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Saruni Mara is a small luxury lodge in a secluded valley in the Mara North Conservancy, a private concession that borders the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve.
There are just seven separate cottages, villas and houses on the property, including five Classic Cottages with en suite bathrooms and verandas, each designed around a different theme. The Observatory comes complete with an antique brass telescope and moon map, the Photographer's Studio has an old box Browning and black & white safari prints on the wall, and the secluded Love Shack is - unsurprisingly - designed for honeymooners, with romantic interiors and a terrace dining table for private dinners with outstanding views. There is also a two-bedroomed Family Villa and finally the Nyati House, the owner's personal property, which is five minutes' drive away and available on an exclusive hire basis, with two en suite bedrooms, a lounge, dining room, kitchen and large veranda.
Away from the rooms there is a lovely open-sided lounge and dining area, where the Saruni Mara chefs serve up high quality 'Italian-inspired' cuisine, and a small Maasai Wellbeing Space where guests can enjoy massages and other spa treatments.
Where Saruni Mara really comes in to its own, however, is in the quality and detail put in to the activities on offer. Even 'conventional' 4x4 game drives are enlivened by the presence of Saruni Mara's highly trained Maasai warriors who explain their ancient customs and show their extraordinary local knowledge of the landscape and wildlife. Saruni Mara also runs the unique Warriors Academy where guests (and particularly families) can spend a few days with the Maasai moran (warriors) learning survival skills, animal tracking and crafting of tools.
Other activities on offer include night drives in the conservancy (which is not allowed in the National Park itself); Masaai guided bush walks and hill treks; birdwatching; bush breakfasts, sundowners and starlight dinners and cultural visits to a local Thursday Maasai market.