Situated in a stand of riverine forest on the northern bank of the Ewaso Ngiro River, Elephant Watch Camp sits at the heart of Samburu National Park. It is a true eco camp and a wonderful place for anybody with an interest in elephants.
It reflects the passion, colour and character of its owner, Oria Douglas-Hamilton, the wife of Iain - one of Africa's foremost elephant conservationists. The main areas include a bar, small library, dining area and lounge. The camp has a very bohemian feel, with natural designs and colourful fabrics draped amongst the thatched building.
Just six beautiful tents make up accommodation at the camp. They sit only a short distance from the river, where elephants can often be seen cooling off during the day.
The focus is very much on elephants, with guided game drives, visits to the research centre and elephant watching. However, there are a number of other activities. These include bush walks with local Samburu, village visits, mountain hikes and scenic helicopter flights.
Each of the six, spacious open tents, has a thatched roof and natural wood supports, with rugs and cushions scattered across the floors. Colourful cotton drapes down from the ceiling to form light, airy walls. These remarkable structures have all been cleverly designed from trees and logs knocked down by elephants.
Bathrooms have environmentally friendly long-drop toilets and solar-heated showers, built around gnarled acacia trees. Above, they are open to the brilliantly clear African sky.
Elephant Watch Camp sits just seven kilometres upstream from Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s original elephant research camp. As such, its relationship with elephant conservation is deeply engrained. The Save the Elephants research centre is just a short drive away, allowing for an insight into conservation in action.
Thanks to this unique relationship with Save the Elephants, the guides at Elephant Watch Camp are especially well trained. Able to recognise more than 900 elephants on sight, they are well versed on the complicated family structure of Samburu’s elephants.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A refreshing change from many of the somewhat out-dated safari lodges, Elephant Watch Camp is bursting with character and colour. The atmosphere is relaxed and almost everything is organic – including the wildlife experience.
SEE BOTH ASIAN AND AFRICAN ELEPHANTS
Combine Elephant Watch Camp with Kulu Safari's camp in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka.
Encounter diminutive Asian elephants in the rivers and grasslands of Yala, before heading to the home of Save the Elephants to track their towering African relatives. Here, the arid Samburu terrain, with its rock-strewn valleys, is in stark contrast to the lush tropical landscapes of Sri Lanka.
Travel for 12 days from £6,550 pp, including international and internal flights