Matthews Range camps - Sarara Camp
Sarara is a community owned property which should be commended for persistence in hanging in through some fairly tough times. Off the beaten track, in the foothills of the Mathews Range just north of Samburu Game Reserve, it sits within the 75,000 hectares Namunyak Community Group Ranch and now boasts a wide variety of wildlife which has become more habituated over recent years.
There is nothing quite like lounging in the swimming pool whilst watching the elephants drink below you. The lodge is on a raised escarpment overlooking a bowl of scrubby arid land surrounded by the dramatic creases of the Matthew's Range.
Owned by the Namunyak Wildlife Trust which was established in 1995 and managed & hosted by Piers and Hilary Bastard who have been involved in this project from the outset, the camp has a properly special feel about it and plenty to offer in unusual activities.
Its recently been refurbished with just 6 cavernous tents, each with open air bathrooms and private verandahs. A beautiful central sitting room, bar & dining area with its open deck sits above a natural rock swimming pool which itself is perched above the waterhole that attracts a good variety of game throughout the day.
This is vast unspoiled wilderness country and there is thankfully only a limited network of tracks so although there are game drives in the area the emphasis is very much on walking safaris, generally with excellent local Samburu guides.
These can range from short escorted game walks within reach of camp, a few hours hiking into the Mathews rain forest in search of birds, plants & butterflies as well as some of the elusive forest species, a trek with donkeys to the top of the wonderfully dramatic Ololokwe or maybe just some time skidding down the natural rock waterfall as well as a variety of bush picnics and sundowners.
A night or two's flycamping, as part of a short camel trek are also a feature of the place, exploring the fringes of the many sand luggas in the area and possibly visiting the 'singing wells', where Samburu gather with their herds through the drier months (normally July to mid October).
Sarara is closed in April, May and November but otherwise good throughout the rest of the year. This isn't traditional safari country but the whole place, with its sense of remoteness and well balanced community initiative somehow feels wonderfully right and we definitely recommend it as part of a longer Kenya safari.
Activities at Sarara include: Hiking in the Mathews Forest, fly camping with camels, private flights, helicopter excursions, singing wells and the hide.
Incl. FB, soft drinks, beer, house wine & spirits, laundry, activities, airstrip transfer. Excl. cellar wine & premium spirits.
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