Shhhh… community-owned luxury in Kenya

One of my favourite camps in Africa is up in northern Kenya in a massive wildlife conservancy called Namunyak.  You can be forgiven for never having heard of it – not many people have.  It’s north of Mount Kenya, and not too far from Samburu Game Reserve.

The camp in question is called Sarara Camp. For those in the know, it is one of the best little spots in Africa.  But don’t tell too many people – it’s a secret I’d quite like to keep!

Sarara Camp

It is special in many ways, but one of the key reasons is one which you might never discover – it is owned by the local Namunyak Samburu community.  The money that you pay to stay here helps the local community , but also has done vast amounts in the fight against poaching in this region. Before the camp was here, all the rhino had been slaughtered, elephants were nearly poached out, as were Grevy’s zebras, and much other wildlife was running scared.

There are now over 4000 elephants here, and strong populations of other wildlife. Wild dogs are frequently spotted,  and leopards are commonly seen here, in fact this is one of the best places to see leopards in Africa.  Giraffes many types of antelopes, warthogs, civets, genets… just a whole range of African wildlife is now comfortable here.

Elephants near Sarara Camp, Kenya

And comfortable you will be too!   This is a romantic luxury tented camp with stunning views, a pool with a view over a waterhole, great hosting, and fabulous food.  From here you can take walks, game drives, go on fly camps, and take bush dinners.

But there is yet one more special thing about Sarara … it is the one place in Africa where you can experience the Singing Wells.  This is not a natural phenomenon, but rather a unique event where naked Samburu warriors dig deep wells into the dry riverbeds to find water for their cattle. They sing as they haul the water up from the depths and the songs attract the cattle which apparently recognise ‘their’ song.

Excellent wildlife, gorgeous accommodation, superb conservation credentials, community-owned, and a unique cultural event.  What more could you hope for from an African experience?

Sarara Camp goodbye

Amanda Marks is Founder and Managing Director of Tribes Travel.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (1)

  1. fred mucai says:

    It is a pity rhino has been wiped out in Namunyak but i am happy to hear that poaching is way down in. As a Kenyan, i know how valuable wildlife is, and it just goes to show how much value is added when communities share tourist revenues.

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