Safari with Saba Douglas-Hamilton
Four nights at this wonderful luxury tented camp will allow you time to immerse yourself in all on offer here. You can visit Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s Save the Elephants research centre, enjoy an elephant safari and wildlife drives, bush picnics and sundowners, manyatta (homestead) and school visits.
If you’re feeling energetic you can hike up Ololokwe mountain, sacred to the local Samburu people or visit the famous Samburu singing wells. To complete an elephant safari inspired safari holiday we can easily include a visit to the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi where baby elephant Sokotei has been nursed back to health in the This Wild Life BBC documentary.
4 Nights Elephant Safari With Saba Douglas-Hamilton
Elephant Watch Camp is a privately owner run tented camp in the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya. The camp sits on the bank of the Ewaso Nyiro River, beneath big acacia and kigelia trees.
This fantastic safari holiday includes:
• Saba Douglas Hamilton – the highly acclaimed elephant conservationist and wildlife TV presenter of This Wild Life and Big Cat Diaries – as your guide and host
• An exclusive afternoon with the researchers from Save The Elephants, tracking the elephants, collecting data and monitoring their behaviour
• The chance to experience first-hand the power and beauty of the Samburu elephants
• A private helicopter activity for three hours, visiting Mathews Range and Ol Lolokwe – the sacred Samburu mountain
• Unforgettable views of northern Kenya
• A safari off the beaten track, experiencing the fantastic wildlife in its natural habitat
• Return private flights from Nairobi to Samburu
• Five days with a maximum group size of ten guests
• Full board accommodation to include all meals and drinks
• Beginning and ending in Nairobi (we can arrange, or suggest, international flights)
Meet Your Guide And Go On An Elephant Safari
You’ll fly north from Nairobi to the Samburu National Park, where you’ll be collected from the airstrip and driven to Elephant Watch Camp, home to the Douglas-Hamiltons and your base for the next four nights.
Elephant Watch Camp has just six individually styled tents with colourful cloth drapes and eclectic furniture. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom built around a tree with a flush loo and ‘safari shower’. Much of the furniture in the camp has been made from fallen trees, and locally woven mats provide comfort and colour on the floors. The camp has a good range of books, films and information about elephants, and the kitchen serves meals prepared with fresh ingredients from the owners’ farm.
This afternoon after high tea you have the opportunity to go on the first elephant safari drive of your holiday and familiarise yourself with the surrounding area. Your guide is your eyes and ears while you are here, and all of the guides at Elephant Watch Camp have been trained by the researchers from Save The Elephants.
This evening you return to camp in time for dinner and your first night in Elephant Watch Camp.
Volunteer With Save The Elephants Team
After a morning wildlife drive, you have lunch with the field staff from Save The Elephants. Over lunch the research team will provide a short synopsis of the work Save The Elephants is doing in the fight to protect these wonderful animals.
After lunch you head out with the research team in vehicles to find the elephants, so that you can assist with monitoring their behaviour and collect data from the orphan group.
This evening you have a barbecue and drinks at the research centre with the field staff from Save The Elephants. You then have a night drive back to camp; your guide will be on the look out for any nocturnal animals.
Helicopter Safari Tour Of The Esaso Nyiro River
With a bird’s eye view of the endless plains and wide skies, you land for a picnic breakfast on Mathews Range. Known as a ‘sky island’, the 150km long Mathews Range rises from the dry desolate country exposing lush forested hills and craggy peaks. Natural springs and rivers flow through the valleys, and sacred sites of the Samburu lay hidden for feasting and dancing ceremonies.
From Mathews Range you fly south east, over contrasting landscapes, quietly spotting wildlife, and on to Ol Lolokwe – northern Kenya’s most striking landmark.
The summit of Ol Lolokwe has a high altitude mist-forest with giant cycads and unusual birdlife; including Kenya’s largest nesting colony of Ruppell’s vultures. You land again to take in the vast panoramas, and explore the life up here.
You are back at Elephant Watch Camp for lunch and have a relaxed afternoon in camp.
After high tea you head out on an evening wildlife drive looking for familiar elephants and perhaps some hunting lions.
Meet The Samburu For A Hosted Party
This morning you have a relaxed morning in camp and you have the opportunity to go on a wildlife drive to find some of the rarer species in northern Kenya such as the gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe.
You return to camp for lunch and have a relaxed afternoon at the river’s edge. After high tea you have an evening walk to a sundowner spot where you meet a host of warriors for a Samburu party, blessing and renyatta dance. You return to camp for dinner.
On their return from Elephant Watch Camp clients J.M California, USA said,
“An amazing eco-camp in the middle of elephant country! Everything about Elephant Watch is good, from the food to the service to the incredibly moving encounters with elephants. The Douglas-Hamiltons are my heroes. An extraordinary place”
Nairobi And A Visit To The Elephant Orphanage
This morning you go on an early morning wildlife drive and take in your last sights of the Samburu. You have a bush brunch in the heart of the Samburu National Reserve before your guide returns you to the airstrip in time to meet your private light aircraft flight to Wilson, Nairobi’s domestic airport.
On arrival into Wilson, you are met by a driver and taken to boutique luxury hotel House of Waine. Relax in a quiet day room and enjoy use of the facilities including the heated swimming pool, two bars for guests’ exclusive use for the afternoon.
Each of the bedrooms at House of Waine has an animal name to reflect the style of the room, which ensures that no two rooms are the same. All rooms offer a large marble bathroom, television, telephone, complimentary mini bar, safe and complimentary daily pastries.
Early this evening (depending on flight times) you are met by a driver and returned to Nairobi International Airport.
Visit Orphaned Elephants
To complete this elephant inspired itinerary we can easily include an optional visit to the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi. This wonderful sanctuary is open to the public for an hour every day between 11 am and noon during which time the orphans arrive for their midday mud bath and feeding.
If you choose to foster an elephant you can also visit by appointment (must be booked in advance) at 5 pm when the elephants return to the stockades for the night. Orphaned elephants can be fostered for approx £33/$50 donation. We highly recommend the exclusive appointment for ‘elephant fosters’ for an intimate encounter.
Video Of Orphaned Elephant Sokotei
How Much Is This Elephant Safari?
This safari holiday, with Saba Douglas-Hamilton as your host, an exclusive afternoon with the Save The Elephants team and private helicopter excursion is a special experience and will come at a premium. Please get in touch with your dates to check Saba’s availability and for a personal itinerary and quote.
We’ve also designed a more traditional four night safari holiday at Elephant Watch Camp. While it doesn’t include the premium services mentioned above it allows a wonderful chance to enjoy this remote region of northern Kenya and get close to Samburu’s elephant population. Read our blog post for the full details, Elephant Watch Camp holiday itinerary.
Questions and Answers with Saba
Read our Q&A interview with Saba on life on a safari camp in Kenya.