Saruni Mara: The Lowdown

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Chic Saruni Mara is a stylish lodge set high in the hills overlooking the Mara North Conservancy.

What’s Saruni Mara really like?

There are just five cottages and two safari houses here, so the feel is small, personal and intimate. Each of the cottages is slightly different, but with high thatched roofs, cream walls, and colonial style furniture, there’s a pleasantly traditional air to all of them. Of the two houses, one is a family villa, with two ensuite bedrooms and a central sitting/dining area, and the other is Nyati House, an entirely private two bedroomed villa around five minutes’ drive way from the main lodge.

Wandering down from the bedrooms over some rather tidy lawns you will find the main banda- a high stone and thatch building decorated with Swahili style furniture and African art. There’s the bar, dining room and a small library off to one side. While the lodge has a quintessentially Kenyan feel, owner Riccardo is Italian, so there’s a strong Italian leaning in a lot of the food. Most meals are eaten in the main lodge, however you can also arrange to eat out in the bush as part of your game drive. Lastly, there’s a small souvenir shop, and here there is usually wifi for any essential communications with outside world.

What can I do at Saruni Mara?

Activities from Saruni Mara focus on morning and afternoon game drives in the conservancy. We should mention that your spectacular views do mean it’s around 15-20 minutes drive down to the absolute best game viewing in the conservancy, but we’re perpetually surprised about how much wildlife people do spot close to camp. It is possible to add on a visit to the Mara Reserve (there is a reserve fee payable for this), however as this is a fairly long way from Saruni, most of our guests tend to stick to the comparative peace of game drives in the conservancy. Afterwards, Saruni is one of the few lodges in the Mara to offer a massage- a real treat after a long flight or bumpy game drives. Guests can also participate in bush walks (please note this is not suitable for younger children), and visit the local Maasai community. The village is close to the camp- you’ll pass it most days, and Thursday market day is especially eye-opening!

Lastly we should mention the Warrior Academy programme- this is a dream with teenagers and older children- instead of just sitting the vehicle they explore their surroundings with Maasai and Samburu morans. A typical day could include learning how to use spears, trying to jump as high as a Maasai and making traditional beadwork. Learning about day to day life can also be fascinating- most teenagers are astonished to learn their Maasai counterparts are often already married!

Giving back at Saruni Mara…

Saruni Mara is set within the Mara North Conservancy Area and are proud to be one of the founding members.  They are also members of the Northern Rangelands Trust.  Both of these conservancies are community owned and work towards maintaining a vital connection between communities and conservation, a relationship fueled by tourism.

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