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“Weekend getaway from Nairobi”

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Sweetwaters Serena Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 9, 2013

Great experience in a wonderful setting. Integrated into its natural setting, with animals everywhere to be seen. Overlooking the watering hole is a magnificent experience especially at Sunset. Very efficient and friendly staff. Food and wine could have been better.

Room Tip: Must get a room overlooking the watering hole ie at the front.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Adam J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 - 397 of 598 reviews

Reviewed March 2, 2013

Since last year big changes here; the original House has gone and is being replaced by a larger structure; new tents have been erected and the bar reception and restaurant are all in temporary Marquees.
Is this good -- yes ! Sweetwater is only a part of this Conservancy and any contribution to the work done here is essential.
Does it alter the ambiance and charm -- no , this is still a very special " safari " experience and will be even better after the works are completed.
The Tents are really the top end of the market and the whole enterprise is first class.
The Waterhole viewing is magical !

Room Tip: Try for a front Tent , but they are all good.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank leonspain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

The highlight of Sweetwaters is a water hole in the center of the camp. Every evening you can sit sipping cocktails and updating facebook (if that's your idea of a vacation) while watching rhinos, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, crowned cranes, and antelope & warthog galore. Since this is driving distance from Nairobi and the conservancy allows for self-driving, this is a perfect excursion for some. The pool worked great for us - it's small, but almost no one used it so it was not a problem. The buffets had a wide variety and the quality was very good (given buffet standards). Also, the conservancy fees are high but I believe they are well-spent. The chimpanzee sanctuary, rhino sanctuary and educational/visitors center each receive a portion of the fees, as so guards who work to address poaching - all worthy causes in my mind.

The downsides include:
-the high volume of tourists bussed in and out every day - there's a disneyland quality to it all, it's not exclusive;
-the marked-up drinks and incessant attempts to up-sell are annoying;
-the inconsistent service (food/housekeeping staff was great while the front desk staff seemed confused by basics like pre-paid scheduled drives); and
-the high level of traffic in the conservancy on drives.

Room Tip: We stayed in the newer Morani tents, which are high quality and have all the amenities of a modern...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

We were recently in Kenya and spent a weekend at Sweetwaters tented camp and I would recommend it to anyone. It was about 3 hours from Nairobi. The facility, people and service as well as the food was excellent. We stayed in a tent that overlooked the watering hole where all kinds of animals came both night and day. The safari drives were excellent. We used African outback safaris and Stephen was our guide. He did a great job and went above and beyond to make sure we saw everything. If you are in Kenya this is a visit not to be missed.

Room Tip: The best rooms are the ones that overlook the watering hole.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Darby12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

It was the best equipped tent with shower, toilet, hot water, comfy bed. There were not much happening at the water hole (in June) but on the early morning and late drive around the park we saw plenty of animals and birds. No Lions though.
We made our own reservations, and the food was great -if you are vegetarian there is plenty to choose from...If you bring a camera, a superzoom works very well i.e.FZ150 or 200, check out Hans Gruber's safari photos..I found that the full range 24mm to 600mm was used for landscape shots to distant animal shots..

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank OregonArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Sweetwaters is only 3.5 hours from Nairobi, making it a wonderful getaway for those of us who live in the city. It's a small conservancy making self-drives very doable especially in dry weather. The camp is somewhat large with 51 tents but it is spread out so it doesn't seem too crowded. They are currently redoing the common areas so in a couple of months it will be roomier. The service is excellent and the staff are well-trained to be at your service but not in your face. Tea/coffee is served all day and the food is flavorful and well prepared considering it's buffet style. The tents are well-appointed and most face the watering hole where elephants, rhino, giraffe, birds, gazelles all congregate for a drink or a splash in the water. It's very relaxing and a lovely weekend getaway.

Room Tip: New wing with newer tents are 41 - 51. 43/44 are the best in this area and are close to the waterho...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank IntlTeacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We recently did a two week safari in Kenya and the Serena SweetwatersTented Camp was the second stop on our stay. Sweetwaters is located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The big draw here is a water hole that is located adjacent to the resort. There is wildlife here constantly, with elephants wandering in at evening time. One can also walk along the electric fence line that separates the camp from the savannah and see a wide variety of wildlife including rhinos.

Our tent was on a raised platform located in an extremely attractive setting. The interior looked new, was spacious, and included a very comfortable king size bed. There was also a hair dryer. Staff distributed hot water bottles in the early evening which was a nice touch as the evenings were cool. We were awakened at night by the very loud abrasive calls of hyraxes, which of course, lived there first.

Meals were served under a large canvas tent and the tables were a bit crowded. We were assigned to the same table for each meal and unfortunately, there was a family with misbehaving children right behind us and we could not change. Meals are served buffet style. The food was very good with a nice variety, but it was not always replenished .

The staff is friendly but in a typical resort kind of way - not interested in chit chat or finding out more about you.

We enjoyed our stay and will certainly recommend Sweetwaters to others.

Room Tip: The rooms directly across from the watering hole have the best views.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mwcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sweetwaters Serena Camp

Address: Central Kenya near Nanyuki, Nanyuki Town, Nanyuki Municipality, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Laikipia County > Nanyuki Municipality > Nanyuki Town
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Nanyuki Town
Price Range: $215 - $382 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A sheltered oasis, clustered around a waterhole and set in the pristine calm of its own private reserve, Sweetwaters Tented Camp is in a class of its own. Abounding with wildlife, unfettered by the more rigorous strictures of the Kenyan National Parks and designed to offer a charming blend of under canvas ambiance and uncompromising luxury. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sweetwaters Tented Camp Hotel Nanyuki
Sweetwaters Serena Camp Kenya/Nanyuki Town

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