We travelled to Saruni Mara for 3 nights towards the end of March for the first part of a twin base honeymoon. As it was our honeymoon we spent more than we would usually spend on a normal holiday and we were far from disappointed with absolutely everything we received from Saruni Mara.
Being met straight off of our Safari Link flight by our guide Jackson who then took us on our first little game drive back to the lodge was an experience of its very own. Whilst Jackson provided us with cold drinks and some home made biscuits at the side of the Mara River we managed to take in crocodiles and hippos...not a bad start for our first 15 minutes on safari.
From the moment we arrived at the lodge, every bit of the service was wonderful, the staff were extremely friendly and attentive and the food was absolutely fantastic. Your safari experience is entirely down to you and what you want to do, the guides are happy to advise you on what you might want to do, you choose, and they make it happen.
We went for early morning game drives and a bush breakfast for our two full days, were greeted with fresh juice and coffee with our wake up call at 6am and then off we went for the morning to spot the local wildlife before having breakfast overlooking beautiful plains.
The one thing that is fantastic about Saruni is the knowledge and cunning of the guides to get you to see exactly what you want to see on your trip. Whilst they will also admit there is a slight bit of luck involved, their knowledge of the animals and their behaviour enabled us to always be first on the scene when our favourite big cats were around which meant in one day we spotted lion cubs with their mums, leopard with a kill, cheetah mum and cubs and then lions hunting in the evening.
The bonus of Saruni's personal approach is that it was just my wife and me in a Land Rover with Jackson and we shaped our day around what we wanted to do and see. After early mornings out and returning for lunch, we would return to the plains to see the animals before having Sundowners in the middle of the plains.
As for the facilities, the lodges are perched on the side of a large hill with a view between two other large hills overlooking the North Conservency of the Masai Mara. The lodges are all decorated with individual little touches in accordance with their theme. Due to the remote nature of the lodges, each lodge had its isolated water supply which was heated by solar panels. Some of the workings of Saruni Mara reflect the isolated nature of its location but these little eccentricities make the place what it is and enhance the experience.
We are convinced that we would not have had this incredible experience if it had not been for the personal and very flexible approach offered by Saruni and for the local knowledge of their guides. Being able to see and do what you want in your own Land Rover with open sides is the only way you will now catch me going on Safari and having the flexibility to go out when you see fit and return after dark was the very best way to see the animals at their very best.
The staff all have their very own stories and it was absolutely fascinating to learn more about the culture which I think is important when visiting somewhere like the Masai Mara. My wife and I very much loved their company at dinner each night and we will be looking to keep in touch with them such was the impact that they had on our incredible experience.
- 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