Soon after we arrived in Kenya, we started to hear about the Saruni Samburu and how great it is. It took three years and second trip up to Samburu (we stayed at the Ashnil last time), but we finally got up there. In fact, the second trip to Samburu was all about experiencing the Saruni. Samburu is awesome, but the Saruni can easily be a destination in itself.
In my prior post I mentioned the drive up. You can fly, but five hours of mostly easy driving from Nairobi makes this more of a driving type of trip. Given that the Saruni is pricey, you might want to drive to save the money and put it toward your stay. That said, although it’s pricey, it’s worth it. You more than get your money’s worth.
The service is excellent. You are really pampered, yet never hovered over. When we arrived, we were greeted warmly, and then when they showed us our villa we got an apology. They didn’t know our favorite drinks and so they could “only” stock the mini-fridge with soft drinks and water. We told them what we’d like (beer and rosé in our case) and it quickly arrived. We then had that at hand for our whole stay.
The villa (all the rooms are villas) had a spacious bedroom, a spacious living area, and balconies off of each. The rooms were amazing. The living room had comfortable furniture and enough space for a dining area and a sitting area. The bedroom had a really nice bed and plenty of room for our luggage.
The rooms get hot in the afternoon—this is true of all the rooms as the lodge is built into a cliff and the rocks heat up. No worries. We spent the afternoons by one of the two infinity pools. But before I get to the pool, let’s go back to the room…specifically, the bathroom.
The bathroom was great. It was big. Water pressure and hot water were fantastic. And…there is also an outdoor shower. It was my first outdoor shower. Let me tell you, it was an amazing experience.
It was totally private, yet open. I had an amazing view of the Samburu plains and the mountains in the back. And this is all while I’m washing my hair.
Speaking of that, the Saruni definitely got one thing right with the bathroom. They provide a really good hairdryer AND there is an outlet next to the bathroom mirror. This is the the first time it all came together for me in any lodge/camp/resort in Kenya. Hairdryer + one that is a good one + ability to use it near a mirror!
Going back to the pools…there are two infinity pools. Both are great. It’s the perfect place to lounge out the afternoon after a morning game drive. It’s a bit of a hike between the pools, the rooms, and reception, but no worries. Once you’re there, there will be people coming by from time to time to get you whatever you may need. Again, the service is attentive without any hovering. Seriously, it’s like magic.
There is also a salon where they provide a few services and massages. I got the massage. It was good but the price was a bit steep for Kenya. That’s the only area where I think the price was a bit high for the value. Even then, it wasn’t that bad. After all, I still chose to get the hour long massage. (A free half hour massage comes with each booking. And I’m happy to say they don’t push you to pay for a longer one.)
The grounds overall are really nice. It’s breathtaking. You have a wonderful cliff-side view of everything. Everything is well maintained.
Meals are done as group dining. It’s a small lodge so you won’t be in a huge banquet hall. It’s like a couple large tables where everyone gathers and it’s quite fun. You can also request a private meal, which we did one night. They sat us by one of the infinity pools. It was a really nice setting and the service was still really great.
The food was amazing. Everything was so delicious. Also, they are good at catering to special diets. I let them know about my issue with grains. Even though the food is mostly Italian, the no grains aspect was not a problem.
We loved the experience. It was fun, relaxing, and we felt so pampered. We will definitely go again.
By the way, we did do more than just lounge about. We did a game drive. It was an exciting one. But, I’ll save that for my next post.
If you go, look into their Pack for a Purpose program. Basically, you can take supplies for the local community. We took up a big box of kids clothes from some friends of ours. We also took up a few school supplies and maxi pads (girls will often miss school when they have their periods because of the lack of supplies).