The wildlife is not the only reason you will forever remember your safari at Elephant Watch Camp. Your time with our staff and guides, and our nomadic friends living in villages neighbouring the Reserve, will last in your mind as equally precious memories. We believe that Africa’s wild places will only remain untouched if the people who live in and around them recognise the intrinsic value of preserving them. Your visit is a key part of the hard work we do to engage with our partners to make that happen, bringing much needed funds to wildlife areas and creating an interface for people to meet.
Our wilderness guides will discuss each day’s activities with you, and are proud to share their expert understanding of the wild world and the animals, birds and plants that have been a part of their lives since the day they were born. Their knowledge is both instinctual and highly informed, gleaned from their deeply immersed nomadic culture, rigorous training to the highest standards of eco-tourism, and from the research teams at Save the Elephants and Ewaso Lions.
Fiercely proud of their heritage and with a thriving resonant culture, the Samburu are one of Kenya’s most fascinating and engaging tribes. For centuries they have spurned outside influence and scorned the materialism of sedentary people, yet as the world modernises they have proved to be surprisingly robust, absorbing what they deem useful while retaining the core of their traditions. Tall, lithe and elegant, their stoicism in the face of hardship is legendary, manners impeccable, and sense of humour playfully irreverent.
Elephant conservation relies on local communities understanding the intrinsic value of sharing their land with these great beasts. As keystone species and architects of the environment, the presence or absence of elephants shapes entire ecosystems, and in the Samburu area has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the nomadic communities. Likewise, the decisions of the nomads and the way they manage their land has a huge impact on the elephants. The research foundation, Save the Elephants, has been mapping out how elephants use the Ewaso ecosystem since 1997, providing key data to the Northern Rangelands Trust and other NGOs in their efforts to expand the protected areas by creating well-managed community conservancies.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US
The greatest help you can give is by coming to stay with us at Elephant Watch and seeing how it all works in the field. We understand, however, that you might also want to lend a hand from afar. Everything we do links closely to the aims of Save the Elephants, the conservation charity founded by Oria’s husband, Iain Douglas-Hamilton. STE’s work focuses on amassing data on elephant behaviour to ensure accurate analysis and science on elephant movements and rangelands that are central to national and international policy decisions, preventing habitat loss, and improving long-term management. Find more details at www.savetheelephants.org