Safari Holiday At Elephant Watch Camp

November 28th 2018  |   Countries, Conservation Safaris, Experiences, Kenya, Miscellaneous, Wildlife Safaris  |  by   Richard Smith
Saba Douglas-Hamilton with elephant with daughter in a safari vehicle with two elephants behind

Think of safari and chances are your vision of wildlife-filled plains could be any of Kenya’s national parks. The country was home to the first real safari holidays and the variety of wildlife, landscapes and culture on offer has ensured its continued place among the Africa’s top safari destinations.

If you head north from Nairobi you’ll move into drier lands where red robed Samburu can be seen tending their cattle. With little industry and relatively few people this is an ideal spot for wildlife and the Samburu Reserve is a key area for both conservation and safari.

It’s in this reserve that Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s Save The Elephants research centre is based and where Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton set up Elephant Watch Camp, subsequently handed on to daughter Saba Douglas-Hamilton and her husband Frank Pope.

Frank Pope CEO Save the Elephants, Samburu Mporian, Saba Douglas-Hamilton and family at Elephant Watch Camp Kenya

A four night holiday here will give you time to marvel at the region’s prolific wildlife alongside superb guides, while enjoying exquisite hosting at the camp.

Elephant herd on a wildlife drive from Elephant Watch Camp

Elephant herd on a wildlife drive from Elephant Watch Camp

Safari Holiday With Elephants – Highlights

• Get close to Samburu’s elephant population on wildlife drives
• Enjoy stunning views of this remote region of northern Kenya
• Experience all kinds of safari wildlife in its natural habitat
• Return light aircraft flights from Nairobi direct to Samburu
• Five days on safari
• Luxury accommodation at Elephant Watch Camp to include all meals and drinks
• Beginning and ending in Nairobi (we can arrange, or suggest, international flights)

Day 1
Meet Your Guide And Greet The Elephants

Head north in a light aircraft to Samburu National Park where you’ll be met and driven to Elephant Watch Camp, your safari home for the next four nights.

With just six luxury safari tents, Elephant Watch Camp sits on the bank of the Ewaso Nyiro River, in the shade of big kigelia and acacia trees. The tents are individually styled with colourful cloth drapes and unique pieces of furniture. There is an en-suite bathroom for each tent complete with a flush loo and ‘safari shower’.

After a chance to relax and settle in there’s the opportunity to gather for high tea before the first wildlife drive of your stay in search of the elephants that make the reserve their home. All the guides at Elephant Watch Camp have been trained by the Save The Elephants team, so they’re great people to have alongside you on safari and have intimate knowledge of the area.

You’ll have a chance to freshen up on your return before supper and a chance to relax around the fire.

Day 2
Visit The Elephant Research Centre

Iain and Saba Douglas-Hamilton together with a researcher adding a collar to an elephant

Iain and Saba Douglas-Hamilton together with a researcher

After a morning wildlife drive, you have the chance to visit the elephant research centre and get a short synopsis of the work Save The Elephants is doing to protect these wonderful animals.

After lunch you head out for an afternoon in the bush, this time concentrating on the predators found in Samburu including: lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and jackal.

Elephant Watch Camp sundowner bush drinks

Elephant Watch Camp sundowner bush drinks

This evening you have a barbecue at Elephant Watch Camp under the clear African skies.

Day 3
Wildlife And Samburu Culture

Samburu host at Elephant Watch Camp with elephant

Samburu host at Elephant Watch Camp with elephant

Your morning activity sees you visiting a local village which is home to some of Elephant Watch Camp’s staff members. You’ll see how the Samburu live in this arid region, herding cattle and goats, and protecting the village with fences made from thorn strewn branches.

You will head back to camp for lunch and a relaxed afternoon reading or watching wildlife come to the river.

After high tea you head out on an evening wildlife drive looking for familiar elephants and perhaps some hunting lions.

Day 4
A Last Look At Samburu Game Reserve

Alfresco dinner at Saba Douglas-Hamilton's Elephant Watch Camp

Alfresco dinner at Saba Douglas-Hamilton’s Elephant Watch Camp

You’ll start slightly later this morning and on your wildlife drive you will have the chance to look for some of the more unusual species in northern Kenya such as the gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe.

Having spent the warmer hours of the day in the shade of the camp, eating and perhaps sleeping, you’ll head out into the reserve for your final afternoon wildlife drive. You’ll get a chance to enjoy an African sunset from a sundowner viewpoint spot with a drink in your hand, before returning to Elephant Watch Camp for supper.

