As first timers to The Mara, we did not know what to expect with our 3 nights in the Serian Mobile and 2 at the Serian lodge. Our experience far exceeded any expectations we had, so much so, we asked to spend all 5 nights in the mobile camp, which we did.
The mobile camp, hosted by Mike with a staff of about 9 is on the banks of The Mara river. We arrived just after the Wildebeest migration and we saw nature at it rawest with dead Wildebeest in the river, crocs, hippo's, vultures and other bird life. This may not be for everyone, so if you need hair straighteners or need a hair dryer, we suggest the main camp, but for us, this was the experience we were looking for. We were lucky to be the only family in the camp and quite frankly were treated like royalty by the staff. This is a rustic setting with many creature comforts akin to the golden age of safari, but if you are expecting the elements of the concrete jungle, then maybe this jungle would not suit you.
The tents were spacious and clean and well equipped with flush toilets and bucket showers. The beds have feather pillows and duvets and were incredibily welcoming and comfortable. We would recommend mosquito repellent although the tents were netted. The hot water bucket showers were some of the most refreshing showers we have ever had and were ordered as and when you wanted them.
The staff were so very attentive and made sure we had drinks, snacks, clean laundry etc.They welcomed our children and took great care of us all. No electricity in the tents, but the staff were able to charge camera's etc for us when the generator was on. This all added to the rustic charm and minimal impact of modern life.
At night we felt very safe with Ascari's escorting us to and from our tents as needed. One morning we woke to find Hyena and Leopard footprints....AMAZING!
Now on to the food, wow, wow, wow. It was like eating in a Michelin star restaurant. My only complaint was that sometimes there was too much food! Breakfast consisted of cereals, fresh fruit, home baked bread, sausages, eggs, bacon, pancakes and Kenyan specialities. Lunch was buffet style with ribs or chicken, salads and fruit desserts. Dinner was always a minimum three course affair - fillet of beef, dauphinoise potatoes, rhubarb crumble and custard, lamb curry, homemade soups and bread rolls. All accompanied by soft drinks, wine, spirits, beer, whatever might take your fancy. We ate better at the camp than anywhere else on our 2 week holiday. After dinner, we sat by a roaring campfire, next to the sound of the river having those life changing and thought provoking conversations the surroundings ultimately gave rise to. We also experienced a local speciality "Dowa" translated as "medicine" - crushed ice, washed in vodka, drizzled with honey and topped with small wedges of lime, all muddled with a bamboo stick! Our New medicine !!
Mornings included a wake up call at a time set by you and included hot drinks of your choice, chai, filter coffee, juice and a basin of hot water, followed by a bucket shower if requested. A refreshing and natural start to the day in the Mara, delivered to your tent.
The game driver and spotter, Masai guides, Dennis and Stephen were phenomenal.
We tried different combinations of game drive, early morning/late evening, early morning with packed lunch, all of which were accommodated. We planned the next day at dinner the night before. Both Dennis and Stephen were excellent and knowledgeable , they were very attentive to your group and individual needs and nothing was too much trouble including finding appropriate Mara PeePee stops. They were able to share many Masai traditions and animal facts with us. We also felt they were extremely sensitive to the animals and the surroundings. Not all land cruisers/drivers were, some got too close, some did not control their guests, especially when it came to noise, acceptable behaviour and appreciation of the animal needs! We had a treat one evening on our way back from the game drive, when we were surprised by the opening of the bonnet bar of the land cruiser, by the team, incorporating gin and tonics( on the rocks with a wedge) in what was one of the most beautiful sunset backdrops in the world.
Mike was a wonderful host and the camp leader Moses, made our stay unforgettable for all the right reasons. If your wish is to be at the heart of The Mara, and in sync with nature, whilst retaining some of those small creature comforts, then the Serian mobile camp, with its attentive staff, excellent guides and wonderful cuisine is the right choice, in fact, we believe, there is NO other choice!
Serian mobile camp for those looking for the real African safari.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.