10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Loved our second visit to this lodge
"We have just returned from our Kenyan safari which included a 3 night stay at Samburu Lodge. This was our second visit to this lodge and everything came up to our expectations again. We were made very welcome by all the helpful and friendly staff. The Lodge is in a beautiful position by the river, which was actually bone dry during our visit. The elephants had dug small waterholes in the riverbed and it was lovely to watch various animals visiting. The grounds of the lodge are beautiful and well kept and the pool area clean and well maintained. We also had the bonus of a genet watching us eat dinner from its position on one of the beams in the restaurant and a visit by a pair of Kudu in the grounds. Would love to stay at this lodge again in the future."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of April 2008
Watch the crocs feeding!
"We arrived here not knowing what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. The central areas are open sided with thatched roof. The rooms are chalet style around the grounds but watch out for monkeys who will try and get in your room. Rooms are clean & comfortable. Large bathroom with excellent shower which is a godsend after a dusty game drive.
The food is good and you can watch the crocodiles feeding too. Took coffee 3 foot from the crocs after dinner each night."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of October 2007
"Just arrived back from the Travel Collection's Cheetah Safari. We had returned to Kenya to repeat the Safari we did in 2005, so it was interesting to see how much the Lodge had improved since our last visit. To be honest we thought Samburu Lodge was pretty good before the renovations; however, the rooms are wonderful now! Simple, but modern and spacious.
All works have been completed and the lodge has returned to providing their usual high standard of service. All staff were friendly and attentive.
The food was buffet style and each meal time had a different selection, with plenty of choice for vegetarians.
The game drives were all excellent and we managed to spend time watching Cheetahs, Leopards and Lions, along with the usual Elephants, Buffalo, Impala, Giraffe etc. We were lucky enough to see a herd of Elephants crossing the river. We also saw a large number of Hippo in the river, which, we were told, was unusual in the Samburu part of the two national reserves.
We love Samburu Reserve and the Lodge so much we will be returning there again for a much longer duration next time!"
- Travel date: Wed 19th of September 2007
Perfect, just perfect
"Stayed here for 2 nights and what a place. Upon arrival we were met with hot towels and drinks and given rooms after the chit chat. Just accept that you will have to tip the porters as they won't let you carry your stuff. When we got to our room the collective jaw hit the floor, it was perfect with a balcony overlooking the river, no fence just the river. Theres fence around the the land but the river is open. The view was amazing and everybody else was doing the same on the balconies.
The lodge has some of the local tribe in traditional dress to see off the monkey raiders and at night its patrolled in case the wildlife gets ideas. The otherside of the river they feed the Leopards in the evening and they were spotted throughout the days checking. There are also a lot of Crocodiles which come up the bank, they are encouraged to certain areas around the well named Crocodile bar.
The food is buffet style and generally very good, served in an open sided restaurant overlooking the river. We were not ill at all, one person was but it would have been from Nairobi as everyone else was fine. The bar is excellent and well priced, the local Tusker beer bacame my choice.
The staff are all amazingly friendly and helpful, everything was really clean and we just couldnt fault the place. Something to bear in mind is that its a poor country and tips are expected and
gratefully received. There is a shop within the lodge which was well stocked and had good prices normally hotel shops ask for stupid money but this one was really down to earth.
Bottles of water are in the rooms and more can be bought at good prices so don't worry about that, just don't drink the tap water for obvious reasons. The rooms all have mozzy nets and screened windows, we blocked the door gaps with used towels just in case, But, to be fair we did not really see a mozzy, could have been our creams but was still unexpected.
The Samburu park had an abundance of wildlife and we actually spotted 3 of the big 5 on the drive in, before we had actually started game drives so keep your eyes open. Amazing place that the wardens and soldiers? look after very well and patrol at night to deter poachers, in fact the sign on the gate basically says no movement at night in the park for that reason, which seems fair enough. But thats the park not the hotel so don't worry.
All in all we both feel that this was the best lodge of the 4 we stayed at and really enjoyed our time here."
- Travel date: Mon 17th of September 2007
Great Hotel in a Great Location
"The hotel is beautifully situated on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro river, it nestles along the tree lined shore. When you arrive you are given a very friendly welcome first at the reception counter and then in the adjacent lounge. As with all the public rooms there are no doors or walls, just a very deeply pitched roof with an abundant thatch. All designed to keep us cool.
The accommodation is draped along the river bank with most of the rooms just a few yards from the water. First you meet the staff, then numerous monkeys, then the crocodiles (the hotel attracts crocodiles on to a low bank below the dining room and next to the bar) - all before you pass the open sided dining room on your way to the very pleasant wooden blocks of rooms on two levels with balconies overlooking the river.
Shaded by the trees but warmed by the sun that trickled through, the balcony was an ideal place to while away any spare time. The bedrooms were very comfortable and staff came each evening to draw the mosquito nets. The beds were large and comfortable, the wardrobe space was adequate and the shower was large and with a strong flow of water.
