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“Quiet and Peaceful” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samburu Sopa Lodge

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Samburu Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Quiet and Peaceful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

Of the 3 safari places we stayed at during our holiday this was our favourite. It was quite a small lodge (I think 36 rooms spread well apart) which gave an uncluttered and spacious feel to the place. It was also the one closest to nature as outside your door you were basically part of the National Park. You had Dik Dik’s (smallest of the deer) and other animals wondering around near to your rooms and they had a watering hole close to the dining area so wherever you were in the lodge you were likely to see animals fairly close up wandering to and from the watering hole. We didn’t see a huge variety of animals at the watering hole- deer, zebra, giraffe, warthogs, guinea fowl and baboons so whether we missed any big cats or elephants I’m not sure but it seemed unlikely they were going to pay a visit. It was also rather amusing to see a tanker turn up on the first day to fill up the watering hole but glad they did as the animals came soon after. There were also a large number of exotic birdies hanging around the dining area looking like they wanted stuff off plates or maybe were simply being sociable and showing off for the cameras.

The rooms were nice with an outside patio for the views and to let you watch life go by. They do not have electricity on all day so be prepared for minor inconveniences on that front but they did have torches in the room and we did not experience power cuts during darkness. I also think there was always hot water at the key times you would want a shower.

The swimming pool was lovely and you could see the watering hole from there and keep an eye out for any animals arriving. It was probably just the way the weather worked out but this was the only place we really had sunbathing weather (we were there in August). When we moved South the weather was much worse and we even got rain. So if a chill by the pool is part of your holiday then you may want to research weather patterns and not assume Kenya is just going to be hot everywhere all the time.

One downside to Samburu is the location. We had more or less picked a standard tour off the internet and tweaked it but hadn’t realised what a long trek it was from Nairobi. Over the course of the holiday we found the constant travel of 5-7 hours to different lodges combined with early game drives or early departures very tiring. If travel is not your thing you may want to consider whether you want to make the long journey to Samburu which seems to be a there and back location (rather than being on the way to somewhere else) or just have your holiday closer to Nairobi and do different lodges around Masai Mara. You should also consider adding in a couple of spare days where you can get up late and just sit by the pool. We only had two nights here and did not want to miss any game drives but we could have done with an extra day just to chill. If you want to see most variety on your holiday though Samburu does provide a different landscape to the Masai Mara as it is more desert like and you will see different animals here. You’d have to do more research than we did to find out whether Samburu is worth it for you.

Maybe it was just by chance but Samburu turned out worth it for us as it was the wow factor safari of the holiday as we saw a Lion-Croc fight and a dead elephant that seemed to have just keeled over in the river from old age with a pride of lions running over and around the corpse. We saw all the big cats here as well. This may be the kind of thing that can happen anywhere and no more likely than at Masai Mara but it made the holiday for us. Also the place we stayed in Masai Mara was far less ambient and much busier. That may have been down to our choice of lodge there but all the game drives in Masai Mara had many more vehicles converging on any given action and you’d see up to about 40 vehicles crowding round a Cheetah whereas in Samburu there were fewer vehicles around giving you a much more intimate feel to the place.

Food at the hotel was fine. There was not quite the wide choice of some other places we stayed but it was good and service and staff were, as ever in Kenya, excellent.

A very enjoyable stay, the only downside being the travelling, but if you are going to Samburu we would have no hesitation in recommending this lodge.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rach_and_Rich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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English first
USA
Level Contributor
57 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

Pros: Most everything was pretty good about this resort from the food, to the lodging, to the service, to the location. There's a watering hole y get to view from the dining hall.

Cons: room was a bit far from the dining hall/reception. The electricity was only turned on for a few hours a day. This was not good if you needed to charge batteries or laptops. The only place to get wifi was in the bar area. The problem is that there was no wifi. It didn't work. If you order a bottle of water for your meal, it'll cost you 300 schillings. A bit steep.

Overall: I'd stay here again if I found out they got more reliable wifi, or if their prices were significantly lower than other lodges.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank howardchang79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita, KS
Level Contributor
137 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

Among the value places we stayed during our 8 day safari in Kenya, I find Sopa Lodge acceptable.

Service: Friendly. Fine.

Location: It's an extra 30min from the game viewing area. I did not find this overly difficult. We woke up earlier.

Rooms: Large and clean. Hot water available at all times. No wifi avail.

