Saruni Samburu has always been at the forefront of experiential safaris since its opening in 2008 and today is proud to announce a new, exciting breakthrough: they can now offer guests access to an elephant-proof, open ground level, professional, photographic hide situated at a waterhole. It is a unique experience for Kenya: “hiding” inside it, novice and professional photographers can photograph birds, animals and elephants from ground level. Designed with the needs of photographers in mind, buried underground, and covered with earth on three sides as well as on the roof, located a few steps from our waterhole (which is also being re-designed for maximum visibility), it is ‘painted’ with Samburu red earth and covered with shrubs and bushes: the perfect spot for ‘stealing’ amazing images of what occurs at our well-frequented waterhole. It can have up to 8 guests inside, it has reference maps and books available, and bean bags for photographers.

The waterhole at Saruni Samburu offers a unique opportunity to spot from very close up the Kalama elephants that come and drink its water, the fantastic birds species and the “Samburu Five”; reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, gerenuk, Somali ostrich and Grevy zebra. Being in the middle of an arid area, the hide also provides excellent opportunities to photograph from ground level and from very close up the predators of Samburu, especially lion and leopard.

The cleverly positioned hide is a photographers and naturalists’ paradise. Dug into the sand that surrounds the lodge’s waterhole, the hide allows you to gain a unique perspective of all types of wildlife from Kalama’s famous herd of elephants to terrapins cooling off in the afternoon heat.

The hide at Saruni Samburu was ‘inaugurated’ this July 2016 by National Geographic Creative contract photographer, Sergio Pitamitz, who, after holding previous ‘Kenya Photo Camps’ across the lodges, proposed the idea to develop a purpose-built hide to accommodate the groups attending the camp, but also future Saruni guests interested in a unique experience. Tom, the Saruni Operations Manager worked tirelessly with craftsmen to modify a standard container into what is now the ultimate photographers’ retreat.  Thanks also to Saruni Samburu Lodge Manager Johan Kloppers who then worked together with the local community in its installation and maintenance to ensure it blended in harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, respecting the environment. Making the Saruni Samburu experience even more unique.

Below is a summary of the hide’s specifications:

  • Elephant-proof;
  • Open, ground level;
  • Available both day and after sunset;
  • Located near a frequently-visited waterhole, in front of the lodge;
  • Accommodates up to 8 people;
  • Reference maps, books, beanbags available;
  • Amateur and professional photographers alike;
  • Photographic opportunities include:
    • Samburu Five: reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, gerenuk, Somali ostrich and Grevy zebra;
    • Kalama elephants;
    • Wild dog;
    • Many species of bird life;
    • Lion;
    • Leopard;
  • Thumbs up from National Geographic Creative content photographer, Sergio Pitamitz, and favourite industry photographer Stevie Mann.

The perfect opportunity for photographers, both amateur and experienced, to build on skills in this unrivalled environment. Contact us to find out how we can incorporate Saruni Samburu into your Safari itinerary.

Contact The Luxury Safari Company.