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Sarara
Sarara
Sarara
Sarara
Sarara
Sarara
Sarara
Sarara
Sarara

Reviews of Sarara

Wildlife sightings and reviews

18 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Sarara and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Wildlife sightings by our travellers
Starting in Aug-2018, 13 of our travellers have recorded their wildlife sightings at Sarara.
Lion

10% success

Leopard

45% success

Cheetah

0% success

Wild dog

10% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Gerenuk

92% success

Zebra

92% success

Buffalo

80% success

Spotted Hyena

67% success

Oryx

10% success

Aardvark

0% success

Hippo

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Striped Hyena

0% success

Showing 1-10 of 18
Duration
Arrival date
HLG
Manitoba

"Sarara review"

3 nights Arrived 28 Jan 2024
"All good. Meals, views, all excellent" See all these reviews: 13n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

2 sightings

Elephant

10 sightings

Gerenuk

1 sighting

Giraffe

10 sightings

Oryx

1 sighting

Zebra

3 sightings

R&G from Seattle
USA

"Sarara review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2023
"Sarara was a real highlight of our experience. The lodging itself exceeds all expectations and is memorable in its own way, but the truth is the staff and management are what make this such a special place. Of course the food and service are all top notch, but there's an extra quality to every interaction that leaves an incredible sense of welcome. This was our first stay on our Safari holiday and it set the bar for everywhere else. Sarara House is a particularly unique experience and not to be missed for those looking for a little more space for family.

It's also worth noting our driver and ranger were excellent, making each day an adventure and making sure we had the right balance of game drives and cultural experiences we were looking for. This isn't the Mara, terrain here is close and varied, so finding wildlife and such requires skill and patience. That said the drivers at Sarara are more than up to task.

So many unique moments at the Singing Wells, the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, it's just a shame that 3 nights goes by so fast. Our last night was spent at one of the standard rooms and these are also quite exceptional.

It is no exaggeration to say we are already planning our return visit." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 8n in Kenya; 3n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

10 sightings

Giraffe

10 sightings

Spotted Hyena

1 sighting

Zebra

10 sightings

Ms A.
Manchester

"Sarara review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Feb 2023
"Oh how I wish I'd had longer at Sarara, but not for the reasons one might think. Beyond the wildlife, Sarara is much more a cultural experience. It's one of the only opportunities I've had to really immerse myself in a tribal culture. In retrospect I wish I'd given up a game drive and instead done more cultural activities.

Driving to Sarara is a game drive in itself and in my opinion, all the game you're going to see on a game drive, you'll see driving to and from camp. What a game drive offers you is the opportunity to really slow down, process what you're seeing, learn from your guide, and maybe even get out of the vehicle and walk around. We tried to track down a cicada so I could see where all the noise was coming from! I also noticed, for the first time in 6 safaris, that giraffes both swallow down their cud and pull it back up to keep chewing...and you can see it moving up and down via their neck muscles. I was fascinated...how did I not notice this before? And one highlight of a game drive for me was sundowners in a dry river bed, it was like a beach with no water, just really very cool.

Lions and leopards are around, though not often seen. On a walk, we saw fresh tracks of at least two lions and two leopards right behind camp. Boris the resident bull elephant gets up close and personal, as I found out one afternoon as I sat and watched him from the bench in my tent and he was not 6 feet away, happily munching away on branches!

The cultural activities I did were memorable: a visit to Singing Wells (impossible to describe, just go!), a visit to Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, a beading session with two local women, a village visit, and an early morning hike behind camp up into the hills with my Samburu guide. I could have also gone to a local school and done some blacksmith work with a local man. I wish I had time to! Everything I did was so worthwhile, and I learned so much. It was worth every minute of my time!

The "tents" are unlike any I've had anywhere else. More like a cottage with screened walls. They are huge and have flaps opening to the front, which overlooked the valley and the sunrise each morning. The balcony had a daybed and small table and chairs and I'd have my coffee and biscuits there to watch the sun rise. The bed was comfortable and it was nice to sleep with the front flaps open to let cooler air in; it is so hot here in February! There is an indoor toilet, but the shower is outside via a rocky path to a separate area (fenced in so no human or creature can see you). It was glorious! This is a type of luxury I'm not used to on safari, but well worth it. I'd return in a heartbeat.

Robert the camp manager is a gem. He prevails over dinner and is the ultimate host. He made me (solo traveler) feel part of any group and made sure every whim was catered to. The food here is amazing, as a vegetarian I ate extremely well.

