Reviews of Sayari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Sayari Mara Camp review
Sayari was the sort of camp that we like to avoid; far too many guests and almost a hotel feel, but I guesss this is unavoidable in Serengeti during migration timeRead more about the whole safari
Expert Africa comments
It seems that Sayari wasn’t a good match for these travellers, and Expert Africa needs to shoulder some of the blame for this. Sayari is a very high quality, luxurious tented lodge from which to explore the far north of the Serengeti. There are one or two simpler and ‘bushier’ options in the area, such as Sayari’s sister camp, Olakira, which may have suited these travellers better.
Fantastic stay at Sayari
We loved our stay at Sayari. We were picked up from the airport by our guide, Frank. After coffee he took us for a short drive before lunch. Within a few minutes of arriving at the river, a wildebeest crossing started just below us on the river. It was fantastic; there was a crocodile kill too!
We were lucky to be at Sayari just at the right time. Migrating animals were everywhere. It was amazing to see. After our introduction to crossings on our first morning we saw a few more; all equally exciting. Generally game viewing was great; in addition to all the "usual" animals, we had a great sighting of a cheetah.
Our guide Frank was super. He was totally committed to us having a good time and seeing what we wanted to see. There was no clock watching or doing what he wanted to do.
The camp and the rooms were beautiful. The food was delicious. The only very minor complaint I would have was about the quality of service at lunch. It was a bit slow and sometime a bit hit and miss.
The countryside around the camp was lovely and open. When we were there it was raining most evenings and it was spectacular to watch the rain clouds approaching from Kenya in the late afternoon, mixed in with the sunset.
All in all a memorable visit.
A luxury camp in a glorious setting
We chose Sayari to have a Serengetti experience with minimal traffic and it did not disappoint. The setting on a ridge with an almost 360degs view is spectacular and it was a real experience to wake up with part of that view every morning. The tents were more luxurious than we would normally chose but beautiful. In our tent we were very well looked after by Joseph. The pool too was lovely and made the most of the spectacular setting.
Our guide Esto was obviously experienced and very good and worked hard to give us the best experience possible.
The service was generally attentive and we enjoyed the friendliness of the staff however on our last morning breakfast was bit chaotic and haphazard which made it all a little rushed as we had to leave at a certain time.
The one negative about Sayari Camp for us is probably something they can't do anything about. The activities are limited to morning and evening game drives with walking safari as an payable extra. We have been spoilt having had the variation of Impala Camp in Selous where you had inclusive walking and have the river to add a different dimension.
Sayari Mara Camp review
This place was just amazing. From the time our excellent guide, Esto, met us at the airstrip with coffee & tea and delicious chocolate brownies until we arrived at the camp (this word hardly applies), we were bedazzled.
The views of the wildebeest crossings were one of the highlights of the trip and shouldn't be missed. Having wildebeest and hippos eating outside our tents (hardly a tent - our bedroom at home doesn't come close) at night was magic. The wildlife viewing was overwhelming in species and sheer numbers. I can't imagine that there is another time of year when the herbivores and carnivores are more numerous and eat better.
It might be an improvement to have a driver on safari. I imagine that it is a challenge to drive and navigate as well as look for animals. That said, Esto didn't have a problem doing both.
We loved relaxing by the beautiful pool perched over the Serengeti. The staff were all outgoing, helpful and friendly.
We began our afternoon safaris at 4 when it still seemed fairly hot and not much animal activity. Starting at 4:30 is just a suggestion.
Sayari Mara Camp review
I cannot fault Sayari. Very good game. Wonderful food and hospitality. Fantastic situation.
Very well organised camp.
Sayari Mara Camp review
We loved our stay at Sayari. Given that we were travelling in February, we had no expectations of seeing river crossings or the migration and were unsure what the resident game was going to be like... It was great! The Lamai plains were teeming with wildlife. As well as numerous antelope, resident wildebeest and zebra, we saw a black rhino, a cheetah with 3 cubs at a kill, a pride of 3 male, 2 female and 2 cubs at a kill and a herd of about 50 elephants.
