Saruni Mara

Masai Mara, Kenya

Saruni Mara

Saruni Mara Camp is a very stylish Italian-owned retreat, situated in the hills of the private Mara North conservancy, outside the Mara National Reserve - perfect for those safari-goers wanting to escape the crowds.

Saruni is one of the Mara’s best-kept secrets, a small, intimate, Italian-owned guest lodge situated in the breezy hills that overlook the great Mara Plains. It is not located in the Mara National Reserve itself, but rather in a private concession. This offers a number of advantages, not least of which is greater peace and quiet—you’ll see few other vehicles while on game drives in the hills surrounding Saruni—but it does mean that Saruni is ill-placed for those who want to see the migration (see below).

Saruni’s hillside location sets it apart from most other camps in the Mara, and so too does its design. Under the influence of its Italian owners, Saruni has been designed less in the style of a classic safari camp and more in the style of a rustic hill lodge. You sleep in cosy cottages, each of which differs in its design though not its basic layout. The dining and lounge area is a permanent structure constructed with long wooden beams and white-washed stone walls. Saruni even has a small spa run by Maasai masseuses!

The game-viewing activities at Saruni are very well-managed. You will spend most of your time exploring the Mara North conservancy, where the lodge is located, by 4x4, but guided bush walks are also offered. Saruni’s location in the remote north of the conservancy means you are unlikely to see many other guests unless you drive into the southern sector of the conservancy. While it’s possible to visit the Mara National Reserve from Saruni, the distance means it’s not really practical to make the journey unless on a full-day game drive.

It should be noted that Saruni is not well-placed for the migration, being located some distance from the Mara National Reserve, where the famous river crossings take place. For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle that accompanies the migration, however, Saruni is perfect.

Saruni has a sister camp, Saruni Samburu, in Samburu National Park.


There are just six cottages at Saruni. They are all large in size and carefully-appointed. Each has been decorated with a particular theme in mind – Artist, Writer, Observer, among others – but the basic amenities and layout is much the same across all of them. Each has separate bedroom, lounge and bathroom areas. The polished wooden floors, comfortable arm chairs and rugs, and large bathrooms with magnificent views, make for a very welcoming and restful environment. Facilities include hot running water and constant electricity.


There is a cosy dining area with a large open fireplace. Alternatively, meals can be taken in the bush by candlelight or on your private verandah. The food is largely Italian, and delicious!


- Dining room and bar
- Library
- Private bush spa treatment centre


- Game drives
- Night drives
- Guided walking safaris
- Village tours

Child Policy

Children of all ages can be accommodated at Saruni Mara.

Environmental Policy

Saruni aims to have a low impact on the environment through the use of solar power and the recycling of waste.