Reviews of Sarara
Wildlife sightings and reviews
13 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
"Sarara, a hidden gem"
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
"A pool with a view"
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
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
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
"Stunning location at Sarara Camp"
The location is absolutely stunning and even without all the excitement of the game drives, bush walks and local visits, this would be a fabulous place simply to chill out and enjoy the views and the facilities of the camp. The staff were all incredibly attentive and friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. Our guide, Robert, was particularly impressive, sharing with us his enormous knowledge of the wildlife, the flora and his Samburu cultural heritage in a most engaging, articulate and good humoured way.
Our visit coincided with the rare event of a local Samburu gathering for the ceremony of circumcision of the young men about to become warriors. In the evening we were honoured to be invited to witness the celebrations and dancing that followed the ceremony, during which Robert just seamlessly morphed from safari guide to Samburu warrior and joined in the dancing, with impressive expertise!" See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
The 'singing wells' hugely interesting- a unique experience - we only hope it will not be affected by too many tourists.... (A ban on photography such a good thing..). The new Namunyuk Elephant Sanctuary - about an hour away - is beautifully run, with excellent facilities - in a natural setting.
A visit to a local Samburu nomad's village was fascinating- how nice of them to allow us to pay a visit... Andrew amazed them by being able to milk a goat. (They were obviously ready to have a good laugh!)
We loved this place- the resident echidna under the main house, semi-tame Grevys zebras visiting the swimming pool, a friendly, rescued giraffe, beautiful birds, magnificently dressed Samburu men- all adding to its unique charm." See all these reviews: 13n in Kenya
Sarara is such an inspiring example in the new model of engaging with the local community to create eco-tourism that benefits everybody. The Samburu staff and guides had such pride in their place to share with us and it was like visiting old friends. The walk to the Singing Wells is a must-do, as is a trip to Reteti, the elephant orphanage." See all these reviews: 18n in Kenya
"Sarara Tree House was a great experience!"
The camp is well run and our Samburu hosts were great - we learnt a lot about the Conservancy and its history. Robert our Samburu Tree House Host was really good and a very likeable chap. He was good company and very knowledgable.We had fun together.
We really enjoyed our short visit. The experiences we had were new to us and varied. Walking, visiting the rescued baby elephant sanctuary, the Singing Wells (A biblical experience as our guide described it - and it was!). Night driving, just relaxing by the infinity pool with magnificent views
It is not a classical game viewing location like the Mara (i.e. no Lions or Rhinos or Buffalo - the top predators are the Hyena and Lepoard). But it has a lot to offer. We are regular safari trippers and have seen most things but we saw 5 new species and have never seen so many Dik Dik and Hyena, the scenery is stunningly beautiful.
It is a great place to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic safari tour. Fond Memories." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
Meg and Rob were perfect hosts, my two guides were wonderful. The 'roads' are pretty rough - it's a long time since I've been flung around a Land Rover like that! - the wildlife sightings were better than I'd been led to believe (update your Rough Guide Richard!) but the highlight was the Singing Wells. I went back to experience this a second time and would have gone again if I'd stayed longer. My guides were amazingly knowledgeable and simply lovely people. Think I'll dream about returning to Sarara for a long time to come." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
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