Food: Acceptable. Like all resorts, a buffet set up. Adequate variety and amount. Entrees are average to good. Salad is thick and green and always available. Desserts were poor and usually overly sweet. For instance, one night the pastry was so hard, I was unable to cut into it with my fork. I stabbed and twisted it with a knife and that cracked it.

Room Tip: I'd prefer a room closer to the main building for convenience. There's a water hole close t...
See more room tips
Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank lilorchid82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
97 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014

I run a safari operation (Sporting Excellence) and stayed with my group here for two nights in June 2014. The lodge has been designed superbly. It completely blends with the surrounding open bush. The best part is the ventilation system which is possibly the best I have ever encountered anywhere. There is no need for a fan in your room as the wind - any wind - is recycled in a way to keep the room cool during the day and night. Given the makuti roof, you have to put up with a rustling sound but it doesnt come in the way of a deep sleep! There is a open air sit out outside your room which is where our group had a nice evening. The food is excellent and the chef is always standing by courteously inquiring about the food. The waterhole gets visitors mainly birds as the other rooms are spread in a large circle and therefore big animals are wary to come into the lodge precints.

I must add that one of our group members left his wallet with cards behind in an open safe after checkout and we had to come back to retrieve it. It was exactly where he had left it. So as group leader I was very relieved with the overall experience. To top it we saw all the Samburu specials eg Reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Gerenuk, Grevys zebra and Beisa oryx, part from a leopard at close range and large herds of elephants coming out of the Ewaso Nyiro river.

If you're looking for value, this is a great option. Pl note that the lodge is not by the river but we did not see it as a disadvantage.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VikInd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
78 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

We liked the place. The accommodation was very comfortable. Large spacious rooms. Comfortable beds. Toilets were clean. Decent showers . Hot water. The food was also good and the service excellent.Only real short coming I felt was the lack of in room tea/ coffee making facilities. But then this was the case in most of the camps of this level. There is free wi if in the lobby and dining areas from 6p.m. To 11 p.m. when the generator power comes on.The bandwidth was pretty good. The park itself is terrific. This is one of two reserves that we want to re visit next year - the other of course is the Mara. And certainly we will stay at the Samburu Sopa Lodge.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chitranganie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
45 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

I visited the Sopa lodge on a weekend break from Nairobi with Big Time Holidays. It transpired that i was the only one and effectively had my own personal guide for an incredibly good price. It is a long way from town, 6 hours or so and there are a couple of instances where the guide stopped to speak to someone which resulted in the hounding of the Mzungu by hawkers, luckily i am well used to independent travel in this part of Africa and speak some swahili but to the uninitiated it could be a little daunting.

Sopa has a main lodge building with a nice bar area and decent size pool overlooking a small waterhole, for the first day i was the only one there and enjoyed incredible personal service and obscene amounts of good food, when a large group arrived the following day it reverted to the usual buffet style which meant I could give my bursting stomach a rest.

The rooms are well equipped with bathroom including hot water, a nice terrace and are spacious. Some of my fellow guests were vocal about the electricity only being on for a few hours a day, the lack of wifi and no air conditioning. This is the bush in East Africa, if you want that go to Las vegas.

Samburu is a wonderful reserve, it is the sixth I have been to in recent years and was the best, it is dry, peaceful and has an excellent array and variety of game. There was a tendency for guides to communicate 'finds' to each other however I did not witness any Mara style surrounding of animals.

Overall, and conscious that it was low season, I was truly impressed by this place. i will always prefer being under canvas however it was a trip I will always remember.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Smarshy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vojens, Denmark
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

On our safari round Kenya aranged by mr. Vincent from KETAS SAFARI we stayed for two nights at Samburu Sopa Lodge. We felt at home right away. Every body were friendly and helpfull. I celebrated my birthday the day after our arrival.As an extra KETAS SAFARI and the Sopa Lodge had - without my knowledge - arranged a picnic in the bush in the afternon on our way back to the hotel from our wild life safari.. And what a picnic: with champagne, Samburu dance and nice food.
KETAS SAFARI and Sopa Lodge,Samburu are second to none.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pemik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Samburu Sopa Lodge

Property: Samburu Sopa Lodge
Address: Samburu National Reserve 60302, 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Samburu Sopa Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Samburu Sopa Hotel Samburu National Reserve
Samburu Sopa Lodge Kenya/Samburu National Reserve

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