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Reviewed 6 April 2018

This was a beautiful experience for me and my family - 75 year old parents, middle aged me, and kids ages 6 and 9. We were so comfortable, the staff was wonderful, the food was amazing, the guides were excellent, and we very much appreciated the opportunity to not only see wildlife but also visit and learn about and have a chance to support the local tribal community. The lodge is staffed by and committed to supporting people from the local tribal community. I couldn't recommend it more highly.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank sarah f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2018

Thank you Sarah for this fantastic review, so so glad you and your family had a great experience with us. As you rightly say, this is an experience that combines wildlife and local culture. I look forward to have you back!

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Reviewed 26 March 2018

My beautiful new bride and I spent 5 days and 4 nights at the Saruni Mara property which exceeded every single expectation you could possibly have when visiting Africa for the first time. From the moment we landed in Nairobi Airport (from JFK, via DOH) we felt safe, taken care of and special. A wonderful gentlemen met us at the airport and transferred us to Wilson for our connecting flight with SafariLink to the Mara North airstrip. Along the drive to Wilson Airport, our Saruni driver provided us with water and wonderful conversation! Our SafariLink flight (top notch all around - caravan aircraft) made a quick stop in a neighboring airstrip to drop a few people off, and then back up in the air for a quick taxi ride type flight to our destination at Mara North. Total trip time was under 1 hour.
We were met by two Saruni Mara guides at the landing strip in a legit Land Rover vehicle. It should be noted that our trucks were exactly what you want for a safari. The truck format is way better than all others we saw during the trip. Ours were open air, no obstruction to game, no frills. It was perfect.
We were joined by 4 others who were veteran safari goers and headed out to the lodge. The lodge is about an hour away from the airstrip when driving without interruption. Fortunately there are animals everywhere!!! From the moment you get off the plane, there are animals. Giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, gazelle... all the animals. All the animals you want to see when going on a safari in Africa, can be found in the Mara. With the guides of Saruni Mara, you will find what you are looking for. Needless to say, 3 or so hours later, we are 30 or so minutes away from the lodge and begin to head back. But there are still animals. Still Giraffes, Zebra and others. Local village life, goat herding, kids playing, is ongoing as we make our way back through the valley and up the hill to the camp.
We pass the local school Saruni Lodges has helped to establish with the money it receives from us. It made me feel good that the money we are spending goes to help the local community directly. It also employs only local villagers to work at the camp which is absolutely fantastic. Every single person working at this location is good people. They made us feel safe, warm and loved from the minute we arrived. These are all people we would trust with our lives.
When we arrived at the camp, we were shown to our room (the photographers cabin) by our Night Watchman, Dennis. Dennis and other night watchmen make sure we are protected while we sleep. The animals get close, but Dennis and other ensure they do not get too close, especially at night. Dennis is the best person on the planet. He is a sweet man and I can't wait to see him again.
Our cabin was amazing and words nor pictures could do it justice. I will try with my photos. The bathroom is giant and the sinks are amazing. Don't judge me. I liked the sinks. Nice toilet and shower made me feel like I was in my apartment. If it had a giant bathroom, amazing bed and absolutely out of control porch where I could see Zebras and water buffalo grazing. They will graze down from a hill and then all the way up to your cabin. It's fantastic. Had some of the best night sleeps in my life in that bed. Mosquito net keeps moths out and I felt clean and comfortable the entire trip. No mosquitos during our stay and the moths just follow the light. They are stupid bugs. So just ignore them if you don't like bugs.
In the morning we were treated with tea and coffee and biscuits and a hot shower if we chose to do so. All of this is explained to you the first night by Cecilia. Cecilia is amazing.
Cecilia coordinated who our guide is going to be and there we met Dixon. Dixon would help coordinate the day to day activities which would be discussed the evening prior to ensure everything you want to do gets done. Different schedules for each day would mean we would either eat breakfast or lunch either in the dining area (which is stunning) or out in the Mara (which is basically the coolest thing ever). Depending on the schedule you choose for a day, you could be out on safari for a few hours, or an entire day, or half a day. Make sure you get a good mix of all times. But you don't have to worry about anything. Dixon or your guide will make sure you see what you should see. We were lucky enough to see some outrageous animal on animal crimes. Lion killed a Zebra in broad daylight. Dixon got us to the vantage point we needed to take in something truly special.
The food is Italian inspired and the chef is phenomenal. I can't speak higher of the food. Take the best Italian food you have ever had and have a seat in the middle of the woods. It's inspired.
So for anyone thinking this isn't a trip for you. You are wrong. This is a trip for you. Put yourself in the capable hands of Saruni Mara and take a trip that will bring you back to Africa again.
Marissa and I would like to thank Cecilia, William, Dixon and the entire Saruni Mara staff for making this an unforgettable honeymoon.

