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“Excellent staff make this a great lodge and safari experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saruni Mara

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Saruni Mara
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C14, Keekorok | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Excellent staff make this a great lodge and safari experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2011

This lodge is well located for excellent game viewing in the North Mara Conservancy and a day trip into the Mara reserve to the migration river crossing is definitely possible. We saw 4 of the big 5 (missed leopard) and very few vehicles during our drives. This gave us the opportunity to watch and enjoy animal behaviour in different situations. With two excellent guides for the 4 of us in 1 vehicle, it was great game viewing. Lemari has the most amzing spotting ability and Jacksin was a fountain of knowledge. The lodge owner is Italian and the food and wine served was excellent-even for the bush lunches.The lodge rooms are very spacious and comfortable. What makes this lodge in my top 5 (have visited more than 30) is the excellent staff and the quality of game viewing. Thanks to Riccardo, Neil, Lemari, Jackson and William for a great 4 nights with you

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, October 13, 2011
Thank you Roy! Being ranked in the Top Five by an expert traveller like you is a real achievement. Neil and Lemeria say hi! yes, Lemeria is a real jem and the most amazing spotter of game, and also somebody who understands nature and wildlife in an intimate way. We look forward to have you back!
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
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English first
jackson NJ
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

We spent 4 nights at Saruni Lodge. Riccardo and Neal were the perfect hosts. The staff was very attentive, informative and helpful. The food was very good. A very big thank you to the guides and driver especially our friends, Jackson and Lemari. The location and views from our room and the central lodge were breathtaking. We can not wait to return!
Kit & Gary

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, October 13, 2011
Hello Kit, thank you very much for this. Your words encourage us and we look forward to have you back!
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Warsaw, Poland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

I went to Saruni in March, 3yrs ago with two of my clients and have to admit the stay exceed our expectations! Intimate, very well conducted lodge is of the best places to start your safari. Lots of animals come near your cottage, so you don't have to go anywhere to see some elephants, bufflos or zebras :) The cottages are spacious, with beautiful bathrooms with open shower with a great view. Beds are comfortable. I really liked the surroundings of the lodge. The service was just great and the stuff very helpful. The guides are amazing. William (Masai) was our guide and he was fantastic, showing hidden paths and explaining the secrets of nature. We've truely enjoyed every minute on safari, despite some rainy weather. The owner of the lodge, Italian writer - Riccardo Orizio lives in Saruni and it's a real pleasure to talk to him by the fireplace after the safari. I would recommend Saruni to everyone who wants to have an exceptional safari with very comfortable stay in deluxe lodge.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
Dear Kuba,

Many thanks for your trust and friendship and for sending us your guests. William says hi!!!! Our guiding team now is really good and has come a long way in the last three years! Come back and be with us, I promise you a good running ground :)
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2011

Visiting Masai Mara and the hotel Saruni, was an incredible experience. The hotel is located on a small hill, has 6 cottages and has all the amenities that you want when considering a relaxing vacation. The rooms have elegant furniture, are spacious and cozy, have great bathroom with a view on wilderness and a spectacular terrace where you can observe the animals and nature. The hotel had excellent guides (Porke and William were exceptional) who joined us for the 4 days of our visit where they traveled and taught us about the place’s history and animals. The organization of the hotel, cleanliness, customer service along with sharing our nights with other customers in delicious dinners combining the flavors of Italian and African food around a fireplace, made the hotel truly feel like a paradise. Saruni brings together the genuine African experience with style and warm atmosphere. The hotel owner Riccardo and his incredible team are always ready to serve or help out. Given another opportunity, we plan on returning for a longer period of time to enjoy the incredible experience of the Masai Mara yet feel in our own home at the same time. If you dream of visiting this country, let alone this continent, there is no better place for you. “I dreamed of Saruni”.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
Thank you so much for your wonderful review: we look forward to have you back soon! And yes, dreaming of Saruni was the dream I had when we built it in 2002-2003!
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Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2011

The three nights spent at Saruni in the Mara North Conservancy comprise the BEST safari I have ever been on. This says a lot since I have lived in Kenya for the past 25 years. Riccardo Orrizio, our host, is a charming and cosmopolitan person who knows the meaning of hospitality and attention to detail. The guides come from the surrounding area, know local culture and customs as well as the animals and nature. The animals were around us in abundance - cheetah, rhino, leopard and of course elephant and ALL the others. A complimentary massage with spa services available. Beautiful views. Outstanding food served in elegance at a table shared by all the guests and our hosts, giving a great chance to mingle with the interesting people who seek out the quality that Saruni offers. There are only six cottages, and they are elegant, comfortable, spacious and open to nature.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, May 23, 2011
Thank you very much for your kind words and for your encouragement. As you correctly notice, the hard work that all of us have put into Mara North Conservancy is finally paying off and we are proud of being at the heart one of the most sophisticated conservation experiments going on in Africa. We look forward to have you back to Saruni!
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Reeuwijk
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2011

