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“OK but not the best”

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Samburu Serena Safari Lodge
Reviewed January 11, 2010

My sister booked for us and it was fine for families and kids. The decor is universal Afrolodge and looking a bit tired. It is very middle market in aspiration.

The activities are ok. We went to a talk by one of their naturalists which was interesting. The Samburu dancing was a hustle: they dance and then try to charge you, and then try to sell you stuff. The village trip ended in a souring frenzy of Samburu trying to sell you their beads and their tat. The village chief lost some dignity when he is trying to get you to buy some badly carved generic stick.

The food buffet was generous and better than adequate.

The rooms are ok, lined up along the river bank.

I dont really understand why it is so highly rated here. We went from there to Sasaab Lodge and were overwhelmed by the difference.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tomwiseOxfordUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 70 reviews

Reviewed December 24, 2009

We stayed at the lodge for two nights at the start of our Safari. The lodge was in an excellent location.
The rooms were very comfortable and were of a reasonable size. The bed was a good size and again comfortable. There was a Mosquito net around the bed and also some spray in the bathroom to kill unwanted bugs. The bathroom was a good size with a shower although the shower did not have a rim around the bottom of the standing area so the whole bathroom floor flooded when the shower was on! The balcony of the room overlooks the river, we did not spend any time on the balcony so not sure what animals, if any, came to the river. The lodge was very clean.
The restaurant was nice, the food was served buffet style. There was always a good choice of food for breakfast,lunch and dinner. The staff were all very helpful and went out their way to make your stay memorable. The safari excellent we saw a family of lions eating a dead elephant, giraffes, zebra, ostrich, elephants, lots of antelopes.
We spent a few hours by the pool inbetween our game drives, towels were provided for the pool area. The pool was very clean and it was great to relax for a few hours after travelling from Nairobi and inbetween the game drives.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rach_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2009

I was very impressed with this lodge. After a long drive from Nairobi it was a lovely drive in the reserve to the lodge. On the way in we saw a family of elephants right on the road in front of us - perfect. The lounge fits in well with its surroundings with the local Samburu tribe symbols on the walls. It's a very relaxing, serene area that looks out onto the pool and the river. You could spend hours sitting by the river watching some of the local wildlife go by. In the evening they put out meat for the crocodile which comes across the bank to get it - not sure how I felt about this, one to please the tourists. We stayed 2 nights and the food at the buffet was an excellent standard with lots of choice. The breakfasts were superb (as they were at all the Serena lodges). The rooms were ok but a little dark but we didn't spend much time them. Our game drives were fantastic. On the first day we saw a leopard and a cheetah - doesn't get much better than that!

  • Stayed: October 2009
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Thank eastiseast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2009

This was our very first lodge on our week long safari in Kenya and my what a beautiful place to start. The communal areas are a joy, with a lounge/restaurant area and tea and coffee available all day. Our room was so sweet with mozzie nets and a cute little bathroom. The pool was wonderful, however there are some unusual guests you may see whilst walking past, perhaps a worthog, monkeys and maybe even a goat !!! There is a tribesman who guards the restaurant area from uninvited guests with his catapult !!! The game drives were fantastic and on our very first one in the afternoon we saw a leopard, he was very hard to see as he was well hidden, but see him I did. The river was just a dry sand bed unfortunately. The food was great and the people wonderful. A magical place I would recommend time and time again.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Budgie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2009

Our room overlooked the river with crocs basking within yards! Don't miss the croc feeding in the evening when it is done and experience the awesome power of their jaws as they take the bait. The bar is attractive overlooking the river and a pleasant place to relax and unwind - try the Samburu Special, a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail and very refreshing. The stained glass windows depicting local wildlife add character to the public areas.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Llanelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2009

My wife and I travelled to kenya in late August and one of the three game parks we visited was Samburu and stayed at the Serena Lodge. We found the lodge to be extremely comfortable and had a real holiday lodge feel to it. Nicely blended into the surrounding landscape.
Plenty of food and choice and probably the best food compared to the other Serenas. The guys on the grill were fantastic.
Lodge staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
Our guide, Leonard, was friendly and knowledgeable and did everything he could to make sure we had an amazing time.
We saw spectacular wildlife, including family of lions eating, herds of elephants digging for water and drinking, cheetah hunt, herd of 35 giraffes, leopard, beautiful antelopes, zebras and so much more. Samburu’s landscape is extremely beautiful and almost like visiting North West of W.A.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank PedSolz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2009

The hotel is a series of duplex units with private front patio opening onto the [dry] river. The main activity area is the expansive pool and undercroft games area and upstairs is a really classy dining, buffet and bar.

The architects and designers got this place right. It is entirely 'of its environment' reflecting its surroundings, and so comfortable and understated.

The staff are really outstanding, enjoying their work and friendly.

The room was very comfortable, too. The mosquito nets are prepared each afternoon. I never heard or saw a mozzie. The bathroom is quite adequate for a place in the middle of a 3 year drought. No complaints about anything.

Of all the places we stayed in Kenya, the food was best at Samburu Serena. How can they offer such food so far from anywhere? I loved the peaceful, unpretentious quality of this little eden.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank rubybellissimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samburu Serena Safari Lodge

Address: PO Box 48690, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Samburu District > Samburu National Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Samburu National Reserve
Price Range: $80 - $260 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Samburu Serena Safari Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the fertile banks of the Uaso Nyiro River at an altitude of 700 meters, in the center of the Samburu Game Reserve Kenya, Samburu Serena Safari Lodge echoes the robust rhythms of river front life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samburu Serena Safari Hotel Samburu National Reserve
Samburu Serena Safari Lodge Kenya/Samburu National Reserve

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