Seated within Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust—a breathtaking area in the remote northern reaches of Kenya’s Laikipia region—Sarara Camp is a luxurious off-grid eco-lodge offering spacious tents with views of the Matthews Mountain Range. With a strong focus on once-in-a-lifetime activities and authentic cultural interactions, staying at Sarara Camp is less about intensive game-viewing and more about horseback riding, fly camping or meeting the adorable calves taking refuge at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. Watching the Samburu people chant while they water their cattle every morning at the “Singing Wells” is a truly unforgettable experience.
Children of all ages are welcome at Sarara Camp, but it’s most suitable for kids five years and older.
What we love about Sarara Camp
Sarara Camp is the place to immerse yourself in the cultural life of Kenya’s captivating northern frontier. The area is home to the semi-nomadic Samburu people; and their age-old traditions are as much a part of the fabric of this land as the wildlife you will see. Given the camp’s focus on cultural activities, we like adding a stay at Sarara Camp before or after a visit to a classic Big Five destination like the Maasai Mara.
We also Sarara for its waterhole, which is famous for attracting elephants. The natural rock infinity pool overlooking the waterhole is the ideal place to take a dip while you watch these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
Sarara Camp’s unique conservation and community model
Sarara Camp Kenya works with the Northern Rangelands Trust to create spaces where wildlife can flourish and local communities can retain their way of life while taking a lead in the conservation of their land. The Singing Wells are a fantastic example of this model at work.
Your guide will take you to the Singing Wells in the morning to watch Samburu warriors water their cattle. They dig into the riverbed and pour the water into troughs—all while singing a song that draws the herd to the well. In the evening you’ll return to the same spot to find elephants and leopards drinking at the wells.
Travelers are respectfully asked not to take photos in order to preserve Samburu cultural norms; and the whole experience funds ranger units and conserves huge tracts of land where animals can roam freely.
Getting to Sarara Camp
If you’re wondering how to get to Sarara Camp Kenya, you have a few options.
The best option is to travel by private charter, landing at nearby Namunyak airstrip. From here, it’s a short drive or 20 minute helicopter transfer to Sarara Camp.
Alternatively, scheduled flights are available to Kalama and Lewa airstrips but require a longer ground transfer. Sarara Camp is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Kalama and a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Lewa.
Driving from Nairobi is possible (roughly seven hours) but not an experience we endorse.
Sarara Camp accommodations
Retaining the elegance of a traditional safari lodge, Sarara Camp features six spacious, beautifully appointed tents. A larger, two-bedroom tent—Sarara House—accommodates groups up to four adults and boasts its own private waterhole, private dining, stylish sitting room and a tantalizing plunge pool.
Sarara Camp is a completely eco-friendly, off-grid property. It was built using natural materials from the area and every precaution has been taken to preserve the habitat surrounding it. Twenty-four hour solar-powered electricity is provided using state-of-the-art Tesla power walls and all of the camp’s water is sourced from the local mountain spring. The kitchen sources fresh produce from local small-scale farmers and the camp has totally eliminated the use of single-use plastics.
Bathed in natural light, this Kenya luxury safari camp’s tents are adorned with furnishings in a soft palette of organic hues that effortlessly reflect the beauty of the landscape. Each tent features a whole host of attractive features, such as high ceilings and a special butler-box that allows the discreet delivery of early morning tea, coffee and cookies. Sumptuous outdoor bathrooms boast superb wilderness views from their solar-heated showers.
Every tent has been positioned to maximize the uninterrupted views of the majestic Matthews Range from its veranda. Simply pull up a seat at the patio table, relax and soak up the sight of a giraffe taking a long sip at the camp’s waterhole.
Sarara Camp amenities
Sarara Camp Kenya effortlessly blends classic safari glamour with modern-day luxury. Expect a warm welcome from your knowledgeable Samburu hosts, as well as plenty of high-end amenities and a ton of opportunities for peaceful seclusion.
Kick off the perfect day at this Kenya luxury safari camp with an early-morning cup of tea in bed—delivered via the discreet butler-box that’s attached to your tent—before heading to the camp’s mess to enjoy a hearty breakfast. Later in the day, buffet-style lunches are enjoyed in the shade of fragrant trees, and sumptuous dinners are served on the stylish pool terrace. Alternatively, couples in search of a little candlelit romance can treat themselves to an intimate bush dinner under the stars.
However, Sarara Camp’s crowing jewel has to be its natural rock infinity pool. With its breathtaking mountain views, it’s the ideal spot to take a dip while you watch all the animal action taking place at the camp’s waterhole—providing you with a truly elevated wildlife-watching experience. Cool off with a swim while you watch elephant, giraffe, impala and leopard visit the waterhole.
Wi-Fi is available in the main areas, but connectivity can sometimes be limited due to the remote location.
There’s also a boutique with a fine selection of souvenirs and a daily laundry service for your convenience.
Sarara Camp activities
Game drives: Hosted by knowledgeable Samburu guides, Sarara Camp’s unrestricted game drives explore some 850,000 acres of pristine wildlife habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for elephant, giraffe, hyena and ostrich.
Unique safari experiences: Choose from guided walking safaris, hikes in the mountain forests of the Matthews Range, treks up to the cloud forest, or trail runs with Samburu running guides. Alternatively, saddle up and go on a bush-pony safari with a Samburu cowboy.
Bush meals and sundowners: Indulge in the ultimate Kenya luxury safari camp experience and treat yourself to a delicious dinner and cocktails under the African skies.
Visit the Singing Wells: Grab the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the ancient Samburu tradition of chanting while watering cattle.
Community visits: Visit a Samburu homestead, go to a nomadic school or spend an evening with the local Samburu community as their cows and goats return home.
À la carte extras:
- Meet the irresistible elephant calves at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
- Fly camping
- See Samburu dancers in action
- Take off on a helicopter day trip
- Go overnight heli-camping
- Venture out to the sacred mountain of Ololokwe
- Spend some time beading with the Sarara Sabache Women’s Group
- Learn how to blacksmith with a local ironmonger
- Indulge in a luxurious massage