Shortly after Save the Elephants was established in Samburu, my mother, Oria, built Elephant Watch Camp to provide the simple luxury of a safe but intimate interface for people that were passionate about elephants, and wanting to explore their world. For the last decade, this extraordinary project has become a central focus of my life, and its ability to enchant people both from Kenya and around the world with the magic of elephants and the hard work being done to secure their future, still surprises me.
© Pete McBride
Elephant Watch Camp is super eco-chic and offers an unrivalled experience, thanks to our links with Save the Elephants and the Ewaso national reserves (Samburu and Buffalo Springs). It’s a place where one’s dreams of an African adventure come true, but adds the novel satisfaction of exquisite elephant encounters and giving-back to the wild. Idyllic days are spent with charming guides from the nomadic community, all trained up from scratch on site, and one can meet leading conservationists in the field to learn more about the secret life of elephants. The Camp is highly sensitive and careful about the environment’s fragility, and after a long tiring day in the field, one comes home to a haven where the commotions of modern life quickly dissolve and one’s soul is soothed and enchanted by the wild world.
What makes Elephant Watch Camp special is that everything connects back to nature. Each tent is uniquely designed to fit under its own tree, so in the morning – as you’re serenaded by birdsong and the rustling of animals all around you – it feels like you’re peeking out from under the Tree of Life. The camp is unfenced so animals move about freely, and in the sagaram season (Acacia tortilis seedpods) bull elephants hustle in to make the most of the feast. Each elephant is known individually, and leopard, hyena, porcupines, civets, genets, impala, dikdik and other antelope share the forest habitat.
© Saba Douglas-Hamilton
We believe that elephants are special because they’re highly intelligent, sentient creatures that share much in common with us. They’re self-aware and feel complex emotions like empathy and compassion that suggest a type of consciousness similar to our own. Each elephant has its own unique personality and character, and is defined by the rough and smooth of its life experiences, relying heavily on family for love, safety and support.
Together with our amazing team of Samburu nomads at Elephant Watch Camp, we try to enchant guests with all things Africa and elephant to win people over to the conservation cause. Promoting a respectful and compassionate relationship with wildlife at all times, we work closely with Save the Elephants to raise awareness worldwide about the ivory crisis, lobby opinion-makers and raise funds for anti-poaching efforts an scholarships. We believe that eco-tourism is a powerful tool for conservation and peaceful co-existence, and we hope that you’ll join hands with us to build the sustainable future we dream of for all children.
© Saba Douglas-Hamilton