Elephant Watch Camp situated in the dry north of Kenya, in a land of endless rugged beauty and untamed wilderness. Elephant Watch Camp is perched on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river beneath wide-spreading Kigelia and Acacia trees in Samburu National Reserve. It is home to some of the largest elephant bulls in Samburu who can often be spotted cooling down in the riverbed, resting in the shade, or hoovering up seedpods beside the tents.
Elephant Watch Camp Location
Your local travel agent can help arrange your international flight to Kenya, or you can simply book online. An increasing number of airlines fly direct or connect to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, including Kenya Airways, KLM, British Airways, Air France, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad, Qatar and Turkish Airlines. If you arrive in Nairobi at night we can book you into one of our favourite boutique hotels for a restful overnight stay before you head up to the wild north of Kenya.
If your international flight arrives in the morning, we can arrange for you to be met by a hostess right as you come off the plane who well help you through immigration and customs. You will then be transferred straight to Wilson Airport, which serves all of Kenya’s domestic destinations. The journey across Nairobi takes between 20 and 90 minutes depending on traffic, and you can have breakfast at Wilson’s Aeroclub before you catch your flight.
From here the hour-long flight to Samburu in a light aircraft will take you past the spectacular Aberdare Mountain Range, Mt. Kenya, and then out over the extraordinary scenery of the Great Rift Valley in the north. An Elephant Watch Camp guide will meet you at the Reserve airstrip in one of our modified four-wheel drives, to whisk you straight out to the elephants where your wilderness adventure will begin.
Camp coordinates are N 00°35.33, E 037°28.794. If you’d like to charter a plane or helicopter for a different flight time or route, it is easily organized.
|16 Jun 2017 – 30 Sep 2017||Adult sharing|
|21 Dec 2017 – 5 Jan 2018||Single Adult|
|Adult Sharing Triple|
|6 Jan 2017 – 31 Mar 2017||Adult sharing|
|10 May 2017 – 15 Jun 2017||Single Adult|
|1 Oct 2017 – 31 Oct 2017||Adult Sharing Triple|
|10 Dec 2017 – 20 Dec 2017||Child|
Elephant Watch Camp Accommodation
Their six spacious, netted tents at Elephant Watch Camp are specially designed to catch the breeze and ensure maximum privacy and protection. Each tent hangs under a wide thatched roof with it’s own verandah and stunning view. Inside, soft flowing cloths cascade to the floor that can be drawn across the windows at night. The walls are a mix of canvas and netting which keeps bugs out but allows in the sounds and scents of the wild.
Each room has a king-size bed with crisp cotton sheets, luscious feather pillows, bedside lamps, a flashlight, clean fluffy towels, a kanga bathrobe (designed by Oria) and a “bush cupboard” with plenty of hanging space and shelves. The verandah outside is expansive and comfortable where you can relax in comfort with a book on a daybed, or simply take in the view. Monkeys will come to peek at you, but otherwise your tent is strictly private.
Elephant Watch Camp Safari
This is the core activity for elephant watching as a vehicle provides the safest platform to take you right into the middle of the herds. They have a small fleet of specially modified four-wheel-drives that give you the best and safest vantage point. Their drivers and guides are trained to approach animals respectfully so as not to disturb them. This means that Samburu’s elephants, big cats and most large mammals have become so used to our vehicles that they will play out their full range of emotions as if we weren’t there at all, paying us the great compliment of simply ignoring us. This allows you to experience them in their most natural state, in complete safety and comfort.
Elephant Watch Camp Activities
Over the years, we have found many exciting ways to get out into the wilderness and really experience all it has to offer. Now, they want to offer you the fruits of that knowledge. While staying at Elephant Watch Camp, their guides will discuss with you what you would like to do each day, and tweak plans according to your mood and their recommendations. They are in regular communication with conservation researchers and rangers across Samburu National Reserve. This makes sure you are involved with every exciting development, and are the first to arrive on the scene.
Your focus is likely to be to spend as much time with the elephants as possible. They adapt our schedules to match their daily rhythms. You might find them, early in the morning, ambling down towards the water from where they were browsing at night, or at midday in the shade of the woodland along the river’s banks. But you could also head out at sunrise to track a lion or a leopard to where they are lying up with a fresh kill. Aside from the wildlife, many of our guests tell us that some of their most cherished memories are of the moments they spent getting to know the Samburu people.
Elephant Watch Camp Cuisine
Make and bake every bite of delicious food on site to offer you a superb fusion of Italo-Afro-bush gourmet for which Elephant Watch is famous far and wide. Vegetables are sourced locally from the foothills of Mt. Kenya, and then spiced to perfection with herbs from their organic garden. The meat comes mostly from their organic farm in Naivasha, or from the lush cattle ranches of Laikipia where livestock is pasture-raised and free to roam.
If you want to taste the local cuisine, roasted goat – Samburu-style fresh off the fire – is one of our specialities. Be prepared to bite into a sizzling chunk then slice it off the bone with a sword. No knives or forks allowed! Just a pinch of salt. Painting your face with red ochre and cow fat is optional.
At night, the orange flames from the fire and glow of hurricane lamps light up the dining table where we serve iced wine and mouth-watering grilled meat and fish. The river burbles gently below us as owls hoot and baboons bark under a black sky scattered with a million stars. In the distance, the tune of a Samburu flute keeps pace with an elephant splashing across the river. It simply can’t get any better, until the pudding arrives!
Elephant Watch Camp Gallery
Elephant Watch Camp Reviews
“Camping in Samburu’s (beautiful) riverside site we phoned to see if the lodge would let us come for a meal. Despite being hundreds of miles away in Nairobi, Saba organised everything very efficiently and even pulled a few necessary strings. We have seldom, if ever, come across higher quality food and better service and we travel for a living! One meal turned into every meal. The lodge is in a delightful spot by the river too.” – gugu m
“This was my second visit and I treasure every moment. Undoubtedly Samburu’s best camp with the best team and the best elephants (plus giant crocs and Spitting Cobras too!). Thank you Elephant Watch Camp for a truly amazing experience!” – Ambrose C
“From arriving at the airstrip to leaving three days later, the experience was amazing. The drivers and spotters were so skilled and knowledgeable making each game viewing expedition so enjoyable and informative. It was such a treat to be able to observe nature at such close proximity. The work of Save the Elephants is so important to ensure elephants can continue to roam free in their country. The camp itself was extremely comfortable with delicious and healthy meals served outdoors by the river. The Samburu people were wonderful, friendly and insightful. Thank you to Saba and all her staff for making our Samburu experience so very special. i highly recommend Elephant Watch Camp to anyone considering visiting Kenya.” – Belinda A