Our final full day at Sasaab started with an early rise to head out to Samburu National Reserve for animal spotting and breakfast.
After some zebra and giraffe spotting we settled down ready for breakfast. I don't know about you but this may be the most special view whilst consuming my morning meal.
Expecting perhaps some cereal and tea I was completely taken aback to discover not only was there quickly a selection of cereals, fresh watermelon and breakfast cakes but we were being cooked pancakes, eggs and bacon! Not only were we being served pancakes, they were some of the best damn pancakes I've ever had.
After slowly eating my way into a pancake food coma it was time to head back to the lodge. But not before stopping to admire this picturesque view. There were some sights that were almost too good to be true. This, I thought was one of them.
We stumbled upon this awesome mammal but he got fed up of posing for pictures so it was time to say goodbye and leave him to his day munching on vegetation.
Samburu Warriors at Sunset
After a very strenuous afternoon back at the lodge, just you know, doing the usual... Having a massage, sunbathing, chatting and reading. It was time to prepare ourselves for our evening activity. We'd only been told we were going to watch traditional Samburu Warrior dancing but everything else was kept very hush hush. The Samburu tribe is native to the area Sasaab is located.
As we drew closer to the river bed we began to hear the faint sounds of chanting and before us lay our final sundowner spot of the trip.
The Samburu tribe, according to a number of locals, are still very traditional in their daily lives. Unlike the Masai tribe, they do still wear these beautiful outfits every day, it's not just put on for tourists. Watching and learning about the Samburu tribe was fascinating.
The warriors (pictured below) only become warriors post circumcision, they remain warriors for 15 years in which time they look after their goats, camels and other livestock. They're also not allowed to eat in front of women and girls from their tribe. This is because, post being circumcised, they are deemed to not need their mothers help anymore, they should fend for themselves. So the warriors eat together out of sight of the women.
At Samburu meetings the warriors kill a goat to eat, away from the women, and one warrior is allocated to drink the blood. Which is apparently very high in protein! Myself and two of the other girls decided it wasn't every day you were going to see this and after being further persuaded by Ollo we went to watch. I almost immediately regretted that decision, after reminding myself I'm one of the most squeamish people around, however I didn't want to be rude so I had to subtly stifle a wretch and look at the sky. I haven't actually cooked myself meat since, I've only eaten it when someone else has cooked the meat for me so I don't have to look at it. The image of the goat hasn't quite left my memory just yet! Despite that, I'm still glad I got to witness it.
As the sun began to set a gorgeous golden glow shone over the river bed, bringing out the beautiful colours of the warriors garments and beading. I didn't take very many photos here because I just wanted to sit and enjoy the moment, it's not every evening you get to experience something as out of the ordinary as this. I also felt a little rude coming in and snapping lots of photos, I was assured it wasn't rude or instrusive but even so, I just wanted to enjoy this moment by myself. Hopefully the images I did take can set the scene a little for you. It's an experience I won't ever forget.
Candlelit dinner in the bush
We were headed back to the lodge after the sun set and as we turned the corner we came across a little surprise the lovely staff at Sasaab had organised for us. As we drew closer we saw lanterns stuck into the ground, surrounding a beautiful, candlelit table. We were greeted with drinks before taking a seat to the scent of BBQ meat wafting our way. And yes it did look as mystical and magical and every word in between as the photos below hopefully demonstrate, despite being a little blurry!
We ended our day the same way it began, in the bush. Just throwing it out there, here would also be an idyllic proposal spot, you know, for anyone looking to pop that question.
As I said before, Sasaab and it's surrounding landscape truly is a magical place. The staff only make it more so, nothing was ever too much trouble and they're all full of answers for every question you could possibly think of.
A special thanks to Jess and Ollo for such a lovely couple of days! I won't be forgetting this place any time soon.
Our idyllic evening in the bush concluded what had been a truly eye-opening and incredible journey through Kenya. The next day we headed back to Nairobi where we spent the day visiting an art gallery and enjoying a leisurely late lunch before our overnight flight back to London.
As my dad told me before I left - people fall in love with Africa. I, most certainly have.
*Thank you to The Safari Collection for making this trip both amazing and possible!*