Re: Best Place to Stay Samburu and Nakuru?

Oct 24th, 2007, 08:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
Re: Best Place to Stay Samburu and Nakuru?

HI, I am going back to Kenya 2008 and wondering about:
1. flite to Samburu from Nairobi?
2. 3 nights in Samburu...Samburu Interpids? is there any other place to stay? what vehicles are used etc.
3. driving from Samburu to Lewa Downs Conservancy? how far, time to do it etc. and is it worth the drive?
4. Driving from Lewa Downs to far, time to do it and is it worth the drive?
5. Saruva Lion HIll game Lodge?
6. Drive down to Nairobi? How far, time to do itand is it worth the drive?
I arrive NBO on 8/22 and am thinking of spending some time there at Sheldricks etc. and then heading out. tour operator is suggesting 8/22 - 24 Nairobi, 8/25 - 27 Smaburu, 8/28 - 9/2 Lewa (I am meeting friends there, 9/3 - 9/4 Nakuru and leaving for the Mara 9/5. what does everyone think?
13moons is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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1. There are scheduled flights from Nairobi to Samburu on Air Kenya and Safarilink. Is that what you're asking?

2. is there any other place to stay? Besides Intrepids, there's Samburu Game Lodge, Serena, Sopa, Elephant Bedroom, Larsens, and Elephant Watch. The latter 3 are smaller camps than Intrepids. There's also the new Saruni Samburu scheduled to open on June 1st (I think).

what vehicles are used I have a pic of the Larsens vehicle in this album (first pic)

We saw an Elephant Watch vehicle driving around that was more open than the Larsens vehicle but still had a canopy. The camp wasn't open at the time, so I'm not sure if that's the standard vehicle they use for guests.

3. Samburu to Lewa gate is probably only 1.5 hour's drive, 2 at most.

is it worth the drive? Hard to say because the first 45 min or so out of Samburu is pretty rough until you get to Isiolo, but the transfer time is short and as far as I know, there are no scheduled flights from Samburu to Lewa. Once you get to Lewa, I believe you have to use their vehicles for game drives.

4. My guess is 4-4.5 hours from the gate to Nakuru. I haven't done it, but the route is on pretty decent roads.

5. Haven't stayed there. We stayed at Mbweha Camp just outside of the park which I can recommend. Besides those, there's the Lake Nakuru Lodge and Flamingo Hill camp.

6. Normally, it should only take 2.5 hours but from what I understand there's still some road construction going on between Nakuru and Naivasha. From Naivasha to Nairobi (1.5 hour), the road is good.
Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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There's also a camp called Sasaab near Samburu but I haven't heard much about it. It's outside the reserve, as is Saruni. And I think 2 new lodges/camps may be going up on the Buffalo Springs side. It's hard to keep up. Sandi might know.

Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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We stayed at Elephant Bedroom in Samburu in late September and it was fantastic. I absolutely loved being in a small, unfenced camp (elephant moms and babies surrounding our tent one night, lion tracks on the ground another morning), the tents and common areas were beautiful and the staff was terrific- ethusiastic, hardworking, and very nice. I can't say enough good things about it. We had our own guide and vehicle with us, so I don't know anything about their vehicles. But, I think it is very expensive -- we were only there because we'd booked at Samburu Intrepids and they bumped us because they were still doing renovation on their tents and did not have enough room for all their bookings. Since Intrepids paid the difference in the camps, I don't know how much Elephant Bedroom costs. The problem is, I think this camp spoiled us for any future safaris... if we can ever afford any future safaris. But, if it is in your budget I would highly recommend this place.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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I forgot to add that you can fly from Naivasha to the Mara on Safarilink. You don't have to drive all the way back to Nairobi.
Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Patty hit all the right stuff. And, yes, it's hard to keep up. Wait till they start adding camps in Meru... ugh!

There are a number of smaller camps in Samburu already, i.e., Elephant Watch ($$$$$), Elephant Bedroom ($$$$), Saruni ($$$$... scheduled to open 1st June, right outside park boundary on private land, so night drives), Sasaab ($$$$... also outside park, but don't have much info on this, sorry).

Intrepid's is larger at about 25/tents, the others are small in the 6-10/tent range. Intrepid's, Elephant Watch, Saruni use open vehicles, all with sun protection above.

No flight to Lewa in the opposite direction, so this would have to be a drive. Likewise, you'd have to drive to Nakuru. Lion Hill is about the best lodge here, but the options Patty suggested should be considered.

And as Patty indicated, you can from Nakuru drive to Naivasha for a flight to the Masai Mara, rather than departing Nakuru early enough to arrive NBO for lunch and then 3pm flight to the Mara. There is no way you can make the 10am flight to the Mara if driving from Nakuru straight to NBO.

sandi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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Hi Rhoda,
We stayed one night at the Sarova Lion Hill last year and we really liked it. The accomodation was lovely and the food was the best of our entire trip ... yummy pineapple fritters made fresh in front of you ..yum, yum! The food offerings changed from day to day which was good and there was always plenty.
Re getting from Nakuru to Nairobi, I would definately recommend taking the SafariLink flight - it cuts out a lot of the bad road driving.

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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#2 I vote for you to go to Elephant Watch because I want some feedback. You track elephants at that camp and I think it would be fascinating. I am hoping to go there, but not for a couple of years or so.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Lynn -

For Elephant Watch, there were reports by Jan Goss a few years back. Believe she's stayed here on two of her visits.
sandi is offline  

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