Buffalo Springs National Reserve - Samburu, Northern Kenya
Ashnil Samburu Camp was opened in October 2008 and features 24 tents, which are widely spaced along the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River, surrounded by doum palms and acacia trees. The main guest area, also shaded by a canopy of acacia trees, offers a comfortable reception and lounge, a spacious dining room, atmospheric bar and a broad deck, which offers unparalleled game-viewing across the wide reaches of the Uwaso Nyiro River, which is the lifeblood of this otherwise arid northern region.
Location The Samburu National Reserve of northern Kenya, conjoined with the smaller but no less attractive Buffalo Springs and Shaba Reserve, lies 320 kilometres from Nairobi at an altitude of 857 meters above sea level. Ashnil Samburu Camp is 12 kilometers from Ngare Mara Gate and about 5 hours drive from Nairobi.
The Background Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves ‘The Plains of Darkness' Vast, magnificent and still largely unexplored, these three neighbouring reserves offer an evocative cocktail of uniquely contrasting habitats, veering from stark cliffs and boulder-strewn scarps to lush swamps and muddy sandbanks; and from bone-dry bush to fronded riverine forests. Hot and arid, this area is known by the local nomadic tribe, the Gabbra, as ‘the Plains of Darkness', whose heat-scorched scrublands extend all the way to the jade-green waters of Lake Turkana. Uncompromisingly rugged, yet vividly beautiful Samburu, verdant Buffalo Springs, and the wildly volcanic Shaba (once the home of Joy Adamson of ‘Born Free' fame, and famous for its large prides of lion), all offer virtually guaranteed wildlife encounters, while elephant roam in large herds and are best seen crossing the river at dusk.
Wildlife highlights: elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, buffalo, hippo, zebra, oryx, gerenuk, gazelle, gerenuk, hyrax and klipspringer. Birds: 395 recorded species.
Kenya hotels and accommodation Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.
Accommodation There are just 24 tents, located on either side of the main buildings and looking out over the river. Each tent features its own private terrace, a king sized bed, attractively presented in local wildwood, a dressing area, sitting area and bathroom (hot and cold running water, shower and flushed WC). Disabled access is provided.
Dining and bars The lodge offers a central dining room and bar. Evening displays of Samburu dance are offered.
Child-friendly The lodge welcomes children and interconnecting family rooms are offered.
What to see and do A place of endless skies, dust-red plains and palm-fringed rivers, Samburu National Reserve lies on the fringes of the vast and arid desert once known as the Northern Frontier District, whose heat-scorched scrublands extend all the way to the jade-green waters of Lake Turkana and beyond. Physically dramatic, the 104 sq kilometre landscape of the Reserve features rocky battlements, craggy scarps, dry river beds and fallen boulders rising out of the thorn scrub against a backdrop of the far-distant hills and the great red table mountain known as Ololokwe. As for wildlife, Samburu provides one of the few sanctuaries in Kenya for the endangered Grevy's zebra, the rare beisa oryx and the blue-shanked Somali ostrich whilst large herds of elephant roam the gaunt hills during the day before returning to bathe on the banks of the river in the evening.
Activities include: Activities include a luxury swimming pool, guided nature walks, game drives, displays of Samburu dance, Samburu cultural talks, visits to a Samburu village and handicraft market, bush breakfasts, bush BBQs.
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