Saruni Mara: Information from the owner
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own report, which contains our own observations and views.
|No. of rooms||7|
Main description of Saruni Mara
Saruni Mara: Facilities
|Property facilities||Kiddies Club|
|Room facilities||En-Suite, Lounge Area, Pure Cotton Linen, Safe, Shower, Verandah, Complementary Wi-Fi, Balcony / Deck, Dressing Gowns|
|Available services||Chauffer Service, Room Service (24 hours), Travel Desk, Babysitting Service, Credit Card|
|Activities on site||(some activities may be seasonal) Big 5, Bird Watching, Fine Dining, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Garden Tours, Gourmet Picnic, Massages, Rhino Tracking, Safaris, Animal Encounters, Child Friendly Activities, Cultural Tours, Hiking, Hot-air Ballooning|
Room types at Saruni Mara
Nyati House (Private Villa)
Nyati House is a beautiful, private wilderness home, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge and dining room, kitchen and large veranda. Nyati House is booked exclusively and is located a 5 minute drive away from Saruni Mara in its own secluded valley. Perfect for groups or families looking for privacy and wanting to experience the Masai Mara on their own schedule and in the comfort of their own wilderness home. Equipped with your own safari vehicle and guide and with meals in your own dining room, guests at Nyati House have a very personal experience. The house has a unique style with lots of wooden features and natural elements. The rooms are spacious and overlook your very own view of the Mara plains. There is a large front garden for children to enjoy.
The Artist's Studio
The Artist's Studio is an elegant sanctuary for the creative soul, and the perfect place to find inspiration. With a stylishly decorated en suite bedroom, leading out onto the open veranda, this cottage boasts beautiful views over the secluded valley and out onto the Mara plains in the distance.
The Family Villa
The Natural History Suite is Saruni Mara's family villa, with two large en suite bedrooms, a spacious living area and a veranda. The stylish new villa has two en-suite bedrooms, a large lounge complete with dining area and big, welcoming fireplace. There is also an impressive large veranda overlooking the magnificent scenery of the Masai Mara. The villa is decorated with a selection of antique and vintage prints. There is also relevant reading material such a books on mammals, reptiles, trees and birds. The Natural History Suite will inspire you and your family to understand and experience nature, in all it's wonderful shapes and forms.
The Literary Room
The Literary Room is an ideal hideaway for thinkers, dreamers and writers, inspired by great stories of African adventures and discovery. As if from the pages of a quintessential African novel, the cottage is classic and more than comfortable. Equipped with a vintage typewriter, leather reading chairs, writing desk with a brass reading lamp, quill pen and leather blotter, guests can experience and create their own safari story. There is also a selection of classic and African literature. The beautiful, spacious en suite bedroom open up onto a large veranda, a perfect reading perch for the afternoon.
The Love Shack
The Love Shack is the perfect romantic retreat, simply and elegantly designed for long hours of relaxation. The Love Shack is a wonderfully secluded cottage, known as Saruni Mara's honeymoon suite. The neutral colour scheme, elegant furnishings and beautiful antiques create a feeling of classic elegance and romance. The bedroom is very spacious, and opens out onto a large veranda with a magnificent view of the valley leading onto the Masai plains - the perfect private dining area.
The Observatory is a themed cottage that makes you dream of vast, star-lit African skies. The Observatory has a vintage brass telescope, moon map and selection of interesting material on all things cosmic. This cottage is beautifully furnished and spacious, with a large front deck for relaxing in the day and star gazing at night.
The Photographer's Studio (Cottage Five)
The Photographer's Studio is inspired by imagery and decorated to the theme of life through the lens. A beautifully furnished cottage, spacious and charming, with a large bedroom, en suite bathroom and outdoor veranda overlooking the beautiful view. This rooms pays tribute to the decades of incredible photography the marvel of the Great Migration and the Masai Mara has produced. The environment, the wildlife and the people - beautiful, picturesque and inspiring. The Photographer's Studio has an old box browning camera, antique photographic equipment catalogue and stunning prints adorn the walls.
Units at Saruni Mara
Perfect for families or a group of friends, this stylish new family villa has two en-suite bedrooms with a large lounge and dining area in between. There is also an impressive, large verandah overlooking the magnificent scenery of the Maasai Mara, and a lovely big fireplace in the lounge to enjoy in the evenings. Guests can have private dinners in their dining area in the villa. The villa is decorated with a selection of antique and vintage prints according to the theme of Natural History.
