Saruni Mara Camp is in a private reserve called the ‘Mara North Conservancy ‘ bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. It is a smart owner-run camp with amazing views out from its ‘secret valley’ across the Masai plains. The warm welcome of the child-loving, local Masai staff is as much part of the experience as the wildlife-viewing. Children of all ages are welcome.
Accommodation & Facilities
The camp has five double en-suite thatched cottages, a spacious two bedroom family villa and a private villa located five minutes from the main lodge and available for exclusive use. Each room is beautifully furnished with colonial style antiques and African art. There is a central area for meals, although many are taken outdoors. The private villa, Nyati House, is for exclusive use and comprises a double and twin bedroom both en-suite, a lounge and dining room, kitchen and large veranda. Nyati House is located a five minute drive from Saruni Mara and is perfect for families wanting to go at their own pace and in the comfort of their own wilderness home. Includes private safari vehicle and guide. Additional children’s beds can be added making maximum capacity six people. The family villa, Natural History Suite, has two large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a spacious living area with dining area and big fireplace and a veranda. Private dining is available. An extra single bed for children can be added in the larger of the two rooms, with the parents, or in the shared lounge space making maximum capacity six people.
Eating & Sleeping
Food can be tailored to suit children’s requirements and earlier meal times can be arranged where necessary – either in the communal area, out on the game drives or in-room. Some options include but are not limited to: pizza, plain pasta or pasta with tomato sauce, chicken or burgers with chips etc. Children’s food requests are discussed upon arrival and each day with the lodge manager. A babysitting (‘ayah’) service is available upon request for US$10 per hour payable directly. Should guests require a babysitter, they should let the lodge managers know in advance and this can be arranged. A member of the Saruni staff, usually mothers themselves, do the babysitting. A listening service can be arranged when parents of young children wish to dine after the children have gone to bed etc. Typically, it would be one of the housekeeping staff who do this and there is no extra charge but it is requested that guests tip the sitter directly at their discretion.
Wildlife & Activities
From the camp, game drives with experienced guides in Land Rovers allow guests to view the incredible wildlife for which the Masai Mara is renowned. Between July and October huge herds of wildebeest and zebra migrating from the adjoining Serengeti swell the substantial numbers of resident animals, creating one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Thanks to the large amount of prey for crocodiles, lions, leopards and cheetahs, these fearsome predators abound in large numbers. Walking safaris with local Masai guides are also available and offer a different perspective of the incredible wildlife area. Visits to local villages can also be arranged.
Specifically for children …
• Warriors Academy – Under the tutelage of the ‘Moran’, or warriors, learn folklore, bush skills, survival skills, learn how to use bows, arrows, pangas and spears and share time with Masai & Samburu warriors. Combined with regular safari activities, and tailored to your interests and time frame, the Warriors Academy can last between one and three days, and needs to be booked in advance.
• Bush dinner – children adore these nights which are often the highlight of their safari. Bush dinners are communal meals underneath the star-lit African skies with dancing and singing (provided by the Samburu, but dad dancing welcome!) around the camp fire.