Day 5
Nairobi And A Visit To The Elephant Orphanage

Two orphaned elephants looked after by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi, Kenya

Two orphaned elephants looked after by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi, Kenya

Leaving camp this morning you have the opportunity for a wildlife drive and brunch in the bush before you head to the airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Nairobi.

To complete this elephant inspired itinerary we can easily include an optional visit to the David and Daphne Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi. If you foster an elephant (approximately $50) you can visit by appointment at 5 pm when the elephants return to the stockades for the night.

The Holiday Price and What’s Included

The five day safari to Elephant Watch Camp costs from £3,404 per person and is based on two people travelling together and sharing a luxury tent.

  • 4 nights, green season – £4,242
  • 4 nights, green season with offer* – £3,404

Green season dates:-

  • 6th January – 19th March 2020
  • *10th May – 15th Jun 2020;
  • *1st – 19th October 2020; and
  • *10th – 15th December 2020

*Offer valid for a limited number of bed nights – please confirm with the office at the time of enquiry.

The internal flights and transfers are included, as are all meals, drinks and safari activities and park fees in Samburu National Park. International flights aren’t included in this price, but we can advise on which ones are best and provide a quote for them as well. Apart from that it’s only personal items such as visas, travel insurance and tips which are not included in the price.

What Next?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email.

Equally, if you’d like to see a detailed itinerary for this safari holiday to Elephant Watch Camp, or discuss other safari lodges and camps in Kenya please get in touch. It doesn’t matter what stage of planning you are at, simply send us an email or give us a call.

17 responses to “Safari Holiday At Elephant Watch Camp”

  1. Renate says:

    Dear Madeleine, Saba’s is on tour in the UK in November 2017 A Life With Elephants – UK TOUR DATES

  2. Colin Murray says:

    I would like a insiders guide to African safaris please.

  3. Alison Findlay says:

    I’m in awe of the fantastic and so very much loved and passionate determined work both Saba and her husband do…. the privilege of being surrounded by nature and her most wondrous creatures…. i am making enquiries to stay at Saba’s lodge for the tour as described itinerary on the website… Can you please let me know the cost for 2 adults. I am also interested in the helicopter trip and all the other extra tour as described including the cost of the trip to the elephant orphanage. We foster little Sokotei so would dearly love to see him. Thank you for your time. Keep up the great work… love to you all xx

  4. Frederick Welch says:

    Interested on a 10 day stay plz forward cost plus flights tks


    • Renate says:

      Dear Frederick,
      Your enquiry has been passed on to a travel expert who will be in touch. Best regards Renate

  5. Eduardo says:

    Dear Renate, interested in getting further infos over this four night holiday. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Eduardo

  6. Lesley Purse says:

    Hello, for years we have followed and admired the amazing work done by the the Douglas-Hamiltons. This itinerary looks like a not-to-be-missed experience. Please can you tell us the best time of year to visit to stand the best chance of seeing the range of wildlife mentioned? Many thanks.

    • Richard Smith says:

      Thanks for the question Lesley. In Kenya’s winter months (northern hemisphere summer) the grasses die back and the leaves come off the trees, so wildlife is easier to spot and the climate is perfect for many Europeans and Americans. If you’d like to escape the northern hemisphere winter, then a visit to Samburu also works in those months as it’s hot and wildlife is drawn to water.

  7. Julie says:


    Can you please send me information on full costs including all flights (international ) for the 5 nights & any supplements if your a lone traveller/guest. I would be travelling from Scotland

    Many thanks

    • Renate says:

      Dear Julie, Your enquiry has been passed to one of the sales team who will be in touch. Best Regards Renate

  8. Stan says:

    I am interested in booking 1st – 19th October 2020 for myself and wife could you send details please

    • Renate says:

      Dear Stan, Your enquiry has been passed onto a safari sales person who will be in touch shortly. Best regards

  9. Jane says:

    Hello , may enquire about a visit to your wonderful camp it would be for 2 people but we would need separate tents .
    Do your prices include flights or do we have to arrange those separately?
    It’s been my life long dream to experience a safari , yours seems to tick all the boxes..
    Many thanks. Jane Preston

    • Renate says:

      Dear Jane, Your enquiry has been passed onto a safari sales person who will be in touch shortly. Best regards

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