Saruni Samburu in northern Kenya is an electrifying and unspoiled wildlife destination that’s endowed with astonishing uninterrupted views of the reserve as it perches on the top of the hills of the Kalama Community Conservancy. A signed concession with Kalama earned Saruni this enviable place under the skies.
With the stylish and luxurious style, but the remote ambiance of its villas, Saruni offers its guests privacy, comfort and access to unusual opportunities to experience wilderness and adventure. Here, you’ll have the chance to change your routines, in the most beautiful way. This is how Forbes – Lifestyle’s John Oseid painted the days, nights and the sunsets at Saruni Samburu in the post Five O’Clock Somewhere: On The Heights And Plains At Saruni Samburu, Kenya. He writes:
“Sundowners in a ravine, with Kenya’s sacred, flat-topped Mt. Ololokwe hulking before you, is as primal as Five O’Clock gets. On the short Land Rover drive down from Saruni Samburu’s crested perch, you’ll pass cute little dik-dik antelope scurrying in the bush, and gerenuk gazelles standing upright to feed on bushes. You’ll surely stop to let elephants amble across your path.”
There are many more ways and spots to spend “Saruni’s Five O’Clock possibilities.” Just a few days won’t be enough; at the very least, stay for a week or a fortnight to impress the views in your mind – the clear sight of the enormous Mt. Kenya on the southern horizon, the scrambling of wildlife (leopards, long-horned oryx, zebra, etc.) at the waterholes as the sun sinks far on the horizon and herders heading home with their cows on the plains below.
Some of the unusual ways to spend sundown, according to Oseid:
- Sip your sunset cocktail “while staring down at lion paw prints in the sand below you.” The kick of Saruni’s limoncello G and T, however, can make all the hesitations dissipate.
- You may also enjoy a drink at the upper infinity pool located on the property’s furthest and highest point as the sun slowly sets and the night stars fill and blink in the horizon.
- Spend the dusk with a drink and binoculars in Saruni Samburu’s alfresco lounge in the main building. As the stars come out, you’ll make out that the shapes and sounds underneath are herds of elephants moving slowly under the cloak of darkness.
- Experience a sunset view and glow at Saruni’s Moroccan themed main lodge or go for a late afternoon picnic below the lodge while the spiritual Mt. Ololokwe looms over.
- Learn new things from your guide’s ‘warrior academy’ – Samburu rituals, customs and traditions; the medicinal and tea uses of local plants, how to throw a spear or shoot a bow and arrow.
- Sit down for a delicious surprise; an Italian lunch of “… focaccia, penne with cheese, linguine with capers, or quiche,” or a dinner of “… spinach lasagna … lamb in mint, ginger pork, or risotto …”
- Just lounge, have a massage or watch the clouds, and listen to bird calls of about 250 species. The melodious sounds can be intermingled with other hums and echoes of other animals.
These are not all. In the mornings and deep into the nights, you might just wake up with a reticulated giraffe walking down below the lodge or the sounds of elephants from a distance. If you hear the growls of a leopard or lion “… somewhere outside in the rock outcroppings, then, you really will need a drink.”
and tailor-made service”. Its extraordinary views look out over the surrounding rangelands, the mountains of Samburuland all the way until Mount Kenya. Beautifully constructed and designed by Kenyan architect Mark Glen, Saruni Samburu has two large family-style villas and two single villas. Each family villas has two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a large dining and lounge area and private terrace. A communal dining area called Kudu House and an infinity swimming pool also overlook the vast and wild wilderness below, including a waterhole where big game – elephant, giraffe, kudu – come to drink. Meals can be enjoyed in the dining area or “bush dinners” are normally arranged where guest have dinner under the stars of a very special location called “Lion’s Rock”.
Activities include day and night game drives, professionally-led game walks, and visits to nearby caves where guests can see traditional Samburu rock art. The safaris are done mostly inside three conservancies: Kalama, Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve. Some of the rare species are regularly found in Kalama and in the nearby game reserves: cheetah, lion, leopard (a regular visitor to Saruni!), wild dog, striped hyena and of course the Samburu Five: reticulated giraffe, Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, gerenuk and Beisa oryx. Other activities include massages and treatments at the Samburu Wellbeing Space, where the traditional local knowledge of plants and leaves is combined with the latest Western techniques.
Saruni Samburu has its own private airstrip near the Kalama Community Conservancy headquarters, and it also easily served by scheduled flights to nearby Samburu Oryx airstrip. Access is also possible by 4×4 vehicle.