Disasters of a camping safari in Samburu

An African camping safari provides the ultimate bush experience, yet it is not for the fainthearted. You are right in the bush with no fences, no night guards, no set meal times, no set game drive times, but with lots of freedom to enjoy the African bush. Being exposed to nature and wildlife can come with surprises.

On a camping
safari in Samburu National Reserve we had our first disaster right at the gate. While stopping to pay the park fees we noticed, that one diesel tank had come of and we were about to loose it. Some robes and with the help of the park rangers the tank was tied to the vehicle again and we carried on.
It had rained a lot and the roads were slippery. In front of us was a truck with supplies struggling with the muddy road. But not only they had a problem. In no time we got stuck and fortunately with the joined efforts of the truck guys and us (driver/guide, cook and myself) we got the vehicle out. The further journey to our campsite was without trouble and we pitched tents to have an early night.

The campsite was at the
banks of Samburu’s Ewaso Ngiro River. Suddenly I woke up from voices and some kind of a noise. I jumped up and got out of the tent. The river had risen since we had arrived and was now only about 2 meters away from the tent. The voices I had heard were from the park rangers that had come to check the site. In no time I woke up the others and together we moved the tent to higher ground. The river was still rising and the waves of the flash flood sounded like waves of an ocean.

This was a
close call and a learning moment. No matter how exhausted and tired you are, always be alert and read the signs of nature. Although Samburu is somehow a tough bush, as it is hot, humid and wild, it is my favorite bush. Samburu is incredibly beautiful with the mind-blowing landscapes, the magical Samburu culture and amazing wildlife. It should be on every African safari bucket list.

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa