“Serian” means “serene” in the Maa language of the Masai, and Serian and Ngare Serian bush camps are aptly named. The sister camps are situated on opposite banks of the Mara River in Mara North Conservancy, Kenya, and offer guests a peaceful refuge from which to enjoy Kenyan wildlife at its best.
The environmentally conscious accommodations offer the perfect balance of simplicity and luxury. Stone, hardwood, and other natural building materials create permanent tented lodgings that fit the river environment as organically as the surrounding vegetation.
The furnishings evoke the safaris of a bygone era, with the rich colors of eastern carpets on hardwood flooring and swathes of cotton setting off the colonial-style furnishings and pale canvas walls.
With six tents – including two family tents, three doubles and one twin – Serian is the larger of the two sister camps. Ngare Serian – which guest and international tennis champion Martina Navritilova called “a one of a kind experience” – has four tents and can be set aside entirely for a private group of family or friends.
Each tent has its own private veranda and an adjoining bathroom with tub and rain shower; family tents have two bathrooms. Both camps offer family-style dining in a main tent with a bar and lounge, offering a great opportunity to swap stories with fellow travelers.
Guests have complete access to Mara North Conservancy, a privately managed reserve of 34,000 acres that is owned by members of the local Masai community. The conservancy is rich with wildlife; at Serian and Ngare Serian, it’s easy to spot hippos bathing in the river or grazing on the banks, and guests can see even more wildlife by venturing out with a guide on foot or in a vehicle. (Walking safaris are prohibited in the national parks, so conservancies tend to attract visitors who want a closer experience of nature.) Balloon and nighttime safaris are also available.