Saruni is a wonderful small Safari Camp. The staff is excellent and they do everything they can to give you the most wonderful experience of the wildlife and the scenery in Masai Mara. It is a small lodge so you have an idea that you are in the middle of nothing, so much better than the big lodges in Masai Mara. The location is also beautiful and when you drive around there you will not be surrounded by mini busses because it is too far out in the Masai Mara for them so you realy have the experience "that it is only you, nature and the animals. The guides know everyting about the animals and the plants and are very friendly. We can surely recommend Saruni Masai Mara. We have been there many times already and will go back there without a doubt.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, March 23, 2011
Dear Ellen, thank you for this wonderful review and for your kind words. We are delighted to have been able to make easier for you and your family to enjoy the wonders of the Masai Mara, and without the minibuses. I like your description of being "in the middle of nothing"!!!! We look forward to have you back time after time! Thank you!
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2011

From the moment we stepped off our safari flight and were met by our masai guide and tracker, we all knew this was going to be a fabulous experience. Transport vehicle was one of the best (safaried on 4 occasions before) with open sides -but covered roof for shelter. 360 degree uninterupted vision - great. Evening safari from airstrip to lodge soon reinforced how knowledgeable and friendly our guides were. The lodge itself is in a breathtaking situation and the warmth and care of the masai staff was wonderful. Evening drinks round the open fireplace followed by a wonderful candlelit dinner swapping stories with other guests and getting to know our masai guides that bit better was a truly enlightening experience. Accommodation is 5 star, amazing when you realise you are just one of 6 individual cottages perched high on the hillside overlooking the masai reserve!!! Morning coffee and lunch, taken in the middle of the masai reserve, on open plains surrounded by wildebeast and zebra has to be one of my most treasured memories of the trip. Our guides made the greatest effort to ensure we found the 'big 5' and so much more, and their expertise and care was outstanding.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, March 23, 2011
Wonderful review that makes our hearts rejoice! Thank you for your wonderful words and for appreciating our efforts to give you the best possible experience in wonderful Masai Mara. I am going to print this review and give it to our guides, who will be very proud to read it. I like the use of the terms expertise and care: f you don't mind my "stealing", I'll use them as our new motto! Thank again and we hope to see you again. Riccardo
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Additional Information about Saruni Mara

Address: C14, Keekorok | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Saruni is a small, luxury lodge in Mara North Conservancy, the best wildlife area in the Masai mara ecosystem. We have one family villa and 5 cottages. Our masai guides are among the best in Kenya and to discover the amazing wildlife of the Mara with them is an unforgettable experience. In July 2012 Saruni Mara opened the doors of a brand new family villa and completed the refurbishment of its existing villa’s in to six beautifully designed, themed rooms.The stylish new villa has two en-suite bedrooms and a large lounge complete with dinning area and comfortable sofa’s sounding the welcoming fireplace. There is also an impressive large veranda overlooking the magnificent scenery of the Masai Mara. The remaining villas have been refurbished to incorporate themes that will engage with guests passions whether that is art, astronomy, photography, literature, natural history or simply romance. All furniture, carpets, lamps and bedding was either sourced locally in Nairobi or designed by Kenyan interior decorator Larissa Hoops and then made by local craftsmen.The Art room will inspire creative guests with an easel and paint as well as a desk with drawing materials.For star gazers, the Astronomy room has a vintage brass telescope, moon map and selection of interesting material on all things cosmic.Book worms and budding writers will enjoy staying in the Literature room with its vintage typewriter, leather reading chairs, desk with brass reading lamp, quill pen and leather blotter. There is also a selection of classic and African literature. For clients that prefer to view life through the lens, the Photography room has an old box browning camera, antique photographic equipment catalogue and stunning prints adorn the walls. The Family villa also doubles as the Natural History room and is decorated with a selection of antique and vintage prints. There is also relevant reading material such a books on mammals, reptiles, tree’s and birds.The Honeymoon room has been simply designed for a relaxing romantic break with comfy furniture and beautiful antiques.Saruni Mara is owned and run by Italian author Riccardo Orizio. This resort is the Masai Mara’s smallest permanent lodge and guests enjoy an exclusive experience with their own private vehicle and guide. Evenings can be spent relaxing in the common area enjoying fine cuisine influenced by Riccardo’s Italian family heritage. Guests can also enjoy bush breakfasts and dinners in breathtaking settings such as in the middle of an acacia forest. Saruni Mara is extremely active in local community and conservation projects and works very closely with the local Masai communities. The lodge is the proud recipient on the Silver rating by Ecotourism Kenya.Rooms at Saruni Mara start from US$390 a night. Prices are based on two people sharing on full board including all house drinks, park fees, game drives and airport transfers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Saruni Mara Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Saruni Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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