After breakfast, climb into a customised off-road vehicle and set off on the journey to the Samburu National Reserve. Leaving the bustle of Nairobi behind, enter the countryside with its rolling hills, open plains and mountains in the distant haze. Drive past villagers herding their livestock in a scene unchanged in centuries, until the landscape becomes wilder and more rugged, and the plains of the reserve open out before you. A belt of green in the far distance is the ribbon of the Ewaso Nyiro River, which is set about by shaggy doum palms and riverine forest, and is the source of life-giving water for all the wildlife of the region. Home to a great variety of animals, you keep an eye out for elephants, buffalo and giraffe, while herds of antelope are often encountered.
Arriving at Elephant Bedroom Camp is like coming to an oasis after the dry landscape you have been driving through. Set on the banks of the river, this luxurious and intimate camp has spectacular vistas over the water to Mount Kenya hovering in the distance. The delightful suites have private plunge pools on the deck, which are a perfect spot to cool off and take in the wonderful view. Feeling refreshed and settled, indulge in a few treats from the selection at high tea before setting off to explore in the late afternoon. The area is known for its lion population, and in fact this is one of the places where Joy and George Adamson raised the lioness Elsa, of Born Free fame.
With the light shifting to a golden hue, follow the course of the river to see what game you can encounter. Watch as a herd of elephants march from a distance towards the water; kicking up dust as they move along, some break into a run as they pick up the scent of moisture, and ears flapping and bodies rolling from side to side, they go splashing into the water, giving out soft rumbles of delight. Alternating between slurping up trunkfuls of water and squirting them into their mouths or over their backs to cool off, the sense of enjoyment they feel in this is almost palpable. Younger members of the herd roll around in the shallows and wrestle each other, covered in a mixture of water and mud, carefree and playful as any adolescents would be. After a time, a rumble from the matriarch signals them all that it is time to move off and, apart from a recalcitrant teenager or two, they all walk away from the bank and begin the ritual of the dust bath. In the rosy light of the setting sun, the scene takes on an ethereal hue as these massive animals become enshrouded in a backlit cloud of red dust. As the shadows begin to lengthen, they finally move off to feed in the woodlands nearby, and the riverside scene is as good a place as any to climb out for a sundowner drink while the sun sinks below the horizon. Sipping on an ice-cold drink, revel in the moments that have just passed and salute the sun as it disappears behind the distant hills.
Return to camp in the early evening as the stars begin to twinkle above and join the banter in the bar before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner bathed in candle light. Enjoy a nightcap at the fireside while admiring the splash of the Milky Way before slipping off to bed with the sounds of the African night reverberating around you.