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“The best holiday ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Serian

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Serian
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   C14, Keekorok -Siria Escarpment, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
St MArtin de Belleville
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The best holiday ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Just back from Nkorombo mobile camp & we have had the holiday of a life time. The 2 key factors to this phenomenal holiday were our guide Warren Samuels (www.wildvisionadventures.com) & the team at the camp, lead by Tanya. Warren turned a great holiday into an exceptional holiday. He is a wildlife cameraman (BBC big cat diary) & has a wealth of knowledge & experience. There wasn't any questions he couldn't answer. We got up close & personal with cheetahs, leopards & elephants, to name but a few, usually in the best places to watch these beautiful animals.

The camp was perfect; on the river banks, only 6 tents so small & personal. Tanya & her team provided superb service. Lots of attention to detail, anticipating our needs & delivering the service in a warm & friendly way. When we saw the charcoal oven Dominique the chef uses, we were even more impressed with the delicious food.

We had an amazing holiday, simply the best.

Room Tip: All rooms are on the river. Tent 6 is further from the small rapids so a little quieter & you ca...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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78 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

Just got back form a safari in Kenya that spanned four parks and 6 different lodges. Serian was by far the best. The camp had beautifully spacious tents overlooking the river, the food was the best we had anywhere, and the camp manager was a lovely hostess who bent over backwards to accommodated all our special requests for meals, bush dinners and game drives. Most importantly, we saw far more interesting game in the private conservancy there than when we stayed at another camp right in the Maasai Mara. We lucked into a leopard with a kill up in a tree, a pride of twenty one lions all together with cubs, elephants by camp, and dramatics stand-offs between lions and buffalo It was all amazing. All our friends agreed that the three days at Serian was the highlight of the trip.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

I arrived at Serian Camp on 4th August having driven there with Jordan and Makela from Nkorombo Camp which is Serian's mobile camp on the banks of the Mara river in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. I could not fault this wonderful place from the moment I arrived and was warmly greeted by Roisin, the Manager and William and Simon. The whole team are terrific and made me feel a special guest. The tents are fabulous with great views over the river and the opposite bank of the Mara River. I was able to relax on the deck with binos and scan the hillside for game which included a very relaxed group of zebra. Food delicious as well and a fun evening supper with Roisin, Adrian, Jordan and Lewis. I'm sorry I can't remember everyone's name but every member of the staff was courteous, helpful and went out of their way to make my stay unforgettable. Thank you.

Room Tip: I had number one tent which was handy for the main mess area but any of the tents would be ideal.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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Dothan, Alabama
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Cannot say enough about property, especially Roshi, the host. Luxury tented camp- could hear lions roar at night- made our safari.
Food is divine, they wait on your hand and foot, and anticipate every need. Location is gorgeous with active hippos on river. You can actually fish with the hippos after enjoying a lunch in the treehouse. Loved this place!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stephenville, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

I am currently working for a year in Nairobi for a medical NGO. Subsequently I have had the time to review many different safari opportunities within Kenya and talk to many who have gone to the different parks within this beautiful country. The overwhelming majority of responses from Kenyans on where to go on a holiday safari is very simple, if you want the best in Kenya, you go to the Masai Mara.

Next you have to decide between the many different outfitters who provide safaris on the Mara. After extensive research and discussions, it was clear to me that I wanted to be in the Mara North Conservancy (www.maranorth.com). This is a section of the Mara that is on the northern border and consists of ~ 75,000 acres of non-profit managed ecosystem that has only 11 outfitters working there by lease. This Masai community-based organization benefits the people directly and limits the access intentionally to the north Mara. Therefore you have the lowest density of tourists on the Mara = a win-win-win for the Masai, outfitters and those who visit.

The trick is trying to decide which of the 11 camps you want to go with. I chose Alex Walker's Serian main camp for several reasons. First, it is small (7 tents) and caters to photographers. They are set directly on the Mara river - I had tent #6 and woke up every morning to the sounds of bellowing hippos that were < 50 yards away, how cool is that?

Secondly and critically important - you get your own Land Cruiser and two Masai guides, 24/7. You want to go early and shoot a sunrise? You want to stay out late and get a fantastic star shot panorama of the Mara? You want to take a walking safari along the Mara escarpment that no one else but Serian camp guests can go and come face to face with a lion? (Yep, did that...) The key is your daily itinerary is determined by you and not the couple from Queens (no disrespect) who want to go look for something you are not interested in.

