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“A Unique Experience”

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Sarara Luxury Tented Camp
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed at Sarara Tented Camp while on a photo safari. From our tent, we watched elephant, lesser kudu, hynea, impala (to name just a few) while they drank from the water hole below the infinity swim pool. The Samburu guides are well informed professionals and took us on a walking tour to the singing wells in the area. It was an honor to see and hear what our guide termed a "Biblical experience".
The cordial hosts, while seeming in-obtrusive, tended to a million and one details which make the Sarara truly a luxury resort. I will be back!

Room Tip: Tent #1 has great wildlife viewing!
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jeannine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 - 31 of 42 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2014

Sarara was one of the best experiences my son and I had in Africa. Yes, I got charged by a huge bull elephant while on walking safari - but that was one of the coolest things that happened on my trip- and my guide Malekai (along with the nameless guy with the big gun) took excellent care of me so I didn't die. Yay!
The tent we stayed in was so fabulous. Really comfy beds, inside and outside bathrooms, wonderful front deck to sit and enjoy the view. Swear, I felt like Audrey Hepburn or Meryl Streep.

Maybe the best part of the whole experience was the pool. Situated in a natural rock depression with a running spring supplying the water, right above a watering hole that many animals came to every day. Just imagine, hot day…lounging in a beautiful fresh water pool…watching elephants and gazelles and all sorts of other wonderful creatures coming to drink just yards away from your vantage point. Magic!

Sessia is the camp pet - a lesser kudu who was orphaned and "adopted" by the staff. My 10 year old had so much fun petting her and also feeding her at mealtimes - they put out a special little trough for her so she eats while you do.
The food was pretty fantastic. I found a lot of good vegetarian options and even my 10 year picky eater found things to eat that he was quite happy with. And the staff was so sweet in taking special requests for him too!

The trip to the singing wells was fabulous. We chose to walk there (maybe 4 miles…or a little less?) and got a jeep ride home when we were done, saving us from the serious heat of the mid day. We loved the stories we heard from our guide. The wells are in a dry river bed. Families come to water their livestock. They dig down as far as the water table. In the beginning of the dry season, the wells are shallow. As the dry season progresses, they dig deeper and deeper. They carve out little shelves that the men stand on and they pass buckets up from one to another until they get the water to the surface where the cows and goats can drink. True that many of the family units sing while they pull up the water. Legend or myth is that each family has its own song and their cows know the song so they can find their own well. Whatever the story really is, it was pretty amazing to be sitting on a riverbank watching people dig out sand so they could get to water and give it to their livestock. Worth the small plane flight from Nairobi in a big way.

Night game drives were particularly cool. Not so many weird rules as in the big game parks, who often don't even let you go on night drives. We saw 2 different leopards stalking game on one
night trip.
DO IT!!! LOVED IT!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank eilythia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Sarara is a wonderful and very unique camp. It is located where there are no other camps so your sense of isolation is complete. This is an interesting change if you have been to the Mara with all its camps and the many vehicles. This is not a camp you come to if you want to tick off the big five. This is a camp you come to if you want to experience the bush, the culture of the Samburu tribesmen, and be treated to a special wilderness experience. It is a great place to come AFTER you have been to a place like the Mara where there are of course – more species and bigger numbers of animals.

The camp itself is lovely and has a fabulous view of the surrounding landscape. The tents are spacious and among the best we have experienced (we have been in over 35 camps in Africa so we can compare). They are well laid out, have a wonderful patio for relaxing (elephants walked right by our patio to get to the waterhole), there is an inside and an outside toilet, outside shower with nice view and hot water, and there are shelves to actually unpack! It is all very luxurious.

The staff is superb and very accommodating. Katie and Jeremy take good care of you. The food is excellent – especially considering the remoteness – and Katie's garden produces wonderful salads complete with basil and mint. We were lucky enough to meet Piers and Hilary, who founded this special lodge and we congratulate them on bringing their project to fruition. We also want to thank Tim and Nicki who come in to sub as hosts (superbly) for Jeremy and Katie when needed.

Our guide Daniel and spotter Malachi did an excellent job at getting us photos, which is what we come to Africa for. We particularly love birds and Sarara is packed with them. The waterhole is very attractive to wildlife and we photographed many elephants there, as well as kudu, wild dog and warthogs. A new lovely antelope at Sarara for us was the elegant Gerenuk and we saw – amazingly – a journey of 60 reticulated giraffes. This is a lovely species.

