Sabache Eco Camp – Samburu

First published in Nomad Magazine (Issue 15 – Hot List) Nomad_Hot List

Background:

Driving up Kenya’s northern road is always a visual and cultural treat. Watching shades of greens turning into yellows dotted with colourful Samburu tending to their herds, Samburu feels like an entirely different world.

Nestled right next to the distinctive Mount Ololokwe is Sabache Eco Camp. An entirely locally owned and run safari campsite. It’s rare to come across properties that can hold up to 50 guests at a time, embrace its surroundings, directly benefit its community and are untouched by mass commercialism. And that is why Sabache Eco Camp holds such a close place to my heart.

Dipa who runs and operates Sabache Camp has a long history with the land. This is the site where his ancestral family home was and is actually quite close to his grandfather’s sacred burial ground.

Mount Ololokwe is highly revered amongst the Samburu. It holds a number of sacred sites as well as being a vital ecosystem so conservation and community traditions need to go hand in hand. Sabache ensures they run an eco-camp that is sustainable yet directly benefits the surrounding community.

Before you read on, check out our short video on our trip!

Getting there:

Sabache Eco Camp takes around 5-6 hours to get to. We left early morning to arrive in Nanyuki for breakfast, nothing like a solid meal and a big fat cup of coffee to hit the spot! Fuelled by caffeine and full bellies we made our way north. Before checking into Sabache Eco camp we popped into Buffalo Springs reserve to take a refreshing dip in their natural pool, went for a quick game drive then continued on to Sabache Eco Camp.

From Archers post continue passed Kalama Conservancy and the Marsabit – Wamba junction. The turnoff into Sabache Eco Camp is around 4km from the Wamba junction. Keep an eye out for a white sign on the left, this is where you turn off. Continue down the dusty road for around 2 km until you reach the campsite. GPS coordinates N 0°51.472´ E 37°32.650´ as provided by the campsite. The road is pretty good so you don’t necessarily need a 4×4 to get to the campsite, maybe just a car with high clearance.

Amenities:

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Sabache can host up to 50 guests at any given up. If you’re in the mood for camping, you can bring your own gear or rent from them and camp on their grounds. If you like a backpacker style trip you can stay in a comfortable self-contained dormitory or sleep in their ensuite classic safari tents, Sabache tailors to all kinds of travellers.

We stayed in a spacious ensuite safari tent, which could comfortably sleep, four guests. We had our own private veranda where escaped the heat, sipping on cold Gin and Tonics taking in the view. The showers are cold but if you want a warm one you can always ask the staff there to warm one for you.

Partnering up with The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Sabache provides food to guests on a full board basis. And I must say their food is really incredible! Have your breakfast served right from your veranda or tuck into your three-course dinner under the stars by a warm campfire. They can also accommodate your dietary needs just let them know in advance.

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Gorgeous starry night

Things to do:

If you love hiking, trek up Mount Ololokwe for spectacular views, they can also organise overnight camping on the mountain. Obviously, visit the national reserves and conservancies around Sabache, I also read on their website they can take you on a night safari as well as arrange a camel safari. If you wish to learn more about the Samburu, you can also go for a cultural visit to the local villages.

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Mkolee the resident orphan gerenuk, she was saved by the staff at Sabache after her mother was killed by a leopard and you can find her roaming around the property!

Cost:

We booked using Airbnb and a night at the Sabache Eco Camp will cost you around KSH 5000 per person, we also added KSH 1000 per person per day to make our stay full board and paid KSH 1,500 per person for conservancy fee.

Alternatively, you can also book through their website www.sabachecamp.com, or you can call them directly to book on 0726 991 597.

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So if you’re interested in an off the beaten track accommodation, that directly benefits its community and focuses on environmentally friendly practices. Sabache is the perfect choice for you!

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