The best part was that there were only 3 vehicles out at any one time and although they radioed each other if there was anything spectacular you mostly felt that you had the entire area to yourself. During drives by the Mara river we saw plenty of hippo and crocodiles including several large crocodiles eating a dead hippo.
We did a couple of game drives south of the river where we saw a lion pride with 5 young playful cubs and a leopard (briefly). Apparently there is a also a leopard with 2 cubs in this area. The only point worth noting is that the game is much more plentiful north of the river and this area becomes inaccessible if the river rises and the bridge becomes flooded.
The camp was very comfortable. The room felt quite like a luxury hotel room. There was plenty of hot water for baths or showers. The food was very good and the camp took care to take account of my dietary requirements. The camp has a good pool area with lounging chairs, a sitting area and a small library with books and games. The managers, Joe and Barbara, were very hospitable and worked hard to ensure people were happy.
The guides were knowledgeable and chatty. They were also flexible about timings eg. having breakfast on morning drive, extending game drives if we found something interesting etc. We felt that the guides were genuinely fond of the animals and interested in tracking their progress eg. the cheetah cubs.
The only very minor downsides were that a couple of afternoons game drives were cut short because of rainstorms (to be expected in Feb) and there are quite a few tsetse flies in the wooded area that you drive through between the camp and the Mara river.
The feeling of remoteness of the camp, the great wildlife and the extremely comfortable camp meant we had an incredible time here and could have spent much longer at Sayari.
It would be good but may not be technically feasible, but it would have been useful to have a map of the immediate area. Saw two lots of crossings of the Mara River!!!
Titus our driver at Sayari was an excellent safe driver and very well informed about and a good spotter of wild life. Very pleasant tmature young man.
Great migration experience at Sayari
Fantastic new permanent camp ideally located to see the migration and Mara river crossings. The very large tents are superb with fantastic views of the bush.
Esto was a great guide and managed to find the 4 Cheetah cubs that had not been seen for 2 weeks. We witnessed a river crossing within an hour of landing at the airstrip. Day 3 produced 5 river crossings and we were the only vehicle to witness one of the largest deep water crossings.
Excellent food and the service from Philip and Wangish in the dining room deserves a special mention. We took a packed breakfast on our morning game drives starting at 6.30am and came back for lunch at 1pm. However, if we found something special, they were very flexible and we could return at any time for lunch.
Deisgner camp in the wilderness
Our final safari camp was Sayari, open for only 5 weeks when we went there. It certainly looks stunning and in particular we loved the view from our tent, the pool built into the rock, the big sofa on our veranda and the big stone bath in our tent.
The managers were really solicitous and our guide Frank was great and eager to show us as many sights as possible. He was well rewarded when we got us to the right place at the right time to see one of the earliest wildebeest crossings of the Mara for the season. It was a phenomenal experience. The northern Serengeti is so beautiful that we enjoyed the landscapes as much as the wildlife.
The food was good but they were trying very hard to make it a fine dining experience. This meant that even at breakfast the food was presented with little bits of garnish which were unnecessary and made it take ages to arrive when we just wanted to be up and out.
We went on a walking safari here as well as at Oliver's but I think that one during a holiday would be enough as while it is interesting to see your surroundings at close quarters most things, big and small, scuttle away when they see you coming so it is not a rewarding way to study the local wildlife.
The main downside of Sayari for me was that I got bitten to pieces. The Tsetse flies were pretty bad here which was annoying for everyone but I am one of those people who gets insect bites however much deet I use. My husband didn't get one bite. The camp supplied room spray and we sprayed the tent every evening but because of the design with patio doors instead of zipping flaps we could not make the tent insect proof and they just kept finding me which made the end of our safari rather miserable for me. I would really have appreciated a mosquito net here but this wasn't an option.
Like Suyan, superb in all aspects. Food, staff, facilities and activities were top class.
And of course we saw the Mara crossing and much more.
Also like Suyan could do with cake for the morning break and iron the laundry.