Colourful Grévy's zebras and all, Kalama is a must-visit

Conservancy and its top-class lodge offer memorable escape from urban jungle.

Thursday January 14 2016

The Saruni Samburu Lodge, which was built in 2008, straddles a hill within the expansive Kalama Community Conservancy. From this point, visitors get a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside; while a tour across the conservancy accords them a memorable game-drive experience. PHOTO | BONIFACE MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Saruni Samburu Lodge, which was built in 2008, straddles a hill within the expansive Kalama Community Conservancy. From this point, visitors get a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside; while a tour across the conservancy accords them a memorable game-drive experience. PHOTO | BONIFACE MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BONIFACE MWANGI
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Kalama Community Conservancy, tucked deep inside Samburu County, gives visitors and tourists much reason to visit what many may dismiss as mere wilderness.

Besides the rich diversity of game that visitors get to view, the conservancy with its top-class lodge offer a memorable escape from the urban jungle.

Wild animals that frequent the conservancy include the endangered Grévy's zebras, elephants, buffalos, antelopes, waterbucks, rhinos, ostriches, baboons among others.

The 200,000-acre conservancy is about 300 kilometres from Nairobi and can be accessed through road and air.

An air strip has been constructed within the conservancy for visitors willing to use small aircraft.

“However, we normally advise our visitors to use the road which offers a perfect view of the wildlife and natural habitat characterized by Samburu and Turkana community clad in their traditional regalia which are normally decorated with beautiful beads,” said Ms Andrea Harsmann, the manager of Saruni Samburu Lodge, located inside the conservancy.

The lodge sits on a square kilometre spread of land and is built on one huge boulderthat offers spectacular views of the entire conservancy and Mt Kenya.

At one end of the boulder, there is a natural water spring where wildlife come to quench their thirst as well as cool their bodies.

Its position alongside the Ewaso Ngiro River provides critical seasonal refuge and connectivity for wildlife.

A visitor can clearly have a spectacular view of the animals taking water from the spring while in his/her room.

A large swimming pool offers the guests a refreshingly cool break from the heat.

The conservancy and the lodge are owned up by more than 10,000 people from both the Samburu and Turkana communities.

According to Mr Benson Lelukai, the grazing coordinator for Kalama Community Conservancy, 80 per cent of the employees are locals with Samburu warriors working as tour guides.

As for the women in the village, they benefit greatly since they sell their art work to the lodge’s gifts’ shop.

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