This was the second stage of our safari holiday, the first stage having been spent at Saruni Samburu which had set an extremely high example of wonderful safari accommodation and experiences. With an extremely hard act to follow we were unsure whether Saruni Mara would, or could, meet our expectations. We needn't have worried! From the first glimpse of the beautiful lodges hidden among the lush green of the surrounding trees we felt reassured that this would be a fabulous place to stay. This was confirmed by the extremely warm and friendly welcome we experienced on our arrival. Much needed after our journey.
The layout of the hotel is beautifully and carefully arranged with exquisite furnishings. The main area is somewhat reminiscent of a ski chalet with its enticing open fire (much needed for the cool evenings) and comfortable seating. The lodges are all separate and very private, each with its own verandah where it is very enjoyable to sit and watch the passing wildlife, such as zebra, buffalo, baboons and gazelles. We were delighted to meet the very tame eland, which has been reared by the staff, as it tried to join us for cocktails one evening! Our lodge was very cosy and tastefully furnished. The hot water bottles placed in our very comfortable bed was a welcome touch and much needed on the cold nights.
The staff were, once again, delightful, friendly, solicitous and extremely polite and helpful. We were treated like long lost friends and made to feel as if we had been invited into someone's home. This was the real meaning of hospitality! Special mention must go to the relief managers, Raymond and Chelsea, for whom nothing was too much trouble and whose presence and amiability added greatly to the convivial atmosphere and bonhomie.
The good food, good wine and communal dining increased the feeling of being at a weekend house party and enabled us, once again, to meet a range of interesting fellow travellers with whom we could share stories and experiences of safaris and travels.
Our drivers and guides were friendly and very knowledgeable about the environment and wildlife and we enjoyed a wonderful guided walk where we learned much about how the Maasai people make use of trees, plants and elephant droppings! We are now the proud owners of Maasai toothbrushes, made for us during the walk from one of the trees (I know I should remember which one but I can't. Thank goodness there wasn't a test at the end!)
We were very sorry to leave Saruni Mara and hope, very much, to return one day.