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Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 July 2013

As we have been asked twice to write a review we have decided to do so. We booked Elephant Watch direct one week before going because we were offered 'exclusive use of a vehicle and your own guide'. When we arrived one week later we were told that we could not have a vehicle and guide to ourselves. We were given different excuses and felt we had been deceived. The opportunity of being on our own in silence with the elephants meant a lot to me and was the main reason for us choosing this camp.

We were taken out on our own but never before 10 am. each day. We had no flexibility or discussion about what we would like to do and when.

When booking we were asked to pay an additional $25 per person per night 'service charge' whereas custom is normally to tip staff on leavng. Many people may be unaware of this and possibly tip twice.

The location and camp were lovely and most of the staff were excellent, helpful and friendly but I did spend one night lying in a soaking wet bed after a midnight thunderstorm and with a leaking roof. You need to unzip your tent and go outside to get to your bathroom so if it is raining you get wet underfoot and from above.

We have stayed in many African camps and lodges over the years. This one, although beautiful, fell short of our expectations, and the response afterwards to the various problems we had was sadly met with derision and rudeness. It shouldn't have been like that and perhaps would not have been had management been in camp.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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24  Thank ScotlandRuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 - 64 of 89 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2013

My visit to Elephant Watch Camp was nothing less than magical! Run by the Douglas-Hamilton family, this is the place for elephant viewing – Samburu has many elephants and the EWC family and guides know them all – by name even! I spent several game drives in the middle of the herds with the elephants so close you could see their eyelashes and the color of their eyes --an unmatched experience. Along with the elephants, I also viewed cheetahs, leopards, painted wild dogs, grants gazelles, dik diks, crocodiles, oryxes, reticulated giraffes, grevy’s zebras, and gerenuks. Accommodations and food were excellent. Upon arrival I was greeted by Saba Douglas-Hamilton, the most gracious hostess. Between Saba and the careful attention of the EWC Samburu staff, I felt well attended to the entire time I was there. Evening meals were a treat with Saba hosting the camp guests around the dining table for a relaxing discussion of the day’s experiences. The bush tents are privately situated along the Ewaso Nyiro River and have all the comfortable amenities you would want without losing touch with nature. Between game drives I especially enjoyed sitting on the veranda on the chase lounge watching the river go by. And at the end of the day, if you shower after sunset, don’t miss that beautiful star show going on right above your bucket! I highly recommend Elephant Watch Camp and am looking forward to a return trip!

Carol from San Francisco, CA

Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
4  Thank Carol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elephantwatchcamp, Social Media Officer at Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2013

Dear Carol S,


Thank you for taking the time to write a review on our TripAdvisor page.
We appreciate your positive feedback about our camp.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Elephant Watch Camp in July 2013 we were glad to have you.
We will be ready to welcome you when you do decide to come visit us again.
Feel free to recommend our camp to your friends and family to share in the same unmatched experience.

Kind Regards,
Eleanor Opiyo
Social Media Officer,
Elephant Watch Camp
Samburu, Kenya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2013

This is without question the best eco-friendly camp in all of Kenya...I have stayed many times at the camp....its the only place to go in Samburu, meet the elephants, get familiar with all the elephant-family-dynamics and, yes - the Samburu Warriors are very kind and talkative. Dont miss to pay a visit to the Save The Elephant Research Station. Andreas

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Andreas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 22 July 2013

Dear Andreas B,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on our TripAdvisor page.
We appreciate your positive feedback about our camp.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Elephant Watch Camp. We were glad to have you.

Feel free to recommend our camp to your friends and family to share in the same experience.

Kind Regards,
Eleanor Opiyo
Social Media Officer,
Elephant Watch Camp
Samburu, Kenya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2013

When we first arrived at Elephant Watch, we had a fabulous lunch under the trees by the river and visited with the staff then I noticed there was a group of baboons across the shore. What an amazing welcome to Elephant Watch!