Mr Orizio, we had apparently crossed paths at the airstrip when we had arrived! We look forward to visiting Saruni Mara and your other locations very soon. This is the direct result of the time and effort you and your staff have put into their trade. They are professionals, all around.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Squidmasterxp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2018

Thank you so much for this detailed, heart-felt, warm and enthusiastic review. I really appreciate that you took the time to know the staff members individually and to understand what Saruni stands for. It sounds like you had very lucky wildlife sightings! And thank you for complimenting the food, as an Italian that is important to me. Thank you again and we look forward to see you soon in the mara or in the other Saruni properties.

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Reviewed 15 March 2018

This is a very late review, my wife and I stayed at Saruni Mara for 4 nights last September. This was our first safari and first visit to Kenya and everything about staying at Saruni was fantastic. We were collected in Nairobi and taken the short journey across to Wilson airport for our light aircraft flight. Our guide, John, picked us up and took us on a game drive back to the lodge. Even on that short journey we were amazed by the amount of wildlife we saw. Over the next few days we had a fantastic time and John really spoiled us, making sure we got to see everything possible. One of the most impressive things was how much John and all of the staff know about the landscape and wildlife and how to find it. The lodge itself is great, the food is lovely and it is a really nice place to come back to after a long day out and n game drives. All of the staff are so welcoming and helpful and this really showed when we had some problems with our onward travel. We told William, the manager, and he made some phone calls and the Saruni staff helped us get everything sorted. I could write pages and pages about how fantastic Saruni is, I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you are thinking of visiting the Maasai Mara, you have to stay here.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Mat A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2018

Thank you very much for your review Mat and for your kind words. I have passed your thoughts to John and the other guides, I know they loved taking you on safari. Thank you also for recommending us to others and we look forward to have you back soon.

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Reviewed 10 February 2018

We flew down after having spend three days at Saruni Samburu, and were greeted by our guide John. The Maasai Mara by comparison to Samburu was so abundently lush and green with an outstanding amount of wildlife. We were incredibly pleased to have had three nights at Saruni Samburu and Saruni Mara.

Celia, the manager does a fantastic job at running the lodge along with her team. The rooms are all wonderfully comfortable, with stunnign views across the plain and individually furnished around themes - ours was the love shack. Once again we weren't dissappointed with the food, which is Italian based and truly knock out.

We were fortunate enough to have Riccardo, the owner and his wife Elizabeth there whilst we were there and had dinner with them one evening. Brilliant evening and such lovely people, at all times we felt welcomed and part of the family.

If you have time definitely book yourself in for a massage as Emily is outstanding! A perfect start to an afternoon snooze before the late afetrnoon game drive and sundowner.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank ellietory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2018

Thank you SO much for your wonderful review and ti was such pleasure to meet you in person. Looking forward to see you again!

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Reviewed 28 January 2018

Myself and my mum had a wonderful stay at Saruni Mara. The rooms were beautifully decorated and stylish, the staff were friendly, the guides were excellent and dinner was a social affair with all guests sitting around one table together. The food was also outstanding!

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DMR99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2018

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. Glad you liked the food! And the dinner conceived as a"'social affair" (I like this definition, very correct). We look forward to have you back.

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