Samburu National Park

21:54 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

While the main attraction of Kenya is the Masai Mara, our first stop for game viewing and drives was actually Samburu National Park to the North.

Our camp was set deep into the park, meaning you had a long bumpy ride to get there, but once you arrive, you are literally surrounded by wilderness. While I would be lying if I said we were roughing it, there were complications you don't have at home like water restrictions and electricity only during certain hours. Despite this, there was something magical to waking up in your 'tent' to find baboons hanging out on your balcony, or an elephant walking by in the distance.

 
 



















This ended up being the perfect first place for our first game viewing. Unlike Masai Mara, there were less tourists there, meaning more of an opportunity to feel like you had the whole place to yourself.

There were less of some of the games with bigger draw (e.g. lions and leopards), although we did have some lion spottings, but plenty of zebra, giraffes, elephants and baboons. Of the big five, we saw lions, elephants and cheetahs in Samburu.

 

For the game drives, the cars may be different depending on where you are (in which country). Some boast open top vehicles, but ours were pop-up top with a roof. Pros - clear view of the game and protection from the sun; Cons - some serious bruises from the bumps and bolts of the van itself.

 

During our 2 nights in Samburu, we did 3 drives - two afternoon and one early morning. We also did some game watches on our way in and out of the camp. When you're on a safari, there is lots of driving and often times, lots of looking at seemingly empty plains. Luckily, the landscape is always beautiful and you can usually spot something like a gazelle, impala or giraffe with a good eye. At the beginning, it was hard for me to spot things until the guide pointed them out, but near the end, I felt almost like a pro.

In the end, all the waiting is worth it though. You're not in a zoo and the animals will make themselves known to you in their own time and when they do, it will be amazing.

Like when this family of elephants strolled in front of our car.

 
Or we stumbled upon this pride of lions resting beneath a tree in the midday sun.

 

After 2 fantastic days in Samburu, we were headed back south towards the lake for some new animal sightings and more of the big 5.

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