Africa Small Group Tours

Spend a week with the elephants of the Samburu

Learn about the secret lives of elephants with this opportunity of a lifetime. Experience authentic Samburu hospitality and spend time in the company of a Kenyan family that have dedicated themselves to saving elephants.

Kenya Group Tour - Elephants of Samburu with Saba Douglas-Hamilton

  • Led by Saba Douglas Hamilton, BBC presenter of the Big Cat Diaries & The Secret Lives of Elephants
  • Meet researchers from Save The Elephants and gain insight into the work of Iain Douglas Hamilton and stay at the renowned Elephant Watch Camp
  • For travellers that have been to Kenya before and are looking for a reason to go back then look no further.

Spend a week in the company of the Douglas-Hamiltons; a Kenyan family that have dedicated themselves to saving elephants in the wilds of Samburu and beyond. The contribution made to elephant conservation by the Douglas-Hamiltons is renowned and so to spend a week in their company, on their home soil of Samburu and Naivasha is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Take walks and game drives along the Ewaso Ng'iro River, escorted by Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Elephant Watch's Samburu guides. It is not only elephants that call this rugged region home, as Samburu is renowned for lion and leopard and endemic species like gerenuk and reticulated giraffe. Meet with researchers from Save The Elephants who will introduce the group to the resident elephant herd and explain the complex and fascinating dynamics that takes place between these animals. For anybody wanting to learn more about elephant behaviour and conservation, this is a remarkable opportunity.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 NAIROBI

Arrive Nairobi Dinner not included. You will be staying at Hemingways Hotel

DAY 2 NAIROBI - LAKE NAIVASHA

Drive from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha - a journey of around three hours, depending on traffic. The most visited of the Rift Valley lakes, freshwater Lake Naivasha, is home to a huge variety of birdlife. A game corridor passes through the area and the water draws in game. Colobus monkeys call from the treetops, buffalo wallow in the swamps, giraffes wander through the acacia and hippos hide from the heat of the day in the shallows of the lake. Colonial houses dot the shore, providing a wonderful, restful start or finish to safari and offer a wonderful introduction to the area - much of the land and surrounding farms have been home to Kenyan settlers for generations. Upon arrival, meet Oria Douglas-Hamilton, who owns and runs Olerai House.

DAY 3 LAKE NAIVASHA

Day at Olerai House Early morning breakfast on the lawn at Olerai House before taking a boat ride on Lake Naivasha to look for birdlife. This afternoon will be a relaxed affair by the pool or walking around the grounds of Olerai before a BBQ supper under the stars.

Day 4 LAKE NAIVASHA - SAMBURU

Travel from Lake Naivasha to Samburu (Air Transfer Journey)

Elephant Research Safari
After an exciting flight across Kenya's Samburu land, meet Saba and the team for lunch at Elephant Watch Camp. Take a late afternoon drive with EWC guides who have been trained by Save the Elephants (STE) researchers. Being located in the north of Kenya, Samburu is hot and dry and so the palm-lined Ewaso Ngiro river provides a lifeline to this otherwise parched landscape. Drives often follow the course of the river and as well as many of the usual suspects, Samburu is home to some interesting wildlife such as imperial zebras, gerenuks and reticulated giraffes. Spend the evening with your hosts learning about Samburu people, the country, the elephants and the team.

Samburu is as renowned for its colourful people as much its wildlife and arid landscapes. This is a region of big skies and jagged peaks, and where the Ewaso Ngiro River flows, giving a life-force to this northern area and sustaining excellent plains game and predators. Properties range from highly polished lodges to authentic bush camps with superb guiding and conservation initiatives. Walking with local Samburu guides and rangers is a real highlight.

You will be staying at Elephant Watch Camp.

Day 5 SAMBURU

Elephant Research Safari
Day spent in and around Elephant Watch Camp, starting with an early morning game drive with tea, coffee and a chat under an acacia tree. The focus this morning will likely be big cats who are often active first thing in the morning, before the temperature rises.

Back for late breakfast and time to get to know the team, the camp and its wildlife inhabitants.

Lunch will be taken in camp or possibly taken as a picnic, depending on the mood.

Once the heat of the day has subsided, take a game drive focusing on finding the individual elephant herds with the EWC guides and get to know some of the key animals in the herds.

You will be staying at Elephant Watch Camp

Day 6 SAMBURU

Elephant Research Safari
Take an early morning game drive looking for cats and other Samburu wildlife with the guides from EWC, before heading back to camp for a late breakfast.

Head off for picnic lunch and meet the Save The Elephant (STE) field staff under a tree close to Elephant Watch. The STE long term monitoring team will provide a short synopsis of the work STE is doing after which there will be an opportunity to join the team for 2 hours in the their vehicles going way off the beaten track, to where the elephants are found. This is a special opportunity to monitor the behaviour and lives of the elephants, with the long term monitoring team on hand to provide interpretation of behaviour and background on all the elephants seen.

This afternoon may include searching for a lost animal with VHF tracker, collecting data on orphan groups, monitoring estrus females and interactions with must bulls. Head back to the STE research centre, for drinks followed by an evening BBQ at the STE research centre organised by EWC staff - an evening well spent chatting to the STE team (and possibly others such as Ewaso Lions and the Grevy Zebra trust.)

You will be staying at Elephant Watch Camp

Day 7 SAMBURU

Elephant Research Safari
A relaxed day in Samburu, catching up with some of the elephants you will have to come to know or looking for big cats in and around their favoured haunts.

This evening you will be given a send off to be remembered. Walk from camp to a beautiful vantage point for a sundowner and be met by a host of Samburu warriors - not in the mood for a fight you'll be pleased to hear, but in the mood for a party! Traditional blessings will be given along with dancing.

You will be staying at Elephant Watch Camp

Day 8 SAMBURU - NAIROBI - DEPART

Travel from Samburu to Nairobi (Air Transfer Journey)

Have some time at leisure in Nairobi, following the morning flight back from Samburu.

Fostering Visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
At 5pm, visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Meet and watch a group of baby elephants that have sadly lost their families. Eventually, these rescued creature will be re-released into the wild. Only available to foster parents, this late-afternoon visit allows you to see the elephants as they return to the stockades for the night. Used mainly as a quick stopover, Nairobi is an interesting city with some good places to visit. Central Nairobi is like many other African cities with traffic jams, noise and a hint of chaos - but the suburbs are quite different, with excellent markets, restaurants and great places of interest to visit like The Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the wonderful Giraffe Centre and the Karen Blixen Museum

Depart Nairobi

Start your journey

GROUP SIZE: Min 4 / Max 10

TOUR EXPERT: Saba Douglas Hamilton

DEPARTURE DATES:

31st August 2017

17th January 2018

The tour may occasionally involve slightly longer walks, but nothing over 4 hours. The tour will involve visits to a variety of sites throughout the duration of the itinerary and be at a moderate pace.

Call +61 2 8270 4800 today.

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