Case in point: Second evening I was there we found 2 young cheetahs and their mother hunting. They then decided to take a late afternoon nap. The only other couple in the camp was radioed and they came with their guides over and saw the cheetahs. They were bored in 10 minutes and left. I asked my guides what they thought we should do - "we wait". Sure enough, 30 minutes later after a cold beer and a beautiful sunset, the cheetahs got up and put on a hunt for Thompson's gazelle that was at one point ~ 60 mph chase, right at our truck! Got back to camp the couple asked what happened - "nice sunset..." and some of the best images of the trip.

The camp is "eco-chic" according to their glossy. I will say that it is posh for sure, but not over the top. Take a look at Sir Branson's new Virgin camp in a different area if you want over the top. At Serian, the 4-poster bed, private stone baths, wake up coffee & tea service, fantastic food, wine, beer, etc - all included is 4 stars. How about a 4 course safari breakfast under an Acacia tree ~ 0900 after getting up for the sunrise on the Mara - did that every morning! Lunch can be relaxing back at the camp or you can do that on the main Mara, which I did, or especially if you are there during the migration.

I went the end of May, before the migration started. I have already booked a return trip in September this year to catch the end of the migration which started late. I think the Mara was fabulous during the low season of May - very few people and I saw the "big 5" easily. Saw lions daily. The Masai guides know where the 5 main different lion prides are at most of the time, we had no problems finding them. The Serian is also participating in the Mara Predator Project to help monitor and sustain this critical part of the ecosystem.

I stayed 4 nights, five days which was perfect. I would not stay fewer than two nights, you will regret that because of what will be missed. I recommend flying in via Wilson Airport in Nairobi and let Serian arrange your transport from Kenyatta Airport - traffic in Nairobi is a nightmare at best. You can drive in but it will take all day from Nairobi and you will waste valuable time, unless you have it to burn.

On a side note, you do not need anything longer than 300mm zoom to get fantastic images here. I had to leave my long prime lens at home when I left in January for work. Picked up an inexpensive 70-300 mm which I shot with most of the trip and worked fine. I did run into some guys with nikon D4s and 500mm prime lenses, but funny, they were shooting mostly with their 70-200mm lens... you get very very close to the animals here and do not need a pro camera to get fabulous images. Also note, the images I upload are small email-sized for easy of loading. They do not due justice to the full sized processed images I have.

The Serian is expensive. But it is a special place and if you want a once in a lifetime personalized safari, I would highly recommend it. Especially if you are a photographer or aspiring to be one. Can't wait to get back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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Thika
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

We recently spent some time at Serian and their mobile camp in the Maasai Mara.
What a delight. We were amazed that Serian could improve on an already
wonderful setting, but that is exactly what we found. Wonderful staff, management, and tents - the Mara river rolling past and African at its finest!
The perfect place to be in Kenya.

Room Tip: If pricing is not a consideration..... cross over the river and stay at Ngare Serian - a more romant...
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiesbaden
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We spent 2 nights at Serian Camp as part of a safari round trip and enjoyed it very much. Service, food, location and staff were all perfect as one could expect from a high class camp like this. What we felt truly was wonderful were our guides (Sam and Bajila) and also the opportunity to do great walks in the Mara North Conservancy right from the Camp. Also at Serian you always have your own guides and vehicle which is a great luxury.
The wildlife was plentiful and very varied and you honestly don't need the migration when you are here! We saw leopard, cheetah, lion, civet cats, mongoose, lots of zebra and wildebeest and other antelopes and gazelles, many elephants and wonderful birds.
The spaces between the tents are very generous and one thing to mention is the very open bathroom (no door - no window). To go there in the middle of the night with only a torch and all the sounds of the bush around you is definitely not for the very fainthearted characters!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Serian

Address: C14, Keekorok -Siria Escarpment, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Serian 4.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A traditional bush camp most suited to adventurous outdoors characters in search of a real experience. "Serian" means peaceful, calm or serene in the Maa language. An artists haven and one of the most picturesque sites in the Mara. Located in the heart of the Mara North Conservancy "Serian" operates throughout the year. A traditional tented camp focusing on quality game viewing and providing clients access to some of the very best game viewing in Africa. The migration of wildebeest occurs from June through October and sometimes November, quickly followed by the birthing season from October to March. April May & June offer opportunities for ornithologists and those who enjoy the solitude of the quiet season. Serian guarantees exclusive use of vehicle at no extra cost. This is the key to a quality experience and not a shared compromise. The Nest is a tree house perfect for a picnic after a bush walk in the private conservancy, where guests can also spend the night in the two oval double beds and watch nocturnal game on the infra-red cameras! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Serian Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Serian Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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