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Samburu Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
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All reviewstented campour waitergame drivesthe riverour tour guidebow and arrowwake up callbefore dinnertent attendantevening talksdouble sinksfantastic guidethe reservecomfortable tentsresident naturalistgame driverassistant manager
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Reviewed November 7, 2011

the Samburu Intrepids were a great place to stay within the Samburu national park. We were part of a tour so I am uncertain the value but think the people were very friendly, the food was amazing and overall it was a great place to stay. I do recommend taking the tour into the Samburu village (I enjoyed more than the Masai Mara village). The visit really provides insight on the culture.

Room Tip: The rooms near the pool are better than those near the dining area.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank jenhlevy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Having just returned from a wonderful trip to Samburu Intrepids I am inspired to share what a fabulous stay there we had. Accompanied by my mother and two daughters (11 and 14 years) we were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable experience and some once in a lifetime encounters with wildlife. Our guides, Sebastian accompanied by Fabiola, were fantastic. Not only were they a wealth of information they were fun and very personable. Nothing was too much. Fabiola also ran the Adventurers Club and my children spent some time with her doing all sorts of things from beading to archery. The tents were luxurious and the food delicious with a huge variety. The kitchens were greatly accomodating of my fussy younger daughter and most of the staff at the lodge were very sweet and genuine.

Room Tip: For families the family tents are a must. They are spacious and offer reassurance for parents with young children. A bit far away from the main areas but very quiet and secluded.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Reccabeccaboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2011

We have recently returned from a six night Virgin Heritage Flying Safari visiting Samburu Intrepids, Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort and Mara Intrepids. We followed this with six nights at the Zanzibar Serena Hotel.

At each safari location we were allocated a safari guide who remained with us for the whole of our stay, driving us around the area in land cruisers or land rovers which were more comfortable than expected and eminently suitable for the varying terrain and purpose. Ample bottled mineral water was provided free of charge throughout, except if ordered in restaurants. Electric fences surrounded each camp, as well as guards being available, so that at all times we felt secure and safe.

On arrival at each camp we were welcomed with glasses of fruit juice and shown to our sleeping quarters. Each site was well provided for by well stocked shops selling reasonably priced goods.

All our guides were pleasant and professional in their approach and were extremely knowledgeable when it came to finding and identifying animals and birds. They all worked together in a network informing each other by radio upon spotting the locations of difficult to find types of animals. All camps are significantly different in the type of terrain and the types of animals to be seen and therefore complement each other. We had a great time.

I had previously read Trip Advisor reports on these locations so I already had preconceptions of what to expect and separate reports follow for each location.

The place we felt most at risk in was Nairobi where there were foreign office warnings and numerous armed security guards and policemen with Kalashnikovs in the airport and other public places to protect against terrorists and robbers. This meant we were not inclined to venture in areas that were not patrolled.

Samburu[5 star]

We expected this camp to be excellent and it totally lived up to our expectations.
Upon being met at the airport by our guide we were effectively taken on our first game drive on our way to the camp.
We were told on entering the camp that everyone had to smile and, throughout our stay, we found this to be the case. Everyone, without exception, including the guides, drivers and 007 [a guard / ranger] maintained a happy disposition making our stay extremely enjoyable.

Whilst listed as a ‘tented camp’ it would be wrong to think of this as consisting of simple tents. Each tent is on a raised wooden platform and has a thatched roof and a view of the river. They are modern, of high quality construction and are well furnished with en suite shower room, sink and toilet. They are adequately supplied with electricity and points for charging batteries. Toiletries and bottled mineral water are replenished daily.

In readiness for the early morning game drives flasks of coffee, tea or chocolate and biscuits are delivered to the tents, at no extra charge, along with a wake-up call.
All food served was of excellent quality and there was plenty of choice at all meals.

Talks on local culture were given at night by the resident Maasai warrior, Steve 1, who also took us on a nature walk on the other side of the electric fence when we were accompanied by an armed ranger, known as 007. This was a very interesting experience at extra cost but not to be missed - we even disturbed a pair of jackals. Steve 1 also offers an after sales service by internet for any later queries you might have.

Inside the electric fence there are resident vervet monkeys, ever watchful of an opportunity to get inside the tents, and various birds and lizards. There is also a pair of common genets which visit the restaurant each night. We were told that Crocodiles sometimes come onto the banks of the river but do not represent a risk if you do not go down there. The river was particularly high and fast flowing at the time we visited.

Our driver guide was Sebastian and safaris at Samburu are more of a joint exercise between guide and passengers in trying to spot any animals around. It is amazing how many dead branches/tree stumps look like animals and how many often large animals, in such a relatively small area, manage to meld themselves into the background. However, there are plenty to see.

Sebastian’s forte appeared to be elephants and because there is little hunting of them in countries around Samburu herds literally surrounded the vehicle, the presence of which they all appear familiar with and accepting of.

Animals seen included Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffe, Vulturine Guinee Fowl, Crocodile, Oryx, Wart Hog, Dik Dik, Klipspringer, Phillips Springer, Impala, Rock Hyrax, Kori Bustard, Tawny Eagle, White backed Vulture, Lion, Cheetah, the odd Cape Buffalo[one of five there], Pygmy Mongoose and numerous others.

Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort [4 star]

I had read bad things in Trip advisor about this camp and was prepared for the worst.

The accommodation was an en suite room with a kind of large plantation at the back.
The view from the veranda was excellent for seeing many types of coloured birds which are the special feature of this location.

Unfortunately the mosquito net on the bed was holed in four places and the windows were left open at night by staff unlike other places we visited. I did not see any mosquitoes but had I done so the kill spray provide was empty suggesting a lack of attention to detail.

The road from the camp to the highway a few kilometres away was bad but did not prove as bad as made out in other reports and our driver negotiated it slowly and well with little discomfort for us, admittedly having to cross to the other side in places. I have an artificial hip so this was a particular worry beforehand that proved unfounded. A Slender Mongoose, Rock Hyrax, Jackal, Waterbucks etc were seen from this road. The camp road joins the Trans Africa highway which is a modern motorway and rapidly gets you to most locations.

John, the very friendly resident Maasai, gave us an excellent nature walk on the first night especially covering medicinal plants the Maasai use. However, the a la carte restaurant was closed and the buffet meal provided was extensive but mediocre. A large conference was taking place that may have affected this. The a la carte meal the next day was excellent with the buffet breakfast once again mediocre.

The bird table at breakfast was heavily populated with many colourful species so it pays to sit where you can easily view it.

The full day trip we took to Lake Nakuru with our very good guide Jack was something not to be missed with not only thousands of flamingos and pelicans but very close sightings of White and Black Rhinos, Rothchild’s Giraffes, Olive Baboons, Leopard, Lion, Cape Buffaloes, Hippo, Zebras, Ostriches, Augur Buzzard, Martial Eagle, various types of stork, Tree Hyrax etc. and wonderful ‘Out of Africa’ views to behold.

A boat trip on Lake Naivasha the next day allowed us to see amongst other things Hippos, Pied Kingfishers and Fish Eagles that were encouraged by our boatman to pick up fish whilst they were in flight that he had thrown into the water.

A far more enjoyable stay was therefore experienced than previously expected and the above are only some of the activities available. All told a worthwhile addition to the other camps.

Mara Intrepids [5 star]

The luxury tented accommodation, similar to Samburu, was on stilts overlooking the reserve and part of the river in the distance.

An early morning delivery of flasks of tea, coffee or chocolate was provided together with a wake up call to start the day.

Talks were available each evening before dinner with some entertainment provided at dinner such as Maasai dancing. Meals and staff were very good but it was more impersonal than Samburu, although still friendly.

The assistant Maasai, Kevin, was a very pleasant person.

There were three game drives each day with the first commencing when picked up at the airport.

John, our guide was excellent at locating game on the river bank or in the plains and at locating his vehicle in ideal positions for taking photographs. There are a lot of animals present but more reliance is placed on the guide and his network in locating those less often available sightings such as leopards, a dead Hippo feast for vultures, a large rock python and the Black Rhino. We told him what we wanted to see and he organised it where possible although there is some luck in any safari as to what you see. [ Samburu is more of a joint passenger and guide exercise in locating animals reminiscent of a hunting expedition and the difference adds to the uniqueness of each exercise / location]

There is a great abundance of animals and a good safari experience is assured.

Black Rhino [one of 10 in the reserve], Maasai Giraffe, Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Brown Snake Eagle, Lappet-faced, White Back and Ruppell’s Vultures, Spotted Hyena, Jackal, Lilac Breasted Roller, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant, Hippo, Crowned Plover, Rock Python, Lion, Cheetah, Eland, Thomson Gazelle, Grants Gazelle, Dik Dik, Topi, Zebra, Wart Hog, Banded Mongoose and numerous others were all seen.

Conclusion
A tour covering more than one area is to be recommended and the Virgin Heritage Flying Safari tour met much more than our expectations which were already high.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank George P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2011

This was our second trip to Samburu,our first stay at intrepids camp.Accommodation was excellent and all the staff were attentive to our needs.Mr Richard and Naomi the managers ,took personal interest in the comfort of their guests and made everyone welcome .For the second time we had excellent game drives with Sebastian our driver and Frances our Samburu tracker.Game drives are more successful if you have the best guides and these guys excel !.Their knowledge of the area and wildlife, including the bird and plant life was excellent.The food in the camp was of a very high standard with plenty of choice.We hope to return next year.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DENNIS M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

We stayed at Samburu Intrepids for 2 nights in early October and loved every minute of it. The accomodations were comfortable, the service was attentive and the game rides were fabulous. I had visited the Mara a few years earlier, and, as we had been told, the shear number of animals at Samburu is smaller due to the dry conditions, but we were treated to a wide variety including several Cheetah sitings as well as the "Samburu specials". Our guide was knowledgable and skilled, noting remarkable things so that we were able to watch a baby gazelle being delivered. Our tented room was quiet and comfortable. The food was sumptuous with buffet at breakfast and lunch and several entree choices at dinner.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WMKMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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