Sarara Camp Namunyak, Mathews Range, Kenya
Sarara is found within the lands of the Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust. An area of approximately 850,000 acres, lies folded around the southern corner of the fabled Mathews Mountain range of northern Kenya. This is home of the proud Samburu people, a group of semi-nomadic pastoralists who have for long shown tolerance for the wildlife that co-exists alongside their cattle. The Trust was set up in 1995 specifically to promote wildlife conservation and to assist the local community to benefit from tourism, in return for protecting the wildlife species living on their land. Sarara is hosted by Piers and Hilary Bastard, and their dedicated and friendly team.
Six spacious tents which can all be adjusted for single, twin, double or triples, each with flush lavatories and open air showers.
Gas and solar lamps provide lighting in the tents. No hair dryers in tents. Mineral water in tents.
• Large sitting room
• A natural rock swimming pool overlooking a wildlife waterhole
• Laundry services provided
• Electrical items can be charged from a central point – no power sockets in the tents
• No mobile phone networks
• There is office internet access via VSAT
• No credit card facilities
Full board accommodation, house-wines, beers & soft drinks. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with prior notice.
• Shared game drives in custom built, open 4×4 vehicles with knowledgeable guides
• Escorted game walks with our expert field scouts
• Hiking into the Mathews forest
• Climbing to the top of Lolokwe with donkeys
• Fly camping safaris with camels along the wide sand “luggas”
• Bush picnics and sundowners
• Visits to the Samburu Singing wells
(only in the dry season)
• Daily scheduled flight to Nanyuki airstrip departing from Wilson Airport.
Connecting private charter to Namunyak airstrip.
• By private charter flight to Namunyak airstrip
• A full day drive from Nairobi via Archer’s Post
Sarara Camp will be closed in April, May and November.
A Typical Day at Sarara
For many, Sarara Camp is considered the most beautiful and spectacular of all the community based lodges in northern Kenya. Nestled amongst the southern foothills of the fabled Mathews mountain range, directly beneath Warges peak (8,500’), Sarara Camp was the brainchild of Piers Bastard (a third generation Kenyan of farming stock) who built this stunning camp in 1997 specifically to help the Namunyak community to benefit from wildlife conservation. Piers and his Kenyan born wife Hilary are your hosts.
Early mornings at Sarara can only be described as truly spectacular! Tea or coffee and home baked cookies will be served on your veranda deck by staff from the local community as the sun rises … incredible hues of pink and crimson red pouring over the eastern horizon. This will be followed by a fascinating stroll along the wide, sandy Sarara ‘lugga’. Accompanied by armed local field scouts who were born and raised in the area, guests may hope to find elephant, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, the elegant lesser kudu plus an enormous variety of birds before breakfast. A very special treat would be to encounter our resident pack of up to 70 African wild dogs who frequently den and hunt close to camp. A traditional safari breakfast cooked out in the middle of the bush sets the tone for the remainder of the morning.
At around 10.00 a.m. guests will be eager to pay a visit to the famous ‘Sarara Singing Wells’. Here, Samburu tribes people bring their cattle and goats to water on a daily basis. Stripped naked, the muscular warriors chant traditional Samburu songs as they pass water up in a human chain. All are welcome to mix and mingle but we respectfully ask that guests do not take any photographs as this changes these proud nomads uncomplicated lifestyle forever.
By mid-morning the sun is getting hot. A return to camp and a dive into the clear natural rock swimming pool to cool off. Then relax and enjoy a buffet lunch. With luck a number of elephant will come to mud bath in the waterhole just a few metres in front of your tents. While away the afternoon by taking a nap or writing up a memory-filled safari journal.
As the heat dissipates, it is time to venture out once more. This could be either a fascinating game drive in specially prepared 4×4 vehicles or a camel ride. Leopard abound in the area and frequently seen. As the sun sets, it is time for cocktails and an incredible bush dinner under the twinkling stars !!
Optional activities include an overnight fly camping outing with camels, or an amazing walk high up into the indigenous rain forest of the Mathews range.
Namunyak means ‘The Place of Peace’ in the local Samburu dialect. Sarara Camp and the entire Namunyak community warmly welcome all visitors to come in peace to this unique and special place.