The Ewaso Ng’iro river (“brown river” in English) flooded while we were there. It happened during the night while we were sleeping and when Karole opened the tent the next morning there was a panic I hadn’t heard in her voice before…all she said was, “oh my gosh, pack your bags!”
We had reservations in “off season” which means it was cheaper, praise be, and there were fewer guests, which meant we got more 1:1 attention, which allowed us to get to know the staff and some other guests more personally. In fact, we may go to London before we head back to the states to stay with a very sweet new friend we made in Samburu! Each morning and evening we had the same staff for our “game drive”, we rode in an open top/sides jeep-type Land Rover with many available seats but it was just the driver, Karole and me. The drivers name was Dominic and he absolutely rocked! He was so knowledgeable about the area and each and every animal. He loves his job and it showed! We bonded and laughed a lot together. He even ended up riding with us from Samburu to Nyeri in the car we rented all the way up to the front door of the house where we would be staying for the next week, then he went on further in the rental car to his home. He was beginning his vacation break and we were happy to be with him on the first leg of his journey.
Other animals we were thrilled to see close up in the wild were Lions and Lionesses, the Nile crocodile, many gorgeous birds such as the white headed buffalo weaver, the superb starling, the hoopoe, and the grey headed king fisher; as well as the reticulated giraffes, the Grevy’s zebras, the Somali ostriches, bat-eared foxes, gerenuks, beisa oryx, a cheetah, Impalas, Gazelles and many, many elephants of all ages. Some of these animals are unique only to Samburu area. I grew up watching, “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” TV series and fell in love with animals! The only time I got close to these types of animals was at the zoo and at Barnum and Bailey circus…little did I know at such a young age how different this life was for these wild animals than roaming their natural habitats. I am thankful for wide open open spaces for these animals to roam and for sanctuary’s and spaces where wild animals are rehabilitated if needed and kept safe!
The Ewaso Ng’iro river “brown river” flooded while we were there. It happened during the night while we were sleeping and when Karole opened the tent the next morning there was a panic I hadn’t heard in her voice before…all she said was, “oh my gosh, pack your bags!” Of course I had no idea what she was talking about, but when I peaked outside I knew. The water, which had been ~ 40-50 yards from our tent, was now AT our tent and it appeared that we were now part of the river rather than beside it! And although our tent is built firmly on a permanent frame up on stilts, it was VERY close to reaching the height of our porch. Karole was quite anxious about the situation and moved swiftly. I proceeded to video and take pictures while packing along the way. She had reason to feel the way she did b/c every guest had packed their bags and we were soon to be notified to evacuate the tent camp. We packed our bags into the Land Rover with Dominic at the wheel and headed out on a morning “game drive” with no idea if we would return to the camp for our last night there or not. Thankfully the camp ended up being fine but two other safari camps nearby were not as lucky and were unfortunately/sadly, flooded. 7 years prior the Samburu Intrepids tent camp flooded and they lost everything and had to rebuild. When we returned to the camp later that day the smiles on the faces of the staff and the welcome we received was one of love and relief.
The safari was definitely an experience never to be forgotten. We highly recommend adding it to your bucket list! And we hope to do another one some day!