Sarara Camp is pretty amazing – and it wins oodles of points from YZ for all those activities. If you are looking for the camp that has everything, this could be it! Positioned well away from Kenya’s tourist trail, it is an excellent option for travellers who like to get away from the crowds and enjoy a truly authentic experience! It is owned and operated by the Bastard family.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
It has a wonderful hillside location, nestling within rocky bush and boasting breathtaking views of the plains below.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The main areas of camp are contained within wood-and-thatch structures that blend well into the landscape. The lounge has lots of comfortable sofas and armchairs around coffee tables, great for relaxing and getting to know your fellow guests! The dining area has a large table and upright chairs for communal meals. Most of the furniture is wooden, which, together with mostly earthy tones, gives the whole interior a laidback natural feel. The floor is wooden boards, flowing out onto a delightful deck for dining or just watching the local wildlife. There is a busy waterhole not far from camp, which is frequented by elephant, impala, kudu, warthogs and even wild dog! Sarara also has its own swimming pool, a naturally formed feature in a vast sheet of rock. Guests love taking a dip so close to the waterhole – or just lazing on a sunlounger nearby. During the dry season, elephant come to drink from the pool! There is also a fabulous curio shop, stocking local craft items and pieces from Nairobi.
Sarara Camp’s guest accommodation consists of six sumptuous and spacious tents, all presenting amazing views of the Matthews Range and the local waterhole from a lovely veranda with a table and a couple of chairs. The tents are made from canvas, with mosquito-screen walls underneath a thatch roof. Inside, there is either a double bed or twin beds, in addition to bedside tables, a pair of armchairs and a table, a dressing or writing table and stool, and a storage trunk with plenty of space for clothes. The décor has the same natural feel as that of the main building and similar earthy tones. Guests can also place their clothes in the wardrobe within the en-suite area, partitioned from the bedroom by a wall. Here, there is a flush toilet, washbasin and mirror too. Further facilities are located outside the tent – another flush toilet and an open-sided shower. Hot water via solar panels is available 24 hours per day.
Sarara Camp offers an absolute mega-mix of activities! Game drives take place by day and by night in the Conservancy. This is a game-rich area, with loads to see – elephant, leopard, wild dog, hyena, kudu, monkeys and reticulated giraffe. Sara is well known for its leopard sightings, while the shy lesser kudu is also very much at home here! Impressive populations of rare species, such as aardvark, aardwolf, honey badger and caracal, may be spotted too. Bird species number some 500 or so, including sunbirds, partridges, and raptors galore! So birdwatching is another awesome activity from Sarara. It is equally exciting to take a nature walk in the company of knowledgeable Samburu guides and their camels, to learn all about the flora and fauna of their beautiful homeland. Guests hoping for a physical challenge relish the opportunity to climb the mountains in the Matthews Range, ascending to over 2,500 metres! Alternatively, you can enjoy pony trekking, riding up into the mountains or among the game. Camp staff are happy to arrange private flights too, a wonderful way to see more of the spectacular landscape including Lake Turkana, the largest permanent desert lake in the world. Back on the ground, it is possible to visit a local village, to participate in the Samburu daily life. You can spend time learning the skill of beading with local women and various blacksmith tasks performed by local men.
Guests inclined to venture farther afield might like to consider taking a full day to explore the sacred mountain known as Olokwe. There is even the option of a helicopter ride to the summit, followed by a champagne breakfast! Fly camping is available too, for guests staying longer than three nights. Camp is set up in a dry river bed and the site can accommodate a maximum of six tents of two persons each, so it is essential to book in advance. Another add-on activity is staying a night at Sarara’s star-bed camp, three hours from the main lodge. This is all a lot of fun! However, perhaps the most interesting activity is Singing Wells, where guests are permitted to observe the local people at their water sources, singing to summon their cattle as they draw water for the herds. This is an experience quite unlike any other – and thoroughly recommended by YZ!