Serian Nkorombo: Our full report
The very small Serian Nkorombo is located in the heart of the Maasai Mara National Reserve on the east bank ...... of the Mara River. With just 6 tents, this small bush camp was formerly a seasonal camp known as 'Nkorombo Mobile'. It is part of independent owner Alex Walker's Serian group. There are two larger and more luxurious sister camps just outside the reserve in the Mara North Conservancy and others in the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Sited on a low, bush-covered riverbank on a broad bend of the Mara River, Serian Nkorombo has, despite its low elevation, sweeping views across the river, especially looking across the wide bend on the south side of camp which is often the scene of wildlife crossings.
Arriving at camp you drive through the reserve's acacia savannah towards the river before suddenly coming upon the camp tucked in the trees on the river bank: this is not a camp with a big entrance road and signs of settlement.
Many visitors combine a stay in the reserve at Serian Nkorombo with a stay at one of its more luxurious sister camps Serian or Ngare Serian in the Mara North Conservancy 90 minutes drive to the north. We highly recommend you read the reports on all the camps to get a good flavour of the group's style.
The main central areas at Serian Nkorombo consist of a welcoming combined mess and lounge tent just yards from the river. The lounge has snug sofas and cosily worn Raj-style carpets that look as if they've been moved from somebody's home rather than acquired for any deliberate effect. The effect, iroinically, is to instantly make the camp feel homely and comfortable.
Outside, a rusting but very serviceable barbecue in the form of a large hippo regularly does service at dinner time. It's so convincing that a male hippo has attacked the barbeque - only to find out it was made of metal!
The traditional-style guest tents at Serian Nkorombo are a decent size but not huge, and simply furnished with iron-frame, modishly distressed beds, directors' chairs and solar-powered lighting. Washstands supplied with a jug of water, regular-style flush loos with wooden seats and simple bucket showers complete the ensuite bathroom arrangements. The whole effect is what-you-see-is-what-you-get, down-to-earth safari style, for people who truly care much more about being in the bush and seeing the animals than the details of their creature comforts. If that's you, this is a camp to which you should give serious consideration. When we visited in 2019 these were looking fresh, with new lighting and soft furnishings.
Activities from Serian Nkorombo are exclusively game drives, though bush meals can easily be incorporated into them, especially as every group staying at the camp is given their own vehicle, driver-guide and spotter. This feature is unique to the Serian camps and it's important to take account of it when considering the costs of staying. Serian's Landcruisers are open, giving spectacular visibility, and have a canvas roof canopy for hot sun or showers.
The camp is regularly in the very thick of thousands of migrating wildebeest, with the herds moving along the banks and often wading across just to the south. The wildlife in the area is excellent and this is one part of the Maasai Mara National Reserve where you stand a good chance of seeing rhino. On a recent visit, we surprised a young bull in the open just a kilometre outside camp: he stood his ground and faced us off for a couple of minutes from forty metres away, and then decided to make a disgruntled retreat.
The guides at Serian Nkorombo move between the Serian camps depending on guest numbers. We found them diligent, capable and great hosts, and would have had no problem spending longer in their company than the few hours we were here.
This is one of the reserve's most intimate small camps and its comfortably traditional, low-key style makes it one of the most environmentally integrated camps in the reserve. The striking riverbank location is ideal if you want an impressive experience during the migration, and the private vehicle and guide for every group is a major bonus, but the location also makes for a noticeably busy area when you leave camp, especially in the high season.
- Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
- Ideal length of stay
- 3-4 nights
- Guests at Serian Nkorombo usually fly into Musiara Airstrip (10km away), from where the camp is about a 45 minutes drive.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- Although we didn't have the chance to sample the food at Serian Nkorombo during our last visit in 2019, we know all the Serian camps have very good food across the board from visits elsewhere – excellent in quality and copious servings. Full breakfasts are served in the morning, while lunch is usually a buffet of chilled soup, salads, cold meat, pastas and quiches. The three-course dinners are slightly more formal and always very satisfying. Dietary preferences are well catered for with advance notice.
- Photography holidays
- Guests enjoy autonomy with a private vehicle and guide. You can pause to wait for the perfect angle or visit your favourite viewpoint. Open Land Cruisers offer fantastic visibility while the location provides brilliant wildlife and migration access.
- See ideas for Photography holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Serian Nkorombo is accommodating to children, though little ones will need to be kept under very close supervision.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There is no minimum age and under-fives stay free of charge.
- Generally recommended for children
- The camp is more suitable for adults and older children and teens who really appreciate the bush.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Serian Nkorombo
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Serian Nkorombo have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- Guests can charge batteries in their rooms.
- There is reasonably good mobile signal. No Wi-Fi.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Fresh water comes from the borehole at Musiara Gate, and other water is pumped from the river. Drinking water is brought in from Nairobi.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- A first-aid kit is available and the nearest qualified physician is at Governor’s Camp.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Askaris patrol day and night.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in the main area.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is available, but ladies underwear cannot be washed for cultural reasons. This is hand washed and line dried. Soap is provided in tents.
- No facilities for foreign exchange.
- Accepted payment on location
- Payments are usually all made in advance, so in the event of there being any extras, or if you want to leave tips, these should be settled in cash.
Other lodges in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.