Nyati House is Saruni Mara's private villa, offered on an exclusive basis. Guests can enjoy the thrill and seclusion of Saruni Mara from the comfort of their very own wilderness home. Located very close to the main lodge (a 5 minute walk away), but in it’s own secluded valley, Nyati House is the perfect hideout for families and groups of friends. With two en-suite bedrooms, and a third attic room, the house accommodates groups of up to 5 people. The exclusive experience of Saruni Mara comes with your own waiter and driver/guide.
Saruni Mara has five, large cottages, where one can experience both the elegance and safety of a permanent accommodation with the thrill of sleeping in close contact with nature. The rooms are furnished with colonial antiques, Persian carpets and African artifacts according to various themes (see room types). Each cottage has hot and cold running water, 220 volt electricity, elegant Italian bathroom fittings, polished wooden floors, a comfortable sitting area and large bathrooms, where the canvas front can be totally open to offer you an amazing "shower with a view". Each cottage also has a large verandah where one can enjoy a private view of the Mara plains. Saruni Mara has a low impact on the environment thanks to the use of solar power and the recycling of waste.
Activities at Saruni Mara
Bush Breakfast, Bush Lunch and Bush Dinner
We'd love to take you to our secret spots, especially for bush breakfast, bush lunch or bush dinner. Deep in the forest or by the river Mara overlooking a "hippo beach", a nicely decorated table is waiting for us, providing us with the thrilling experience of a gourmet meal in the middle of the bush.
On a game walk you will feel, touch and smell the trees, the bushes, the rocks and the tracks - and even the animal droppings - that make our area unique. To walk with the Masai warriors in the African bush is a fantastic experience and you will learn how they use the berries and the leaves, about their traditions and about their life.
Day and Night Game Drives
The word "safari" means to be out and away, to be on a journey or travelling in remote areas. It is both a physical and spiritual journey that can be undertaken in many ways. For our safaris we use comfortable, fully-open Land Rovers, specially designed to give you maximum visibility over the landscape and the animals. On foot safaris we walk, on the plains and in the mountains and hills, that surround Saruni Mara.
In the Land Rover, you are accompanied by your professional guide and by a tracker, a team that will help you to read the book of nature. We don't rush while on safari and there will be time to observe the wild animals, to see how they interact and to study their behaviour and their habitats. Days can be hot or cold, sunny or rainy but the wildlife of the Masai Mara is always in action. We will not only take to the famous spots but also to the secret corners where you never meet another vehicle. It is the Masai Mara without the minibuses, as the first hunters and explorers discovered it.
If you are passionate about birds, we are more than happy to help you identify new species among the 500 plus that live in the Mara. Our guides are birdwatchers by instinct and by training. They can recognise these beautiful creatures by their calls and songs as well as by their plumage. Above all, they share your love for birds.
Wildlife is most active either early in the morning or in the late afternoon and evening. These are the two magic moments of a safari. After dawn, the light is perfect for photography and the sounds of the African bush start filling the air. This is the moment when we will explore the special, secluded areas behind Saruni, where no other tourists go. The only other people that we shall meet will be the Masai, armed only with a spear and bow and arrows, guarding their herds of cattle. Later in the day, just before sunset, we will stop and think about the day that is about to end while drinking a sundowner. We will be right in the middle of "nowhere" that is right in the centre of everything, surrounded on all sides by life and death, hunting and escape, sleeping and eating.
A unique feature of Saruni is its collection of books and its library, the most beautiful in the African bush. With thousands of rare books and its very private location, Saruni's library is a place where to meditate, to rest, to think.
The Masai Mara is the perfect place if you want to be part of an unusual but very genuine Masai wedding ceremony. The experience can be enjoyed both by newlyweds who want to re-affirm their vows in the middle of a very spiritual land and by those who plan to actually get married in Kenya. The ceremony takes place in a Masai village, with the participation of the elders, the women and the warriors, or on the top of a mountain overlooking the endless landscape.
The Great Migration - The Greatest Show On Earth
"The Masai Mara and adjoining Loita Plains form the northermost part of the 25,000km Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The Mara receives the highest rainfall (1000mm average, 1200mm a year at Musiara) of the entire ecosystem. Rain falls here throuht the year, with peaks usually in December, January and April. Plenty of grass remains after the Serengeti plains to the South have dried up. This beneficient ecosystem supports a wildebeest population of at least 600,000. Together with the associated herds of 200,000 zebra and 350,000 Thomson gazelle, they form a vast assemblage of ungulates whose annual movements trough the ecosystem is known as "The Migration". The sight of hundreds of thousands of these animals moving together through the seas of grass must rank as the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth.
