In total candor, not long ago did I figure out that Samburu is to the north of Kenya. It might either seem absurd or rather bewildering but yeah. Don’t ask where I thought it to be located coz I have no clue of what I was thinking either. Makes me wonder what other stuff I have got assuming in my head😂😂. This is wrong but also besides the point😅.
Today’s destination was going to be Samburu National Reserve, a distance of 318km, 5-6 hrs drive depending on the stop overs. I had an early morning on account of being in the city by 6 am. Cat and dog(call it blessings) weather was the mood that whole week and I don’t know why I expected it to be any different this particular morning but how I wished for it to be Kinder. It was a rough morning and only I can tell how happy I was, getting into the truck on time despite the rain and No Human is Limited Challenge😥 #Ndiuni Hill which was the previous day.
We started our journey some minutes to 8, ikr, African timers🤦♀️😅.Most of the crew were familiar with each other due to previous adventures together, like he always say “tag a travel buddy” and north east we headed.
Our first stop over was at Karatina where we stretched for a while, bought some snacks and continued with the safari. Its quite a long distance but it was all fun since we engaged in various travel games, cards being the favorite of them all. Duncan was the chiseler of the game and Zippy, how can I forget how you made me laugh my lungs out. Allow me to tell you a story about Zippy; She is really cool and straight on. Did I mention really cool?😅She was interested in the game of cards until Duncan decided to play street porker. I rem there was a time he placed a 5 of spades to be specific and then told her to pick 5. Which she did btw🤣🤣. This will never seize to be funny. Now to the part that cracked me up was a time she received continuous picking cards (2,3 and a joker) from the same person – Mike – and it really didn’t seem right to her. Quote on quote the next time unanikulisha kadi tena nitakugonga ngumi. It really sounded so personal and I couldn’t help it but laugh. It had been a long time since I cracked up in tears, well I usually do that on emojis but this was on another level, thank you Zippy😂😂😂. She is now a pro btw and keen during the game. I bet she can triumph on some of y’all🤣.
Our next stop over was at Meru – Isiolo junction. This was to “cool the brakes” since the road was a Mteremko all through. It gave us a chance to have a closer view at the spectacular views we were experiencing en route. Cat and mouse rock was my favorite of them all at the time. We then proceeded to Isiolo town where we had another stop over to buy some munchies. One can easily tell the change in peoples as you head to Samburu. The other notable thing is the rarest Flora and Fauna.
Moving on, we got to Samburu National Reserve, home for the night. We made it before sun set and got to enjoy a game drive en route to our camping ground where we arrived by 7 pm. This day was full of learning experiences coz from starters I learnt how to set up a tent from scratch, did a whole tent on my own and FYI that’s where I lay, of course😏😅…It really felt mind-blowing👯♂️. The chef with the help of some of us did dinner as I took a nap in the truck. Despite the fun filled day I craved rest. The truck comes in handy. It’s like a portable house. This was my second time in an overland truck, the first time was a road trip to Tanzania with Kenya Outdoors 👉 https://chinkutravels.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/weekend-in-tanzania/
“We will wait till you sleep said the bugs😒🤦♀️” This insects really got to my nerves, like yes I know I am in your territory but can’t we just bear each other for a night! One had the guts to get in my hoodie. Ilipitia wapi ata🤦♀️Call it over reacting but man are these bugs nagging. Make a mistake of switching on your head lamp and they all come buzzing to you, landing on your face with no mercy! Bugs repellent helped a bit tho. Now to the singing frog. That frog was tiny but boy was it loud. I also tried to kill a spider but missed and now the thought of it coming to kill me in my sleep haunted me that night😂😂😂. Did I mention we were sleeping in the reserve…All sort of wild animals raging from the king of the jungle. Let’s not even go there🙉😅!
Despite the Paranoia, and camping in the wild being all new to me, it was amaze balls. We were celebrating Debby and Rita’s birthday. More life to you guys🎂🎉🎊🥂. We then called it a night. Samburu weather is quite bearable during the night. You ought not carry a duvet here😂although it gets kinder cold around 3 am. It began raining at around 4 am. Condensation I bet since we were sleeping by the river. We however had good tents thanks to Xtrym Adventures.
