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“Wild life viewing in two days”

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Sweetwaters Serena Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 9, 2013

For those who are strapped for time and would like to view the big five, Sweetwaters Tented camp in the Ol Pejeta conservatory is the place to visit. Located conveniently about 250 kms from Nairobi; Ol Pajeta is spread across 90,000 acres of pristine land. One can find the big five here, though leopard sightings are very rare and difficult.
The tented camp is luxurious. the staff are very efficient and caring. On the way to the camp we decided to go around the conservatory before we check in. Unfortunately, our safari van had a flat and to compound the agony, the jack would not work. we had just arrived that morning after a night flight from Mumbai and were quite tired and hungry. Finally, we managed to reach the camp at about 2.30 pm; tired and hungry; expecting lunch to be over by then. we were pleasantly surprised to see lunch laid out and the staff ensuring that our vegetarian requirements were met.
The highlight of this conservatory is supposed to the "ark" from where one could view the animals coming in to drink water at the water hole situated alongside. However, we were quite disappointed with the ark- for two reasons: one, it was foggy in the night and hence we could not view any animals after 9 pm and secondly- this was the main reason for our disappointment- the ark was over loaded with people from a big group. They were very noisy, had scampering and yelling children ( the ark is supposed to be off limits for children under 7 years. Wonder what happened?) and we were quite annoyed along with the elephants and buffalo.
All in all, this conservatory is a must see for people who are strapped for time.

Room Tip: In the ark ask for rooms near the watering hole. There are four floors and all have viewing windows...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank earthian2U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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363 - 369 of 613 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2013

Firstly on the tent itself, nice and comfortable. Right in front of the water hole. We saw a big group of Impala on our day of arrive at noon, a lot of wrathog. We also saw a giraffe drinking water. At one night, we saw two White Rhion, monther and baby; and also a group of waterbuck who jumped over the fence and entered the camp site then run away at the other side. Also a lot of different birds around here. The bed is comfortable. It has 24/7 electricity and water supply, which is a sigficiant advantage over other camp site, and the water supply is running water meanign you can take your shower anytime in the day without being restrainted by the timing of the bucket shower or safari shower whatever you name them as in ohter camps. However the water pressure is still weak here and you have to bear with it.

Food served in the restaurant, no matter for breakfast, lunch or dinner are very similar from meal to meal with average food only. Don't expect too much in this aspects.

Game drive was great as it is a private reserve, you have a high chance of seeing all animals. They also do night safari (which is something only the private reserve can do nowadays) and you can see lion hunting during the night if you are lucky.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank HKA_888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

I stayed here with a GAdventures safari and it was the best hotel on our itinerary. The tented cabins were amazing, the food was delectable, the staff was friendly and the gift shop was great too. The watering hole was a huge attraction and it was great to sit and watch the animals come close to the outdoor living room. I would definitely recommend staying here, it was a real treat!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Katie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Our 1st night on a Kenya Safari in June 2013. After crossing the centre of the earth, EQUATOR, the drive into Ol Pajeta is extremely scenic, with Mt. Kenya always in the background. Ol Pajeta, being one of Kenya's premier wildlife conservancy is also home to Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp, one of Serena's top hotels worldwide. We loved to see a huge variety of wildlife at the camp's watering hole (salt lick), as soon as we arrived, including a white rhino. The tents are very cleverly built on platforms with excellent gardens & breath taking views. The whole camp is very clean & well maintained, with all lawns nicely trimmed. THE NIGHT SAFARI HERE IS A MUST for everyone. You get a KWS Ranger accompanying you on a NIGHT GAME DRIVE with an infra red search light! You get a chance to see the wildlife in their own habitat at Night! Awesome! The welcome drink is a nice touch - specially when you have a couple of Reticulated Giraffes also having a drink at the watering hole!

Room Tip: No special tips required. All rooms are well positioned & clean
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank KaribuniSafaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

What an amazing experience this was. I stayed in one of the "tents" on the water front with my 3 year old son. It was truly spectacular within 2 hours of arriving 5 white rhino we're drinking at the watering hole! The wildlife you can see here is breathtaking, giraffe, lions, rhino (black and white), zebra, antelope, bats, birds, owls............. the list goes on and on! The accommodation is very comfortable. I've done a lot of camping and believe me this is nothing like staying in a tent, more like a tidy hotel room. Dinner starts at 7 but the staff were extremely helpful and they suggested we bring our son at 6 so he could go to bed at his usual bed time. On the subject of food I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and QUANTITY, there was so much to choose from (unfortunately for my waist that included several puddings).

We are going again over Christmas and we are truly looking forward to it. I wholly recommend Sweetwaters.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank nickytom82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed at the Sweetwaters Tented Camp just a few short weeks ago and really enjoyed it. The tents were comfortable and had all the amenities one needs and more. In the evening we watched the animals at the watering hole until dark as well and again first thing in the morning. The food was ok, and same with the service. We have only one complaint and that is I had a piece of clothing taken from our tent during the short time we went for dinner in the evening. During this time one of the workers came in to put hot water bottles in our beds. I noticed the minute we returned that the shirt I had set out to wear the next morning was missing however, I did not say anything to our guide until we were on the road the next morning (my error). When we did report it the manager of Sweetwaters got quite defensive stating that it has never happened before and did not believe that any of his staff took it. He said that he would check the lost and found and contact us. We never heard from him. At least it was not a big item such as our cameras, money, etc. Overall I would recommend this camp however lock up whatever belongings you can and if you notice anything missing report it immediately and demand they look into it.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the older tents overlooking the watering hole.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Janice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

The tents at sweetwaters should not fool you, they are more like luxury rooms than basic tents. We liked that they were en suite and had hot water showers and hot water bottles at night. Nanyuki can get really cold and i remember thinking why on earth was i in a tent with my two little ones in the biting cold. They had provided us with a cot and a smaller bed for the bigger kid but we all ended up snuggled in the big big bed that fitted all us comfortably and put all the 4 water bottles in one bed which had a very thick duvet, believe it or not we started sweating coz of all the heat so we had to do away with some bottles and lesser clothing. Please carry warm clothing, you will need it. The fact that we went during the hot season doesnt really matter...its still cold at night. We made friends with another kenyan family who found the cold too much and on the 2nd day they opted to go to the pelican house which is a short distance away from sweetwaters and run by the same management. The food was really good. They provided a high chair for my older kid (the younger one was in a pram) and served me my food so i wouldn't have to get up and go to the buffet table as i was tending to the kids. One of the waitresses also asked if she could take care of my other little one as i ate so my husband and i could have some peaceful eating time. We woke up late for breakfast...and surprise...there was breakfast! but we missed the trip to the chimpanzee sanctuary which we really wanted to go to, oh well there is always next time. We did manage to do a game drive using our vehicle at the conservancy as its clearly marked and roads are not bad, we managed to see a few animals, not much though...wailing baby..back to the hotel ;-) going back again of coz.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to face the watering hole, however some are very near it and those are the best for a...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank veronica n
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 10400, 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: $212 - $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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