Breakfast was served out on the terrace with a stunning view
Maasai Mara, Kenya: Home to one of the greatest natural spectacles on Earth, the Maasai Mara has attracted global attention and fame. On a crisp August morning one can look out across the plains of the Maasai Mara to find them teeming with over one million wildebeest. These dark herds have successfully completed the arduous trek across the Tanzanian border facing crocodile invested rivers and land predators alike. Even out of the Migration season the Maasai Mara plays host to a diverse ecosystem of wildlife making it a top Kenyan Safari destination year round.
Location. Saruni is located in the northern aspect of the Mara in a private conservancy called Mara North Conservancy (MNC). The MNC is run by a group of conservationists, local Maasai land owners, and member camps, which frequently met to discuss the some of the problems that have occurred from the influx of tourism into the area. Hotels and camps in the Mara are proliferating in number and money from tourism does not always flow down to the local population causing them to turn to cutting down charcoal as a source of income. The MNC has taken great initiative in countering these issues by providing health care and educational facilities for the local Maasai population as well as setting strict regulations on the number of camps and tourists allowed into the conservancy thus protecting the habitat of the wildlife.
Guests of Saruni can fly to an airstrip in the Mara from Nairobi where a driver from the camp will pick them up or they can drive from Nairobi. The flight takes around one hour and by road it is roughly 5 hours.
Atmosphere. In the Maasai language Saruni means tranquil. This perfectly describes the atmosphere at the camp; with only 6 villas you can feel totally alone in the wild!
Rooms. We stayed in the family villa, which consisted of two large ensuite bedrooms, a central living room area and a veranda. The villa was beautifully decorated in dark wood with a rustic feel. I especially liked the vast four poster bed draped in white netting.
Dining. Meals at Saruni are held in the common area with lunch and dinner being served on a communal table. This gives guests a chance to talk to other guests and their guides. The food is all made fresh each day with plenty of fruits and vegetables. My favourite by far was breakfast which was served out on the terrace with a stunning view out towards to plains.
Facilities. Included in your stay at Saruni is two game drives per day. Having been on many a game drive before I was so impressed with Saruni’s guides who constantly take courses to brush up on their knowledge, definitely one of the highlights of my stay!
Overall. Before my visit to Saruni my main concern was that there wouldn’t be as much to see in the MNC as there is in the centre of the National Reserve. I am pleased to say I couldn’t have been more wrong as our Kenyan Safari drives were excellent and our guide was very informative. What I loved about Saruni was how personalised our stay was, we were completely on our own with the wildlife and our sundowners under the lone acacia tree was such a magical experience. The camp is beautiful, the only thing missing is a plunge pool for that hot mid-day sun, otherwise a lovely place that I would recommend to anyone.