Sabuk Lodge, Kenya
Sabuk is one of those special places in Kenya which touches the heart strings of all those who visit. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro river gorge on the edge of the Laikipia plateau in Kenya’s Northern Frontier District, Sabuk is an authentic six roomed bush-home-cum-lodge, with views of the Laikipia plains towards Mount Kenya and the Mathews Mountains in the North. Remote and beautiful, Sabuk is set in one of Africa’s last raw wilderness areas. Location is everything and the adventure begins when you board your small plane at Nairobi’s tiny domestic Wilson airport (top tip – pack lightly in soft bags) and after a one hour scenic flight, you will land at the neighbouring Loisaba airstrip where Sabuk will meet you in an open safari vehicle for the drive to the lodge. Hosted by the inimitable Kenyan-born Verity Williams, one of Africa’s pioneer female safari guides, Sabuk is renowned for its friendly and welcoming ambience. Amongst others, Verity worked on the film location for Sydney Pollack’s epic ‘Out of Africa’ – the film that made many of us fall in love with Kenya!
The lodge itself was fashioned out of the surrounding dramatic landscape using only local materials, twisted wood and stone boulders. The six beautifully furnished open-sided ensuite cottages each have their own verandah with breathtaking views over the river gorge. The two bedroom Eagle Cottage has a spacious living area and private plunge pool. Some of the cottages have ‘star-beds’ so even when not out on a camel safari, you can still fall asleep under the sparkling African night sky!
Sabuk is extraordinary on so many levels. There’s exceptional wildlife and cultural diversity. The scenery is incredible and the region is home to many communities including the Laikipiak Maasai and the Samburu tribes. Game drives through the hilly countryside to see greater kudu, lion, elephant, buffalo and the elusive African Wild Dog are just one part of the experience but this is a place to leave vehicles behind and get back to nature with guided walks along the river accompanied by local guides who are ever willing to share their knowledge. Bush breakfasts and picnic lunches on the river bank are par for the course whilst at sunset, hilltop sundowner drinks are the perfect way to round off the day! There’s also river swimming, line fishing, tubing the rapids and even rock jumping! But above all else, it is the camel assisted overnight walking safaris which prove a real highlight. Sabuk have been running camel safaris in this area for the past 25 years. Walk with a professional safari guide, a team of trained Laikipia Maasai warriors and a camel train into the deserted wilderness where there are no roads or vehicles, only wildlife, their tracks and the sounds of the bush. Walking off into the vast bush following the camel train is like stepping back 100 years. Sleep in tents with mosquito net ceilings which allow for star gazing! There are bedrolls, short drop loos, kerosene lanterns for lighting and bucket showers. Out of the trunks in the heat and dust, fresh and delicious salads for lunch, freshly baked breads and quiche will appear, along with plenty of chilled drinks. At night, sit around the campfire and listen to safari stories while some of the local tribesmen come down to the river to water their livestock. Head off to bed with only the gurgle of the river, the camels and tree frogs to lull you to sleep.
Sabuk promises the ultimate family adventure, filled with moments of anticipation and excitement …and memories to last a lifetime!
Where is Sabuk Lodge?
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