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Saruni Camp - Masai Mara, Kenya

The Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Saruni Camp is a luxury tented lodge, which is set in the midst of a private conservancy, which lies just beyond the boundaries of the national Reserve. Located in a valley, just north of the fame-rich Aitong district, it lies at the heart of a pristine wilderness. The camp accommodates only 12 guests, who are accommodated in six spectacular cottages, each with ensuite bathrooms and panoramic verandahs. Presented in traditional safari style, the rooms and central dining and bar areas feature antiques, persian carpets, cultural artifacts and treasures from the collection of its owners, Riccardo Orizio and Pia-Sophie Woo. Run in cooperation with the local Maasai community, the camp also abides by ecological principles when it comes to use of solar power and recyling. Not only do the local Maasai community participate in the running of the camp, acting as guides, waiters, cooks and attendants, but they also benefit from the proceeds of the enterprise - thus enabling them to enhance their own standard of life.

World renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth', the awe inspiring annual migration of the wildebeest, the Mara is Kenya's most visited protected area. Technically an extension of Tanzania's renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world's most rewarding and evocative wildlife arenas.

Award
Bronze rating for sustainable tourism - Eco Society Of Kenya (ESOK)

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

Location
The Camp is located in a private conservation area just outside the famous Masai Mara Reserve. Koiyaki Group Ranch lies in the north of the Mara, which is 270 miles from Nairobi (five hours by road: one hour by plane).

How to get there
Ngerende airstrip (1 hour drive).
• Twice daily scheduled Air Kenya flights to the Masai Mara departing Nairobi at 10h00 and 15h00.
• Twice daily scheduled Safarilink flights to the Masai Mara departing Nairobi at 10h00 and 14h45.
• Once daily scheduled Air Kenya flight from Samburu and Nanyuki at 09h15 and 10h00.
• Once daily scheduled Safarilink flight from Meru at 08h50, Shaba at 09h10, Samburu at 09h30 and Nanyuki at 10h00.
• Once daily scheduled Air Kenya flight from Meru (via Samburu) at 08h50.
• Once daily scheduled Tropic Air flight from Meru, Lewa and Laikipia.
• Private charter from anywhere: the camp has its own airstrip.

The Background
The Masai Mara National Reserve
When it comes to game-viewing, there is nowhere in Africa richer in wildlife or more eventful in encounters than the Mara. A pristine wilderness of haunting beauty, it promises its visitors a profusion of wildlife, prolific bird life and the unprecedented opportunity of catching up with all the members of the ‘Big Five' in one morning.
As to scenery, the 1,800 sq kilometres of this veteran reserve offer the classic mix of African imagery; miles of lion-gold grasslands, shoals of lilac-misted hills, a meandering river, acres of thorn-bush and mile upon mile of undulating wilderness.

The Miracle of the Migration of the Wildebeest
All the time, when on the move, the wildebeest emit harsh grunts, something like the sound of frogs, something like that of old men clearing their throats. People have called them ungainly because of their high shoulders and sloping hindquarters and also clowns because of their long pale faces and white beards, but in fact they move with grace and sometimes playfulness, leaping and cavorting with apparent joie de vivre.

Last Days in Eden
Elspeth Huxley and Hugo van Lawick

Between the end of July and November, over one and a half million wildebeest accompanied by half again as many zebras and gazelles, migrate from the short-grass plains of the Serengeti to fresh pasture in the grasslands of the Mara; thus creating one of nature's grandest spectacles. Moving in groups of up to 20,000 at a time they thunder across the plateau hesitating only briefly to cross the Mara River, where many fall prey to the waiting crocodiles. Towards the end of October they begin crossing back into Tanzania. The actual timing of the migration, however, is dictated by the weather and does not always ‘run to schedule'.

Accommodation
The atmosphere of the camp is informal but elegant. Each cottage has hot and cold running water, 220-volt electricity, elegant Italian bathroom fittings, polished wooden floors, and large bathrooms with canvas fronts that can be opened to offer you an amazing "shower with a view". Décor is unique to each cottage and from the large verandahs o¬ne can enjoy a unique view of the Mara plains and watch the many wild animals that come to the nearby waterhole. The camp offers its own private spa treatment centre, the "Masai Well-Being Space".

Campi ya Tembo - 3 double tents, is Saruni's private tented camp and is located at 10 km from the main lodge. The fly camp offers guests a chance to experience the Masai Mara from the inside of a tent.

Included in the rates
• Full Board Accommodation
• Day & Night Game Drives
• Guided Bush Walks
• Walking Safaris - Morning & Evening (CYT)
• Transfers for Cultural Visits
• Bush Meals
• Sundowners
• Special Courses (at CYT) in:
• _ Bush Skills,
• _ Animal Tracking &
• _ Guiding
• One Complimentary Massage Per Cottage
• Local Airstrip Transfers
• Limited Laundry Service

Excluded / Activity
• Conservation Fees
• Extra Lunch - Per Person
• Exclusive Use Of Vehicle Per Day - Per Vehicle
• Transfers (to other lodges in the Mara)
• Afternoon Departures charges
• (Clients are required to check out of their rooms by 10h00)
• Hot Air Balloon Trip - Rate available on request
• Any extra spa treatments / massage
• Champagne, Luxury Spirits & Select Wines


There is a Minimum Stay of 2 Nights


Dining and bars
The menus as Saruni differ daily, all are home-cooked, some are served in the dining area, some in the bush during game drives. The cost of local beverages is included in the room rate.

Wildlife highlights
Offering an abundance of herbivores, the Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya's famous ‘big cats' and hosts her largest population of lions. It also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena. Historically teaming with wildlife, the Mara is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars include the distinctive Masai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke's hartebeest, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk's dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck and red duiker. The Reserve also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet, blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax. There are over 550 resident and migratory species of birds.

Child-friendly
Children under 5 years free of charge. Rates for children 5 to 16 sharing available on request.

What to see and do
Game sightings in the area are excellent with recent guests having seen a leopard near the camp, lions, cheetah, elephant, buffalo and wildebeest migration near the camp and crossing the river.

There are many activities at Saruni Lodge which include; fly camps, visits to Maasai communities safari walks in the forests and in the plains accompanied by Maasai trackers, bird watching, Maasai wedding ceremony, day excursions to Rusinga island, game drives in special "game viewing" land Rovers with itineraries tailored to suit each guest's requirements and finally bush breakfast, bush dinner, bush lunch, bush picnic and sundowners.


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