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Northern Frontier

Sasaab Properties |

Sasaab
9 Stylish Guest Rooms

The lodge is on Samburu community land and part of Ngutuk-Ongiron Group Ranch. Built using locally sourced materials and with an exciting Moroccan influence the Carr-Hartley signature of attention to detail and elegance is the trademark of Sasaab. Sasaab accommodates up to 18 guests in nine individually located rooms with magnificent views of the river and the true African wilderness, each over 100 square meters and with their own plunge pool and privacy. The uniquely designed tents are ideal for game viewing and bird-watching as well as relaxing. The novel "souk" style mess provides a warm and friendly atmosphere. Meals are prepared with the finest fresh ingredients and served in the privacy of various different areas of the 'souk' or can be al fresco under the stars!
Ewaso Nyiro River - Northern Frontier District, Kenya


June - October; December - March

The best months for travelling to Kenya are June through the end of October and then December through the end of March. July, August and September, are the busiest times along with the Christmas holidays as this is when school holidays fall. If you prefer to travel when the game is still superb but it is not so busy then the following months are recommended: June, September, October, November, February, March, April and May!
Camel Walks, Game Drives, Educational Cultural Visits or Bush Walks, Swimming, Beauty Treatments & Sundowners.

Game Drives in National Reserves - Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves are a short drive from the lodge. Elephants are probably the highlight of a game drive in the reserves. The Samburu elephants are generally comfortable with the presence of vehicles, and you can have a close encounter with the world's largest land mammal. The reserves are also a great place to see the Samburu Special Five - Grevy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk and Somali Ostrich. Lions, Leopard and Cheetah can also be seen. To fully appreciate these reserves, it's best to spend some time there; either leaving early with a picnic breakfast or later with a picnic lunch.

Community Conservancy - A network of tracks allows us to game drive around the conservancy. We can take you through the core conservation area for the endangered Grevy Zebra as well as out onto the Naibelibeli plains where we have seen Bat Eared Fox, Hyena and Wild Dog. The conservancy is a great place to do night drives, departing after an early dinner looking out for Gennet, White-tailed Mongoose, Porcupine, Bushbabies and other nocturnal species.

Walks - A breathtaking way to experience the vastness of Africa and the richness of the land. On foot, like the Samburu, you are an equal terms with the wildlife. You will find yourself alongside Dik Dik, Gerenuk, Waterbuck, Impala, Elephants, Warthogs and an abundance of bird life. Accompanied by an experienced guide you will learn how to identify and understand the behaviour of all the animals and insects you see. Discover fascinating plants and herbs and their traditional medicinal properties as you go. Look out for the signs of the wild, such as Dik Dik dung middens and scent marking, Leopard paw prints, and the passage of Elephants.

Morning Bird Walks - Enjoy an early morning tranquil walk along the edge of the Ewaso Nyiro River, which is teeming with bird and wildlife.

Afternoon Walks with Sundowners - A forty-five minute walk through the Samburu bush to a stunning kopje. A short climb will take you to an expansive view where you can relax and enjoy a traditional Kenyan Sundowner and watch the day draw to a close. (Walking Shoes recommended)

Half Day Walks - Longer walks along the river or towards the hills can be arranged for those with energy and an adventurous spirit. Setting off in the morning, some great views can be had from the tops of inselbergs and around the next bend in the river.

Camel Riding - Why walk when you can ride? Take the weight off your feet as you explore the Samburu countryside and ride a camel. We have 5 trained camels for your use, which are looked after by three men recruited from our local community. Children especially enjoy this experience.

Samburu Culture - Conservative by nature the Samburu still cherish and retain the customs and ceremonies of their ancestors, unlike many other Kenyan tribes who have largely abandoned theirs. We are fortunate at Sasaab to be immersed in Samburu culture and traditions. It is not unusual to see a newly married couple walking to their new home with all their possessions loaded onto the back of a donkey, as they move to their new village to build their 'white house.' The groom's head will be covered in red ochre. During the rainy season the beautiful singing voices of the Samburu women can be heard from the lodge as they bless the river in a ceremony thanking God for the rain.

Manyatta Visit - It may be possible for you to visit one of our neighbouring villages to gain an insight into the fascinating culture of the Samburu people and how they survive in this harsh environment. The best time to visit is either in the early morning as the manyatta awakes and herds leave for the day to graze; or late afternoon as they return. The visit is dependent on the Samburu elders and each visit must be individually arranged.

