One night between Nairobi and Samburu, Kenya. Where to go and stay?

Hello mammal watchers,

I have planed a travel to Kenya from September 17th to 25th, 2023, six travelers in total, using a travel agency, with a guide/driver.

Our destinations already included Samburu Reserves, Ol Pejeta, Aberdare NP, Oserengoni Wildlife Sanctuary near Lake Naivasha, Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru NP.

Our flight will arrived in Nairobi at 12:55 (noon) on September 16th, so we have 1 afternoon and night before we head to Samburu.

The afternoon is perfect for Nairobi NP, but I think most species we will see again at other destinations. Aberdare Country Club is good, but I was told it had been fully booked all through September when I began to plan the itinerary in April (so early in advance). From many reports on Mammal Watching, I am also interested in the maned rat at Trout Tree & Creaky Cottage, but from their website I see the cottage only have 3 rooms and we need to be in double beds (none of us are couple). Ben Chapple visited Bantu Moutain Lodge and see an otter! Ben’s report also mentioned there were maned rats (while he did not see). This, this lodge might be great but I am not sure how reliable it is to see these mammals.

So, could anyone give me some suggestions about where to go and stay? Thanks.

Zhou Fangyi



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Zhou Fangyi


  • Jon Hall

    I’m told Bantu Mountain Lodge ought to be good. They should have the rats there. And perhaps you could also arrange to take a night walk around creaky cottage which is very close.

    • Zhou Fangyi

      Thank you Jon, it seems Bantu Mountain Lodge would be our choice.
      On the other hand, other than maned rats, is there any accommodations for other special mammals?

  • Zhou Fangyi

    By the way, is there any affordable lodges that provides night game drive in Samburu area? Most lodges are inside the reserves so night drives are prohibited.

  • Zarek Cockar

    @Zhou Fangyi if you haven’t already booked something for that one night, take a look at Sandai, just near Aberdare Country Club. 100 acres of native bush, short grass, and riverine forest. Good chance for Nairobi Grass Rat, Striped Ground Squirrel, Thicket Rats, White-tailed Mongoose, Southern Tree Hyrax, Bushbuck, Porcupine. A small chance for Maned Rat, though I haven’t been lucky there. The food is excellent and it has a wonderful family atmosphere, and it’s very reasonably priced.
    Other alternatives include “The Stables” in Ol Pejeta, and yes, Bantu Lodge, which is simple, but has extensive native cedar forest and riverine/gallery forest on its grounds. So plenty of mammal diversity if you spend the time looking.

    • Zhou Fangyi

      Hello Zarek, thank you for the information about Sandai. While, how about Aberdare County Club itself? In some reports, I read that there are tree hyrax, black-fronted duiker, suni and also maned rat. However, very few records on inaturalist, so I don’t know how reliable it is to see these species there.

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