We woke up to an angelic morning, birds chirping and Justin identifying them all by their sounds without even seeing them yet. She was hating on movies tho, like who does that😂😂😂. Analala ata kwa theater🤦♀️😂. Visiting the river before breakfast felt therapeutic, if only the water was clear tho😔. The baboons had surrounded us hoping to thief a snack or two. They are always successful btw😅.
Following breakfast we cleared off the camping ground, loaded our stuff in the truck and we set off for a game drive. Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser-known national parks, but is nevertheless teeming with life. It is situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River. Here, there is plenty of attractions ranging from wildlife and the surrounding Savannah plains. The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx (also referred to as Samburu Special Five). The reserve is also home to elephants and large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah. Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx was as a resident in the reserve. Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Bird life is abundant with over 450 species recorded.
The highlight of the game drive was a baby leopard. I wonder where mama was, probably hunting somewhere as her baby gave us a show. I yearned to touch him/her😍😍. So cute and furry🥺🥺. My dream of petting a wild animal will come to reality btw but for now imma stick to Disel my baby girl😅😅.
We exited the park and headed to Buffalo springs. The heat index was somewhere between OMG and WTF and we needed to cool off. Getting here the pool was crowded but they were leaving for Nairobi and we would have the spring all to ourselves. It didn’t take them long and they were gone. You would think I got in the springs for a swim but no. The sun was competing with I don’t know who to shine and we all knew she is hot😡😅. I was somewhere up a tree enjoying the shade.
Remember how I said the overland is like a portable house? The chef prepared lunch at the spring. Who wouldn’t enjoy this. Lunch with views😅 I think I should get me an overland😂😂. Duncan🗣🗣connections priiiiiiis😅.After Lunch the weather couldn’t allow us to stay there longer, showers of rain got us back on the road to our next home for the day, foothill of ololokwe, Sabache Camp. We got here before dark and today we were going to mount our tents in natural light. I don’t want to think about the night just yet. I didn’t mention that on the first night we didn’t get a chance to shower🤦♀️😂😂. Talk of harsh camping, the closest to a shower we got was at the springs, no need to overthink this ata. Here however, we had the privilege of a shower, cold shower to be precise. I didn’t mind it at all. My fire playlist and I rocked in that shower – call it therapy – till people started wondering where I was🤣🤣. We lit a bonfire and was set for the night.
I had kinda gotten used to the bugs and they didn’t nag me much this night. Hmm, I spoke too soon. Bugs were not going to be the issue tonight, SCORPIONS were! I had been warned about them before the beginning of the trip by being told to caution on the sandles coz of them. Never had I seen a scorpion in my life, however tales of them for instance; scorpion venom is the most expensive liquid on the planet, costing 38,858,507 usd per gallon was no news. Business opportunity for this Samburu peeps right here, someone would say Ukikuyu but its true😂😂😅. We had a scorpion slayer, Duncan. He was then baptized the “Scorpiona Detective” by Nicole. She made me get baby fever like in an aunt or sister sort of way🤭🤭. She is an incredible little one.
The highlight of this night despite the scorpions was a certain white who came to our campsite complaining of the music volume. He was like ” I came all the way from Nairobi to enjoy nature and birds and not the music that I left behind.” It totally made sense till he ordered the music to be turned off completely and to which we did, oh I did😂😂😂. After he left we reduced it to a reasonable volume. Just as I went to sleep, hadn’t even tucked in completely loud music again! This was a genuine mistake although it felt like the longest 30 sec ever🤦♀️😂. The next door mzungu woke up and was really fed up, quote on quote It’s fucking 2 am and he turned off the bluetooth speaker and the lights and to which told the remaining crew to go to bed🤣. They were waking up in an hours time to hike to the top of the mountain and capture the sunrise, which they did btw.
Mount Ololokwe (known as Ol Donyo Sabache) is located on Namunyak Conservancy in Samburu East. Namunyak was formed in 1995 and today it consists of 6 group ranches covering an area of 394,000 hectares with a population of approximately 13,000 people. The mountain rises out of the Samburu plains and is around 2000 ASL at its highest point.
Some of us who went for the hike and made it back by brunch time. I dint hike on this particular one since my body had not yet recovered from the previous hike and it would be a death trap. I will however go back and summit it, Duncan promised😅😌. We would be leaving for Nairobi right after. It was a successful and more so an adventurous safari. It was my first time in samburu and I loved it. It had been real. Noticed the 11 counties?