My most important takeaway though was learning from a fellow guest about the Sarara Foundation and all the work they do to support the Samburu in the area and the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. It is amazing, and very important, work, and now part of my charitable giving. I so enjoyed my time here, and that was due to the very significant efforts of my guide Daniel, manager Robert, Rashida and all of the other staff here, all local Samburu. I can't thank them enough." See all these reviews: 12n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

2 sightings

Elephant

10 sightings

Gerenuk

1 sighting

Giraffe

6 sightings

Zebra

10 sightings

Dr W & Dr D
Leeds

"Sarara review"

4 nights Arrived 22 Jan 2023
"Staying at Sarara is a cultural experience to help understand how the Samburu people live and survive in this arid area.

The lodge is very comfortable and has a fantastic view across to the Mathews Range. It also has a waterhole which attracts the local wildlife.

The wildlife is understandably more sparse in this area but there were large numbers of elephants, reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, lesser kudu, gerenuk, and dik-diks.

The Singing Wells were the highlight of the stay and a visit to the Reteti elephant sanctuary is also a must." See all these reviews: 13n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Sightings Report

Buffalo

1 sighting

Elephant

10 sightings

Gerenuk

2 sightings

Giraffe

10 sightings

Zebra

10 sightings

Lola
Canada

"Sarara review"

5 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2022
"Wonderful place to relax. Beautiful views from both the room and the main area. The pool is wonderful for a dip to cool off…and also sometimes serves as a water dish to elephants! The drought is very difficult right now in Namunyak which is difficult to see. Wildlife sightings were minimal as many of the animals have moved up into the mountains. But wonderful reticulated giraffe sightings as well as elephants. A visit to Reteti Elephant orphanage is a MUST. As is a visit to the singing wells. I will be going back!" See all these reviews: 5n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Sightings Report

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Gerenuk

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Mr F
Amsterdam

"Sarara, a hidden gem"

5 nights Arrived 31 May 2022
"We loved Sarara, this is such a special camp in such a remote location, glad we stayed for 5 nights to really get connected to the place. Very special to be flown in by the founder of Sarara in his private Cessna: while flying lowlevel over the spectacular landscape he introduced us to the area and his philosophy behind starting it all. The staffmembers are all very kind, a bit shy in the beginning (some reviewers interpreted this as formal) but once we knew them a bit better we had great laughs with all of them.

Newly appointed camp managers Emma and Darren create a homely atmosphere and are very approachable. The rooms are spacious and especially the terraces with spectacular views out into the valley, we could sit there for hours just gazing into the distance. We were lucky enough to have spotted a leopard while driving back to camp after sundowners on the first night, otherwise the wildlife is not overwhelming. Lots of giraffes for sure and elephants visting the camps’s waterhole, gerenuks and an interesting hyena family with 4 pups.

But wildlife is not the reason to travel all the way to Sarara. Samburu culture and their way of life in this harsh environment is what it’s about. Our guide James gave us a real insight into his culture, we had lovely conversations about many things and the Samburu view on it. Visting the singing wells and a local settlement were humbling and moving experiences. Also the visit to Reteti Elephant Rescue was very special and worth the bumpy ride. Very touching to see how the community committed themselves to this cause and how everyone places a role in it.

Sarara is not a cheap camp by any means but a large proportion of the rate flows directly back into the community supporting people and wildlife and their coexistence. If your are not looking for glitzy 5 star service and broadband wifi, but want to experience a real connection with people and their land, we highly recommend Sarara Camp." See all these reviews: 14n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Sightings Report

Buffalo

2 sightings

Elephant

6 sightings

Gerenuk

4 sightings

Giraffe

10 sightings

Leopard

1 sighting

Spotted Hyena

3 sightings

Zebra

4 sightings

Mr & Mrs J
Hanwell

"A pool with a view"

2 nights Arrived 20 Feb 2022
""You guys are good at walking," said Peter before we left Treehouses for the main camp. "We'll walk to Sarara."

So we approached on foot, finding ourselves wandering up past the camp waterhole, avoiding the elephants but finding some surprisingly (to us) relaxed giraffe. (Not surprising to Peter, who explained some of them were raised at the lodge).

That waterhole is positioned just below Sarara's rather magnificent pool, hewn out of the natural rock, and a heavenly place to wallow in the hot dry heat of the day. From the pool, you can watch giraffe, elephants, antelope and more at the waterhole. If there's nobody in the pool, the local wildlife moves in there - you might see electric-blue vulturine guinea fowl or a family of baboons ranged along the brim.