All the meals were served buffet style and the quality was very high. There was an abundance of fresh fruit at each meal.
There was a very well stocked and well laid out shop that sold books, maps cards, refreshments and some of the locally produced momentos. Our experience was that it is better to buy any souvenirs in the hotel shop than at the villages and ubiquitous 'curio' shops to which you may be taken.
The hotel caters for the safari 'trade' and does that very well with very large parking areas adjacent to the lounge area.
Wherever you are in the hotel there are staff waiting to help you and they are very good at it. From those who look after your rooms to those who give you an escort through the grounds at night. They do expect to be tipped so get lots of low value notes before you leave home.
A wonderful hotel set in a wonderful location and in a wonderful game reserve with a spectacular array of animals to see."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of September 2007
One word - Fantastic
"We stayed for two nights in Samburu Lodge in Samburu National Reserve Park in Kenya.
It is a wonderful sprawling established next to the only river that runs through the park. We stayed in individual cottages next to the river. The views are wonderful and the atmosphere is very calm and relaxing. The whole complex is very modern with excellent up to date facilities.
The river is full of crocodiles. You can see them on the banks all the time. Elephants come regularly on the opposite bank. We also saw a leopard in the evening.
Food is excellent. You are totally spoilt during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Staff are wonderful, they are so so polite and welcoming with a big smile on their face all the time.
The game drives are in the morning and afternoon. We were very lucky. We saw elephants (hundreds), giraffes, antelops (many), leopards (twice - very lucky), lions (many), genenooks.
Samburu National Reserve and Samburu Lodge was very pleasant and memorable experience for our family and we will througly recommend to everybody.
A must itenary for your Kenya Safari.
PS. One word of warning - From Isiolu to Samburu Lodge the road turns into a complete dust track - very very bumpy."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of August 2007
"We spent 3 days at this Lodge last week and would highly recommend it. The position on the edge of the river is fantastic and the rooms all face the river. We watched elephants and giraffes crossing the river, there are monkies and baboons all around and one night there were 5 crocodiles sitting on the bank while we were enjoying our drink overlooking the river. The property has recently been renovated and is extremely smart. The staff couldn't do enough for us and were extremely welcoming and helpful."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of March 2007
"We have just returned from a week safari. We went with Kuoni.
I cannot praise this place highly enough.
The staff were very polite , helpful, efficient but most of all very friendly. They all seemed to enjoy their work and this showed by the way they looked after us.
The rooms are fantastic Lovely bathrooms with a great shower. All is very clean . The mosquito nets are provided and positioned for you early evening,
We had a great view of the river, from where we watched elephants crossing the river, drinking,and grazing for hours.
The crocodiles are plentiful and it was a real treat to see them being fed from the outdoor bar as we enjoyed our sundowner!
There are two bars overlooking the river which is alive with wildlife and bird life.
The restaurant is of excellent quality and the buffet style meals have a very wide selection of choices. The waiters cannot do enough for you and make you feel welcome at each meal time. The birthday cake they brought to me was wonderful and a lovely surprise to have them singing Happy birthday in Swahili whilst holding flaming torches!!
There is also a lovely swimming pool to relax.
The game drives from this lodge were absolutely incredible. We saw so many animals at very close range.
Please try this place...you will not be disappointed"
- Travel date: Sun 25th of March 2007
refurbishment completed fantastic lodge
"Just returned from spending two nights at Samburu Lodge whilst taking the 7 day safari package offered by Cosmos / Archers Direct.
This lodge is simply outstanding. I have previously been on safari at Kings camp, Timbavaati, S Africa and have to say that I thought Kings Camp was very good but Samburu by far exceeded their standards.
The Lodges are excellent and if you are lucky enough you will have your lodge facing the River Samburu (?) itself. The room is spacious with a balcony and a mosquito net for the bed. The showers are excellent and the overall quality of the lodge is superb.
The food was excellent and was on a buffet basis with a wide selection of food. The level of service was also excellent and as I found out later whilst staying at the hotels, was something that hotels could indeed learn from. The bar is also overlooing the river and also has the crocodile feeding from about 1900hrs.
Excursions from the Lodge included a trip to the village of the local tribe and also dancing by the local tribe (all at a cost) however we did neither of these trips and I would most definitely recommend the excursion that we did which was the bird spotting walk within the Lodge itself with a guide which was fantastic learning about the differing birds and also pointing out the vultures nest.
All in all this is truly a magnificent lodge and judging from the previous comments has definitely completed its refurbishments. I would recommend any person to go Samburu Lodge it truly was a memorable vacation."
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of March 2007
"This accommodation is "Not fit for purpose". It is being extensively renovated and all the public rooms â reception, dining room/bar area, etc. are in open-sided plastic tents with plastic sheeted floors (except for the bare floored bar). Rain leaked in and the floors were awash with mud which the staff were unable to keep clear. There are trenches throughout the area, which have to be crossed by 3 four-inch wide planks. This would close the site in Britain for Health and Safety reasons."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of November 2006