By Ashley Anderson, Saruni Marketing
You may have heard us talking about the ‘Samburu Special Five’ (five species that can only be found in North Kenya; the Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, gerenuk and Grevy’s zebra). Well, together with the managers and guides at each of our lodges, we have come up with what we feel is The Saruni Special TEN! Ten unique wildlife and cultural-based activities offered at Saruni to make your safari with us even more memorable. With so many amazing options, it was really hard to only choose 10!
1. Track Black Rhinos in Sera Community Conservancy
We had to lead with this one! Offering the first rhino tracking experience in East Africa, staying at Saruni Rhino is a MUST! Not only do you get a chance to get up close, on-foot to these remarkable creatures, but you also actively contribute to their protection.
For more reasons to visit click HERE
See rhino tracking in action HERE
2. Visit The Photographic Hide
Cameras poised, a drink in hand; the photographic hide is one of our favourite places to hangout. Saruni Samburu has one of the only elephant-proof, open, ground-level hides in East Africa. Overlooking a waterhole, ‘stealing’ images of elephants playing nearby, cast in magical light has to be one of the most incredible experiences. If you are really lucky, you may get to photograph a solitary leopard coming for an evening drink.
More details about the photographic hide HERE
3. Explore Ol Chorro Rhino Sanctuary
Not to be confused with Sera Rhino Sanctuary in Northern Kenya, Ol Chorro Conservancy is located a short game-drive from Saruni Mara and Saruni Wild. The conservation project has been safeguarding the Mara’s white rhino population for the last 20 years.
The rhino are protected by a dedicated team of staff from the local community, allowing them to once again roam freely on the slopes of the mountain. Guided by a local ranger, guests can get up close to these magnificent animals on foot, in complete safety. Get the chance to meet the two rhinos featured below; Kofi Annan and Queen Elizabeth (yep, those are their actual names!)
4. Try A Scorpion Safari
A little different! If you are staying at Saruni Samburu, this is definitely worth a try. Using a special ultra-violet torch, you can see the scorpions hiding in the rocks or deep under the sand. There are lots of different species that call Saruni their home. Walking shoes advised for this one!
Find out about the new scorpion species we found at Saruni HERE
See how the UV light lights up the scorpions HERE
Neobuthus Kloppers, found by Johan Kloppers, ex manager of Saruni Samburu
5. Climb Mount Ololokwe
For those staying at Saruni Samburu who like a little bit more of an adventure, climbing Mount Ololokwe is not to be missed. Although it is a bit challenging at the start, the delicious breakfast halfway through the four hour hike and the views at the top more than make up for it! The Mountain is steeped in Samburu culture, and we think it is a perfect addition to a traditional safari.
Read our latest blog on Climbing Mount Ololokwe HERE
6. Visit ‘The Singing Wells’
Witness one of the Samburu semi-nomadic pastoralists most ancient traditions. Going back generations, cattle herders have led their livestock during the dry season, to the natural and excavated ‘Singing Wells’ or ‘Kasima Hamsini’ (Fifty Wells) dotted around the 350,000-hectare Sera Conservancy. The herdsman pull water out of the well while singing their own distinctive tune. Despite the noise and disorder, their song draws their herd to their well. The experience is truly astonishing. Just a short drive from Saruni Rhino.
Learn more about the Singing Wells HERE
Check out a clip of ‘The Singing Wells’ HERE
7. Drive to Kileleoni
The highest peak in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, there is nothing quite like this panoramic view overlooking the Mara Plains and forests, with the Tanzanian boarder visitble on the horizon. The sunsets are superb too! Plus there is always a chance you could encounter some rare antelope species, elephants and buffalos, who live on the hills on the drive up from Saruni Mara and Saruni Wild. It is the least explored and most spectacular corners of the Masai Mara.
8. See Rare Sandgrouse Spectacle
Witness an amazing spectacle at the waterholes close to Saruni Rhino. In the early morning and late afternoon, thousands of rare Lichtenstein sandgrouse, only found in North Kenya, swoop down over the water to drink and cool off, flapping of their wings en masse creating one of the most sensory delights possible. Sera Conservancy is the ultimate birding enthusiast and photographer’s playground. The noise of the birds flocking in to water is something hard to explain, but a truly magical sight.
Watch a clip of the Sandgrouse Spectacle Here
9. Visit The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Located deep in Samburu Land (about 2 hours away from Saruni Samburu and Saruni Rhino in the Northern Express vehicle), Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is an incredibly special place to visit. The elephants kept there have been rescued from the surrounding areas. They are looked after by a team of dedicated Samburu until they are ready to be released back into the wild. Saruni guests get a chance to look behind the scenes and learn more about what it takes to nurture an elephant, plus the opportunity to watch them ‘take down’ a giant bottle of milk at feeding time!
Read our fun Reteti Blog HERE
Image by Stuart Butler for Saruni
10. Spend Some Time With Maasai Warriors (and an eland)
Popular with adults and children alike, our Warriors Academy is perfect for anyone who aspires to be a true Maasai warrior or ‘moran’! Slow down the pace of your safari with a bush walk with your Maasai guide from Saruni Mara or Saruni Wild, learn bushcraft skills and how to shoot a traditional bow and arrow! Here, you can really quiz your guide and find out all the little details everyone else misses.
Learn more about the Saruni Warriors Academy