The wildebeest herds congregate during the wettest part of the year in the short-grass plains of the Serengeti ecosystem, where there is sweet new grass and rainwater pools. There they give birth - most of the females calving within a few week in what has become known world over as "The Rut". Early in the dry season, the pools in the short-grass plains dry up and the wildebeest stream en masse through the longer plains and o n to the Western Corridor. As their food supply diminishes, the herds move into the northen Serengeti woodlands and the Masai Mara. Zebra follow similar, but not quite identical, movements. Thomson's gazelle also migrate, but o nly as far as the edge of the woodlands. The routes taken by the herds vary from year to year but the general pattern of the migration remains the same.
Once in the woodlands the herds spread out but keep moving in response to rainfall and the availability of forage. The first wildebeest usually arrive in the Mara in June or July and most remain there until late October or early November. Slowly at first, but increasing momentum, the wildebeest leave the Mara by various routes as they follow the rains back south. The annual incursion of the great herds into the Mara is a comparatively recent phenomenon. Prior to 1969, a few wildebeest "spilled over" from the Serengeti in very dry years, but most of the wildebeest found in the Mara belonged to a completely separate population, the Loita population. The Loita wildebeest, commonly referred to as the "residents", perform seasonal movements between the Loita plains in the wet season and the Mara in the dry months. Following the tremendous increase in the Serengeti herds in the 1960s and 70s, the Mara is now dry season refuge for up to 600,000 Serengeti wildebeest as well as about 25,000 Loita animals."
(From The Official Guidebook to the Masai Mara Ecosystem, by Friends of Conservation).
The Masai Wellbeing Space
Private cottage hidden in our valley's olive and cedar forest and devoted to the use of local plants for beauty and relaxation treatments. In collaboration with Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees (Stresa, Italy) and its world-famous spa - Centro Benessere Stresa, Saruni runs the Masai Wellbeing Space. It is a unique feature in the Masai Mara: in the most serene and relaxing environment, our guests enjoy massage and wellness treatments under the supervision of highly trained staff. Considered one of the most professional and inspiring "beauty centres" in Kenya, the Masai Wellbeing Space has been designed by Kenyan designer Mark Glen. It's a private cottage hidden in our valley's olive and cedar forest and devoted to the use of local plants for beauty and relaxation treatments.
The new techniques combine sophisticated methods developed at Centro Benessere Stresa with ancient Masai wisdom and knowledge. For instance, we use Olsinoni leaves (Lippia Javanica) for their detoxifying and purifying properties. Also we use pure gel from Usuguru (Aloe Kedongensis) and compresse of Olleleshwa leaves (Tarchonantus Canphorantus) to remove skin impurities and to improve the natural regeneration of the cells. In pedicare we complement more traditional products with Ol-Emoran leaves (Hoslundia Opposita).
One, 30 minute long "post game drive" or "pre game drive" massage is included for free in the regular safari package. Among the treatments available, you can choose between the lymphatic drainage massage, decongestive or nourishing or purifyng facials, manicare, pedicare and the popular sport massage. All with an open view of the forest, where bushbuck, elephant and waterbuck roam freely.
This a special interactive wildlife safari with a strong educational “flavor”, designed especially for families or small groups. It is a family learning holiday, or as a parent and older child adventure, that allows you to explore and learn about wildlife, wilderness and ‘life’ from one of the most well known and culturally interesting cultures left in Africa, the Masai. Under the tutelage of their ‘Moran’ or Warrior class, our guests get to know, enjoy and understand these unique people and their way of life.
Learn and experience at first hand the bush skills, folklore and ancient wisdom needed to survive in one of the richest wildlife regions in Africa. This is an extraordinary opportunity to ‘go bush’ with your family or friends. Gain in depth experience in wildlife tracking following an elephant or a leopard, learn survival skills, visit an original Masai village, learn how to use bow, arrows, pangas and spears, build a bush camp, tend goats and cattle whilst listening to Masai stories and songs. This is not how the ‘white man’ sees the wilderness and its abundance but how the Masai and its warriors view the world and live amongst its wild creatures. A safari will never be the same again.
Restaurants at Saruni Mara
Our Saruni Cuisine
"Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are", famously said gastronome Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. At Saruni we believe in the importance of good, healthy and tasty meals. Our cuisine has a strong Italian flavour, but we also love to experiment with the great ingredients that are found in Kenya, especially fish and vegetables. We easily accommodate vegetarians and guests who have special requests.