A trip to the singing wells is a must to appreciate the culture and a tradition of the Samburu that has not changed over the years. It is a truly authentic part of African tribal life. No photography is allowed (rightly so) so you have just your eyes and ears to remember this extraordinary experience.

I highly recommend Sarara – probably not as the first camp you visit in Africa – since most people want to see the big variety of game and/or the Big Five at first - but as a camp to come to if you want to get back to basics in Africa, solitude, and a truly enjoyable and refreshing bush experience.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

This is a truly magical corner of Kenya - wonderfully remote and wild - and I feel privileged to have experienced what going on safari is really about.

The staff were extremely friendly, Katie and Jeremy (the hosts) are brilliant company and the camp itself was stunning - every part of our stay was perfect. Over two days we were bowled over by all Sarara had to offer - brilliant game drives, lovely sundowners looking over 40,000 acres of pure wilderness, ellies walking past our verandah and drinking at the waterhole by the swimming pool, unforgettable experience at the singing wells (a serious must for those heading to northern Kenya) and most probably Africa's finest natural waterslide! Great fun, just wear some sturdy swimmers!

Would recommend this 110%, Sarara is without doubt one of East Africa's most incredible camps. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: If you can, ask for 3, 4 and 5 - they're closest to the ellie trails
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jack S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

Our family of four (two teenagers) stayed here for three nights in October. It is the most remarkable place and the perfect counterpoint to the Masai Mara and Serengeti, which we also visited. Jeremy and Kate were great hosts. The views over the Matthews Ranges in this remotest of places were breathtaking. The animal encounters with leopards, reticulated giraffes and elephants somehow more authentic. The camp beautiful and sensitively placed in and on the landscape. And the cultural experience with the Samburu people was extraordinary. The highlight of our visit.

If you want something that nourishes the soul while ticking all the boxes for a great safari then Sarara is it.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank michaelb_au
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

We visited Sarara for four days with eight members of our family and two friends at the end of July, 2013.
We all still dream about our time there and plan to return!
Every aspect of the Sarara experience was matchless: the setting is stunning, the accommodations are beautiful and comfortable with incredible views, including a water hole where varied wildlife congregated ready to be photographed at our leisure.
The hosts, Jeremy and Katie are amazingly delightful and helpful in every way. Our guides Daniel and Robert were extremely knowledgeable, kindhearted and gave us an insight into their Samburu culture. Our visit to the Singing Wells and the Samburu village made an unforgettable impression on all of us. It was a unique privilege to be able to observe the uncontaminated way of life of the Samburu in this area. Kindness seemed to be their prevailing attitude.
The food at Sarara was also excellent. It was hard to believe that you were being thus fed in such a remote setting with such limited modern cooking conveniences.
We have traveled on safari in Africa three times and have stayed at a number of outstanding camps. Sarara easily qualifies as being among the best.
And last but not least, the infinity pool with the stunning view of the valley below and the water hole delighted everybody.
If you can, go walking with your guide.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank humboldt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Sarara is up north in the Matthews Range of Kenya. The camp sits on Samburu tribal land, perched on the side of a mountain. As others have noted, the views are amazing. The wildlife is great, and elephants were often in camp, to the delight of my teenagers who stayed in the bungalow closest to where the elephants like to hang out. We have been on many safaris, and yet we saw wildlife at Sarara that we had not seen before, such as the antelopes that sit up on their hind legs to eat from trees. The most amazing thing about our stay, though, was our trip to the Singing Wells and our visit to the Samburu village. In all my travels, I have never been so intimately exposed to tribal rituals and a way of life that have existed unchanged for hundreds of years. The Singing Wells alone made the entire trip to Kenya worthwhile. Sarara is a magical place and I regret we had just 3 days there. I could have stayed a week just to relax and take in the views. I hope to go back someday and when I do, I will go on one of the overnight excursions into the mountains where there is an ecosystem that is unlike any other on earth. It is largely unexplored, but the guides at Sarara can take you there. Bottom line: If you go to Kenya, go to Sarara.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Gale55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sarara Luxury Tented Camp

Address: Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Samburu District > Samburu National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Samburu National Reserve
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Sarara Luxury Tented Camp Kenya/Samburu National Reserve

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