Sarara, like its Treehouses cousin, is beautifully designed and located, with excellent and plentiful food, charming staff and a focus on making sure the local population benefit from conservation and tourism. Similarly, however, this is not the place to go to see spectacular number of game (with the exception of the elephants and the very nonchalent giraffe). You may well see more animals over lunch at the watering hole than on your activities; this is more a place for those who want to have a more rounded safari/African experience than just ticking off the animals.

We were really pleased that we had the same guide at both lodges; we had got to know him very well & he was also able to advise us on, for instance, which activity worked best at which camp." See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Gerenuk

1 sighting

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Spotted Hyena

1 sighting

Ms. N
Montana

"Sarara review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Feb 2022
"This camp may be one of my very favorites. Sarara is unique. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful throughout the entire stay. Rehama , my special host was so very kind and attentive. I had a woman guide - Anne, and her name - Nashipae means happiness. My other guide was Kalamon, meaning writing pen. Both were extremely knowledgable about the birds and the animals. They respected the distances while viewing the wild animals. They both shared their culture and answered all my questions in detail. The area was hot so I did enjoy the natural made pool every afternoon while watching other animals drinking in the pool below me. Animals were everywhere. I visited the Montessori schools that are in mobile tents to accommodate the pastoral community. All the materials were made by college students and each child had an oil cloth mat and then an activity to work on while I was visiting. There was no paper and pencils or crayons, but none were needed: the activities were so well planned and fit in with their culture...This activity was one of my favorites. In addition, I visited a village and also the mobile clinic. I met the male nurse who works with mothers and small infants in order to assist them with challenges they may be experiencing. The female nurse, Dorca, called me from Nairobi, she regretted not being there to greet me.
The singing wells were fabulous. It was difficult to imagine what staff were talking about before I visited the wells and seeing all the warriors and the animals. What is heartwarming is that the pastoral community leave the area by early evening so that the wild animals can also use the water in the dry riverbed. Respect for others is a mainstay of this community.
I also visited with the ladies who bead and learned they use all left over bags for their stitching. If you travel to Sarara, you might wish to bring small beads for them to use. In addition, I visited with the blacksmith. He takes scrapes and makes beautiful bracelets, rings and other items. He uses skins to force air into the fire to melt the metal. His services are needed everywhere in the community.
The people dress so beautifully everyday and it just makes me smile while remembering the beautiful colors and wonderfully welcoming smiles I encountered every day.
I am already planning a return trip to this wonderful camp: who supports the surrounding community and the tasks needed to be addressed.
I appreciated the good lighting, the robes provided, the massages provided, the outside shower was definitely one of my favorites - thank you.." See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

Multiple sightings

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Spotted Hyena

Multiple sightings

Zebra

1 sighting

Mrs Catherine H
UK

"Sarara review"

4 nights Arrived 12 Jan 2022
"We visited in 2018 and had such wonderful memories that we returned. This time it was even better. Our guide Mark, managers Terri and Robert and the whole camp staff made us feel instantly at home. Full of suggestions about what we could do, but happy to go at a pace that was right for us. We soon fell into a pattern of early morning walks, afternoon game drives with leisurely lunches by the pool watching the elephants, giraffe, warthog, impala and lots of other wildlife at the waterhole below. Nothing was too much trouble." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

Multiple sightings

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Gerenuk

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Leopard

Multiple sightings

Lion

1 sighting

Spotted Hyena

Multiple sightings

Zebra

1 sighting

Ms S.
Bainbridge Isla

"Sarara review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2019
"Sarara was a wonderful camp. The setting was gorgeous and the whole camp felt luxurious without being pretentious.we especially appreciated the close relationship between the Samburu team and the local community. We felt we get to see a bit of Samburu culture without the experience being contrived for tourists.

On the down side, this is not a a place I would go outside the dry season. Because the rains had come, some activities we had really looked forward to like the Singing Wells and sleeping in a star tent were not available. We had actually booked Sarara Treehouse but because of the rains the road getting there was so bad supplies couldn't be delivered so they shut it down. Wildlife had fanned put across the great expanse rather than gathering at watering holes so we saw very little. Worse, the bugs were intense-so intense that most guests ate in their tent instead of at in the lovely open air dining area. Beetles were literally flying into our faces, her and water. At night you couldn't read because the light from a kindle would attract them. There were no mosquito nets!

But even with all that, we could see Sarara is an extraordinary place and only wish we could have been there at the right time of year." See all these reviews: 7n in Kenya; 5n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 1-10 of 18
98%
18 reviews of Sarara by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
16
2
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0
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