The staff was fascinating and personable and the wildlife magnificent. You can’t learn anything more about elephants than what this studied staff can teach you. We spent hours watching and learning about the elephants and their families and it wasn’t nearly enough time.

I will visit again!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Cathy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elephantwatchcamp, Social Media Officer at Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2013

Dear Cathy R,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on our TripAdvisor page.
We appreciate your positive feedback about our camp.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Elephant Watch Camp in August 2012 we were glad to have you.
We will be ready to welcome you when you do decide to come visit us again.
Feel free to recommend our camp to your friends and family to share in the same experience.

Kind Regards,
Eleanor Opiyo
Social Media Officer,
Elephant Watch Camp
Samburu, Kenya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

A most precious experience and so many happy memories... we were there for a very special family celebration and it was way beyond what we could have expected. Each tent is beautifully and individually decorated, eating delicious meals out under the trees at the side of the river is lovely, and Oria and the staff are beyond hospitable. The game runs are amazing with elephants so close you could count their eyelashes, and we saw lots of other big game too. Finally cocktails under the stars on the hilltop at sundown with the Samburu warriors in all their finery making a traditional fire was a perfect farewell evening touch.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Vivien E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 17 July 2013

Dear Vivien E,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on our TripAdvisor page.
We appreciate your positive report about our camp.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Elephant Watch Camp in August 2012 we were glad to have you.
Feel free to recommend our camp to your friends and family to share in the same experience.

Kind Regards,
Eleanor Opiyo
Social Media Officer,
Elephant Watch Camp
Samburu, Kenya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

Oria and Iain (an elephant zoologist) make this place magical and purposeful. The food is great and the accommodations lovely. The Samburu warriors are delightful and really add a lot of fun and a lot of local flavor to the experience. Oh, and the elephants. I cannot say enough about the wonderful day trips to see these magnificent creatures. I wish we could find a way to protect them. Oria and Iain are doing their best and are relentless in their work. I can't imagine staying anywhere else in Kenya if you want to learn about the elephants and help them, while staying in an absolutely delightful place.

Room Tip: They are all tents. They are all good rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank givehoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 17 July 2013

Dear givehoot,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on our TripAdvisor page.
We appreciate your positive report about our camp.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Elephant Watch Camp in August 2012 we were glad to have you.
Feel free to recommend our camp toyour friends and family to share in the same experience.

Kind Regards,
Eleanor Opiyo
Social Media Officer,
Elephant Watch Camp
Samburu, Kenya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We loved every minute of every hour of every day we spent at Elephant Watch Camp. For a week, it was living the African dream. We saw the most beautiful wildlife and shared truly unforgetable experiences with Alfred and Bernard, the best of guides. The Camp is beautiful, artistic, and African. And then there is Oria, the energetic, wonderful, spirited, grand Oria. Thank you!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank aerdtjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elephantwatchcamp, Social Media Officer at Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2013

Dear aerdtjo,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on our TripAdvisor page.
We appreciate your positive report about our camp.
Thank you for choosing to stay at Elephant Watch Camp in August 2012 we were glad to have you.
Feel free to recommend our camp toyour friends and family to share in the same experience.

Kind Regards,
Eleanor Opiyo
Social Media Officer,
Elephant Watch Camp
Samburu, Kenya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris

Address: Samburu | North Eastern, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Samburu District > Samburu National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Samburu National Reserve
Price Range: £446 - £595 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the semi arid North of Kenya, in a land of endless rugged beauty and untamed wilderness, Elephant Watch Safaris has established its camp on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve. Oria Douglas-Hamilton, together with her husband, Iain, have been associated with elephants for more than 40 years, and have been pioneers in studying the intricate lives of elephants and their intelligent social behaviour. They have brought their scientific studies to the attention of the world, highlighting a well-organised family structure, with a conscious level of emmotions, pain, speech, and protection. Elephants form an integral part of the socio economic livelihood of the Samburu people who share the land with the elephants. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris Kenya/Samburu National Reserve

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