 2014 Reviewed: May 26, 2015

Email axda73  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Visiting Samburu is a must everytimes I visit Kenya
Overall rating

The Samburu National Reserve is one of the best Safari destinations in Kenya. The wildlife is excellent, the landscape adorable and Food and accomodation was everytimes perfect. Samburu is a dry and hot place and a lot of animals are concentrating around Uaso Nyiero River.
Very good Location for ornithologists.

JerseyMolly   –  
United States US
Visited: August 2012 Reviewed: Aug 26, 2012

Email JerseyMolly  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

A truly unforgettable experience
Overall rating

I never imagined it was possible to get so close to wild animals! Elephants were crossing the road right in front of our vehicle, a leopard was enjoying a meal of an impala under an acacia tree, a cheetah was taking a siesta in the bush right by the side of the road and a lioness was taking her three young cubs for an afternoon stroll. There were reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk, dik dik, oryx, and lots and lots of birds! Our guide knew all about these animals, and also knew just where to find them. We stayed at the Samburu Game Lodge, which was very charming, if a bit run down. The food was mediocre, but there were several vegetarian selections, so no one went hungry. Samburu is hot, so bring light clothing, sunscreen and bug spray, and prepare to be amazed!

Mark Hancock   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: July 2011 Reviewed: Aug 13, 2012

Email Mark Hancock  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Fanstastic experience which exceeded our expectations.
Overall rating

My wife, 14 year old son and I stayed at Samburu Intrepids camp and were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived to the moment we boarded our safari plane to leave. I cannot think of anything we didn't like about the camp. We had a safari jeep and a guide, whose name was Jelly, all to ourselves. Jelly was excellent and went out of his way to find the animals for us. Before every game drive he would ask if there was any particular animal we wanted to see and he never failed to find the animals we mentioned. The scenery was beautiful with hills and escarpments and the wildlife was plentiful but we often felt like we were the only people on safari there. Usually only when there was a 'special' sighting would we see other safari vehicles and we sometimes had these special sightings all to ourselves. Like the time we watched 3 cheetahs from the same family behaving aggresively towards another lone cheetach, a video of which is on YouTube. I have rated every aspect of the safari as 5 stars apart from the wildlife which I gave 4 and that is only because we also went to the Masai Mara where the wildlife was even more plentiful.

Average User Rating

  • 4.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 59
  • 4 star 18
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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