Wilson Airport is off Langata Road, and after checking in and having our luggage weighed (including our hand luggage) we soon were boarded on a Grand Caravan bound for Sarara, via Nanyuki. The airstrip faces the mountain, so one has to land facing into it, and the camp lies beyond the strip.
Phillip was there to meet us. He is a local Samburu, educated in English, but dressed proudly in his traditional colours and attire.
It’s a short drive to camp, where Katie and her staff are there to greet us. Lunch was very welcome.
That afternoon we took a short drive.
The Wamba Hills are just south of the Mathews Range and Sarara Camp is located at the base of the Wambas’, on the northern foothills. Samburuland is harsh, dry and covered in Acacia’s, with greener veins of riverine woodland marking watercourses which flow only when the rains fall. If they happen. Droughts are frequent, and devastating to local tribesmen and their beloved flocks of sheep, goats and Zebu x Borana cattle. In bad years young elephant and other game die off as well.
The camp was established as a conservation milestone with the Samburu community and Piers Taylor and Ian Craig. Ian Craig has become one of Kenyas most pro-active conservation figures and is famously known for his ground-breaking efforts at Lewa and Ol Pejeta Conservation areas, and their respective communities. Sarara is the cornerstone of the Nyamunyak Trust, which is part of the Northern Rangelands Trust.
Six luxury tents have been built along the side of the hill, with a simple but very effective ‘lodge’, and a rock pool. The setting and infrastructure blend with the local environment perfectly. Our first drive that afternoon we saw gerenuk, impala, numerous Kirks’ dikdik, reticulated giraffe in the distance, vulturine guineafowl and a bounty of other birds too.