Elephant Watch Camp
Elephant Watch is the ultimate eco-lodge, blazing a trail for others to follow by nurturing an holistic, profoundly meaningful and proactive engagement with the wild world.
Situated in the dry north of Kenya, in a land of endless rugged beauty and untamed wilderness, Elephant Watch Camp perches on the sandy banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River beneath Kigelia
and Acacia trees in Samburu National Reserve. This ecosystem has one of the largest elephant populations in Kenya, each one individually identified and studied by researchers at Save the
Elephants, an NGO founded by world renowned zoologist, Iain Douglas-Hamilton. It is home to a number of species only found in arid zones, including the Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx,
Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk and reticulated giraffe. The reserve is also home to all three of the big cat species, wild dog, as well as 350 bird species. The nomadic Samburu people live among the
animals as they have for centuries.
Elephant Watch is an eco-bush camp. It has been cleverly made out of fallen trees and locally available materials. Green to the core, their guiding philosophy emphasises recycling, composting, solar energy and minimal pollution. The camp has six wide and breezy desert-style tents, draped in multi-coloured cottons, each covered with a high thatched roof. Using the unique shapes of dead trees stripped of their bark by elephants, each tent is individually decorated with unique pieces of handcrafted furniture, a king-size bed and crisp cotton sheets. Side tables with books and solar-powered bedside lamps add to the cosy atmosphere. The en-suite bathrooms are built around the gnarled trunks of acacia trees and are open to the African sky. Water from the camp well is heated in the sun
and poured into hand-painted buckets for a reviving “bush” shower. Elephant Watch has become home to some of the largest elephant bulls in Samburu, and they regularly walk among the tents.
The intimate connection of watching elephants with the camp’s highly trained guides is completely different from any other experience in Africa. It is a deeply personal immersion into the world of an alien but parallel animal intelligence that is much like our own. Trained by Save the Elephants to recognise 900 individual elephants on sight, their guides know Samburu’s intricate elephant family structures intimately. They remember each elephant’s family history, stretching back 17 years, and can authoritatively interpret the complex relationships in herds that sometimes comprise of several hundred animals. In addition, recruited as local experts by Ewaso Lions to help gather information on predators, they can identify all lion, leopard and cheetah by name, and are equally enthusiastic about giraffe, oryx, monkeys or crocodiles. They are justifiably proud of their sharp eyes and detailed knowledge, all of which helps create an experience that is uniquely Samburu and that gives something back to this beautiful land.