After wrapping up our stay at Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Solio Lodge recently, we finished off our trip to Kenya with a memorable visit to Ashnil Samburu Camp. In this blog post I am going to be sharing a little about the camp and also a couple of stories from my favorite animal encounter during our stay. It was a really amazing trip!
A Magical Stay at Ashnil Samburu Camp, Kenya
Ashnil Samburu Camp sits within the Buffalo Springs Game Reserve, right on the Ewaso Nyiro River which separates it from the famous Samburu National Reserve. What first struck us upon arrival was that the landscape was dramatically different than the Mount Kenya region, and would serve as the perfect compliment to the safaris we had already taken on this trip.
It was a lot drier in Samburu… and appeared more like a desert. That’s not to say it wasn’t beautiful though! Ol Olowke and the surrounding mountains provided a gorgeous backdrop, while the winding Ewaso Nyiro River and its palm-lined banks really brought life to the landscape.
Ashnil Samburu Camp hosts their guests in eco-tents that have all the amenities you would need, and ours even had a gorgeous view right out to the mountains and Ewaso Nyiro River. At one point during the stay I was looking out from my bed at elephants and zebras drinking from the river, as well as baboons crawling over my front deck… so wild!
There is also a pool for the guests to use, a bar, as well as a restaurant which serves all main meals so you will never go hungry. The staff and safari guides at Ashnil were all really wonderful, especially the restaurant staff who would always make an effort to chat and ask us how our day was going!
There are two memories from my stay at Ashnil Samburu Camp that I’m sure I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. First is the sighting of a cheetah on our very first night there…
After more than a week in Kenya we were yet to see a cheetah, so this was a very welcome surprise. Our driver had taken us across the river into Samburu National Reserve, and we were driving along the edge of the mountains when we spotted the cheetah resting in shade below a tree.
Our driver pointed out that it had a very full stomach, so it had likely just eaten a large meal and wouldn’t be doing much for the next few days. Luckily for us it got up from its nap and headed straight past our vehicle before wandering off into the mountains behind us… what an experience!
Lion and Elephant Stand-off
The second “pinch ourselves” experience was when our driver had heard from a friend that there were lions relaxing in the shade by the river. We drove over and parked close to the lions, watching them while rested away from the hot midday sun. While this was an incredible experience itself, it was about to get even better!
We spotted a herd of elephants on the other side of the river, and they were heading our way. They crossed the river, and came up the banks right near our vehicles, which happened to also be right next to where the lions were resting. There was a brief moment of conflict between the two groups of animals, with the elephants giving a couple of false charges at the lion pride to let them know who was boss.
Thankfully no one got too aggressive and the elephants wandered off to continue grazing. I still remember the sounds of the elephants trumpeting… truly incredible to experience!
While short, our stay at Ashnil Samburu Camp was one we won’t forget, and we’re really hoping to make a return to finally try and see the elusive leopard that we haven’t had the chance to see yet. If you are going to Kenya, definitely put this area on your list! It was quite a unique experience getting to see all of these animals in a desert landscape, the Swaso Nyiro River snaking through the camp, and the beautiful Ol Olowke mountain in the background.
A few more photos from our stay:
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Disclaimer: This trip was in partnership with Ashnil Hotels. As usual, all opinions and thoughts are honest and my own.