Market Day - On a Wednesday or a Thursday morning there will be an opportunity for you to visit a traditional Samburu market, a place where men and women come from far and wide to gather together and buy or exchange wares and livestock. Every person dressed in their traditional finery. A wonderfully busy and colourful experience.

Bush Dinner and Dance. (This activity is not inclusive) - The ultimate blend of wilderness and culture. In a natural rock amphitheatre a short drive from Sasaab we can arrange a spectacular Samburu dance ceremony. As the sun disappears, the echoes of the morani dancers singing, bounce of the rock walls and fill the night air. This is followed by a sumptuous starlit Bush BBQ dinner under the African night sky.

Community Project Visits

Ngutuk Ongiron Primary School - This is a small Samburu School with a preschool and early primary.You are welcome to visit the school and see what happens during a normal school day. Sasaab is helping the community to develop the educational facilities on the group ranch through the generosity of our guests.

Women's Beading and Crafts - Local woman make Samburu bracelets and artifacts for us to sell in our shop. They are paid for their time and work, and any profit in sales goes towards community projects such as improving the school facilities. With prior arrangement it may be possible to arrange a meeting with one of the registered woman's groups to see how they work.

Kids' Stuff - Let the children spend a few hours with Daudi on 'The Nature Trail.' They will learn to make a traditional Samburu bow and arrow. Daudi will also show you how to make a toothbrush from the Samburu toothbrush tree. (Don't throw your toothpaste and floss away too quickly). This is fun for big kids too! You can cast a wild animal print in plaster of paris to take home with you as a reminder of your adventure in Samburu, provided you find the animal tracks of course! Sundowners are a sticky treat for children. Marshmallows grilled on a small bush fire while you enjoy your sundowner and the view of the setting sun.
Air Safari - View the spectacular beauty of this breath taking area from the air for a truly unique experience. Tropic Air offers two amazing air safaris using their Aerospatial helicopters based in Nanyuki.
Ngutuk Ongiron Group Ranch

Ngutuk Ongiron Group Ranch (NOGR) is a registered community owned group ranch under the laws of Kenya, certificate of incorporation number 343, it has an area of 35,414 hectares (ha) with an estimated population of about 3000 people, and lies in the heart of Samburu Land. The Westgate Community Conservancy (WGCC) is the development arm of the Ngutuk Ongiron Group Ranch (NOGR) and is also a registered community based organization that deals with all developmental issues on the ranch in terms of conservation, tourism and the community. The aim of the WGCC is to educate the local community to understand the benefits of living harmoniously with the surrounding wildlife. Conservation can never be truly successful without the support of the people whose livelihoods depend on the habitat that is trying to be conserved. Wildlife must bring perceptible benefits to the communities it shares the land with, if people are to stop seeing it as a threat and start to see it as an advantage.
Managers - Ali & Tony

Ali and Tony have been managing Sasaab since October 2007. They have been working in the Kenyan tourism industry for the last three years. Tony was born in Nigeria, spending the majority of his childhood travelling around Africa with his parents, whereas Ali was born and educated in Kenya. Both went to university in UK and then joined the British Army. They met each other whilst serving in the British Army, where Tony served 16 years in the Infantry and Ali served 8 years as a physiotherapist in the Royal Army Medical Corps. They had both always wished to return to Africa, and three years ago an opportunity arose for them to return to Kenya, with their daughter Savanna. Tony is a Bronze member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA), and a very keen photographer. Ali is an organisational genius and has a real culinary talent. She is also a trained pilates instructor. Savanna joins them at Sasaab for school holidays and happily makes friends with any children staying in the lodge, eager to pass on her developing knowledge of the local flora and fauna. With a deep love for the country and its people they will go to every length to ensure that your holiday is a very special one!
Sasaab is perched above the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, capturing panoramic views across the culturally rich Samburu land, Laikipia plateau and Mathews Range. Located in northern Kenya, north of the equator it has a wild beauty of its own.
The descent from the lush slopes of Mount Kenya, into the semi-arid desert of Kenya's (NFD) - the Northern Frontier District, is breathtaking. The Buffalo Springs and Samburu National Game Reserves and the extensive ranch and communal lands of the Samburu Heartland, support some of Africa's most impressive wildlife and dramatic scenery. Northern specialty species like the Reticulated Giraffe and the Grevy's zebra roam the acacia grassland where lions, leopards, cheetah and wild dogs hunt their prey. The lodge is on Samburu community land and part of Ngutuk-Ongiron Group Ranch.

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