On this game drive, I only covered a small radius of the 90,000 acre conservancy and below a few photos that best summarize my experience. I hope you like them and if you would like to visit the conservancy, which I believe you should, here is a summary of what to expect:
Unlike many parks in this region, Olpejeta is open to the locals anytime…no appointment needed.
It is the only place in Kenya with Chimpanzees
It is home to all the big five
The paths are clearly marked so with or without a guide, you can figure your way around
It is the biggest black rhino sanctuary in East africa
It is home to the world’s last three northern white rhinos (1 male &2 females)
For more information on more activities, accommodation and park fees check out their website.
We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.
It has been a minute but not too long I hope. I don’t wan t to make excuses today so lets get right into it. In 2015 I made a terrible mistake ( story for another day) but in all that mess I met a great girl who was to become my friend (also story for another day). Through this friend, I met another friend who was super excited about running the LEWA marathon 2017. We had only met virtually but we agreed that we would hang out after the marathon. So I found myself on the road to Isiolo very early Sunday morning ready for an adventure to unknown destinations with a person I had never met.
Isiolo is the last town you would expect to find a traffic jam but on this day, a Sunday, the traffic was probably worse than that of the great Nairobi. The same happened when I was going to Marsabit ( read about that here). Maybe Isiolo doesn’t want me to drive through too fast. So here I was with two complete strangers headed to destination unknown in the great Samburu county. We made our way to Buffalo springs national reserve and went straight to the swimming pool at Samburu Simba lodge.
I don’t know about you but this is a perfect spot to spend a day, say on a blind date and have conversations with even more strangers who are on vacation from different parts of the world. What made it even better is that we did not have to take a game drive to look for the wildlife… wildlife came to us.
Those who know me know I love elephants so having a herd of elephants grazing by the pool must have been the highlight of my day. I witnessed an elephant bullying a grevy zebra and I thought it was being mean but turns out it had a little calf probably less that two months. I am no expert in estimating wildlife’s age but it was really tiny.
On the way out, I was lucky to see a number of oryx (by the way what is the proper name for it?) It is one of the species that are only found in arid parts of Africa above the equator.
we also made a stop at the springs which are weirdly clean despite the fact that there is no visible outlet. Unfortunately I was too focused on taking photos of me and my now friends (no longer blind dates) that I forgot to take a picture of the springs.
Buffalo springs national reserve is located between Isiolo and Archers post and is managed by the county government of Samburu
Entrance fee is Kes. 500.00 for Kenyan citizens
You can also access Samburu national reserve from here without having to pay park entrance fee again
There is a variety of lodges to choose from for meals and swimming… we were at the Samburu Simba lodge
You will need a 4WD… the roads are quite rough.
We had an amazing experience there and I would totally recommend it. Samburu is waiting for you.
Until next time, go find your adventure, tembea Kenya and don’t be afraid to go on adventurous blind dates… It could turn out to be your best day.
A big thank you to Maryanne, Tom and Christine. you made my day!
When I started this blog about a year and a half ago, I was looking for a platform that would allow me to share my love for nature, wildlife and photography and hopefully use the three to promote conservation education and a general appreciation for the world’s beauty. Taking stock a year and a half later, I have to admit I haven’t posted as much as I originally planned. Sometimes I write in my head but it never translates to an actual published post…blame it on trying to balance a full time job and using every spare moment of my life travelling somewhere in this country (Excuses excuses). I sure hope the few posts I have managed to publish have in a small way fulfilled my goal.
Going through my photos made me realize I am a chronic hoarder. Most of my space is taken up by photos from all the places I have been but never shared. Taking photos is all fun and games until it gets to the sorting and editing part… then I switch off. So I have decided to get back on the writing/ sharing bandwagon and hopefully keep doing it on reasonably regular basis by sharing one of my most epic trip this year to Marsabit. I have always wanted to go there but I guess the uncertainty of what lies ahead has always held me back until I read the Kenyan campers series on Northern Kenya. Unlike him, my trip was rather spontaneous since the plan was hatched 2 days before it happened. One day to the trip, my friend was chickening out but I gave him my positive vibes speech that nothing bad happens to me; which means nothing bad would happen to him as we ventured into this strange land.
On a Saturday afternoon after winding up in the office, the adventure began at 2.30 PM. We cruised through familiar territories from Nanyuki, through the beautiful farms in Timau all the way to Archer’s post. That is as far as any of us had ever been before so after Archer’s, we were all in the dark as to what lay ahead. That road is not referred to as the great north road for nothing. It is in my opinion the best piece of tarmac in this country…well done President Kibaki, well done. We had our first stop over near Mount Ololokwe also known as Ol Donyo Sabache in Samburu county. The traffic on this road is non existent so you can take pretty good photos from here without the fear of some car ruining your shot. In the words of #Thekenyancamper ” This road has so few cars that when you come across one you just take a photo…It is an event!”. You can also do cat wheels if you wish. As for getting the camera settings right for harsh day light photography depending on what time you travel is a story for another day.
Before I digress further, the drive was quite scenic thanks to the amazing Matthews ranges, Mount Ololokwe and the Nkadoru Murto (Cat and mouse rock formation). You may have come across some amazing aerial shots of this online. We got to Marsabit at around 6.30. Can you believe that? Truth is we were driving at a constant speed of 160/170 km/h ( Don’t tell NTSA).
I really wanted to visit Marsabit National park but we were turned away at Ahmed gate because apparently the rains were coming and we would get stuck even if we had a 4WD. Thank you KWS ranger for breaking my heart like that and giving me a reason to come back.
Here are a few highlights on the trip to Marsabit and then I will let some of the photos I took tell the rest of the story for me.
Carry a lot of water. It is very hot on the road.
Do not be fooled, Marsabit is a cold cold town…pack your sweaters people.
Lots of people asking for water on the road but since you can’t be sure if they are genuine or not… keep driving
Apparently the roads in Marsabit National park are not well maintained so if that is on your list of places to visit plan your trip during the dry season.
There are strong winds crossing the road as you approach Marsabit…watch out for that and be careful
I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.