Namunyak, Matthews Range, Kenya
Sarara is a leading community-run tented camp set in the Matthews Range of Northern Kenya. Accommodation is in six double tents, each with flush-loos and open air showers. A natural rock swimming pool overlooks a waterhole frequently visited by animals.
At a Glance
Wait in the hide and see what comes down to drink at the watering hole
Visit the singing wells
Spend a night under the stars, sleeping in your own mosquito-netting tent in the middle of a dry river bed, watching the stars in the clear sky above you
Enjoy a bush dinner on a dry river bed close to camp
Experience a night game drive and track the nocturnal and elusive leopard
A trip to the singing wells is an absolute must! A most fascinating experience.Camilla Whitworth
Inspect the porcupines that live under the main mess area decking. Rarely would anyone be able to get this close to these fantastic animals.Scott Dunn team
After dinner, grab a glass of Amarula and sit on deck that overlooks the rock pool and witness herds of elephants come to visit at night. With incredible stargazing above your head and elephants drinking below you, it makes for a truly perfect ending of the night.Kelly Connor
Sarara is a dry season refuge for several hundred elephant. Lion and leopard are resident and there are two separate groups of the endangered African wild dog. Other wildlife species interest include kudu, black and white colobus monkeys, Grevy’s zebra, striped hyena and gerenuk.
The conservation work carried out by the Namunyak Trust to date has been hugely successful. As a result of the severe ivory poaching crisis of the mid 1970s and early '80s, there were no recorded elephants remaining in the Matthews range by 1985. Today, several thousand elephant are recorded as living and breeding peacefully in the southern Matthews range area, together with a variety of other wildlife species.
Sarara Camp has six luxury tented rooms each positioned to maximize the stunning views of the Matthews Mountain Range and the watering hole. There is an outdoor bathroom offering a superb view of the hills from the shower. But there is also an indoor loo and sink at the back of the tent. Each tent has its own private terrace with table and chairs and morning coffee and tea are brought to you so that you can wake up gazing out over the mountains.
One of the highlights of the Namunyak area must be a visit to the famous ‘Sarara Singing Wells’. Samburu warriors bring their cattle to these watering holes on a daily basis during the dry season. Some of the wells are up to 10 meters deep. The warriors strip off, descend to form a human chain and chant traditional Samburu songs as they pass water up by hand for the cattle. This mind-blowing ritual goes on for several hours a day.
Sarara Camp has six en-suite luxury tents, each positioned to maximize the stunning views of the Matthews Range of mountains and the animal watering hole. Each tent is spacious with high ceilings and plenty of cupboard space, electric lighting, flush loo and 24-hour hot and cold running water and an outdoor shower.
Sarara welcomes family groups but the camp is not suitable for very young children, due to the unfenced nature of the camp.
Sarara has an infinity pool up on the cliff overlooking the animals below. The camp is powered by solar energy generated by several sets of solar panels. Fresh food is kept, not in a refrigerator, but in a specially designed charcoal store. Twice a day the charcoal is soaked with water and evaporation keeps food at cellar temperatures.
All water is fresh, pure mountain spring water – no pumps required. Bottles/glass/plastic/tins are all removed from Sarara and recycled. Solar panels run all freezers etc. Minimal chlorine is used in the pool.
The emphasis at Sarara is on walking safaris or walking with camels but game drives are also available. It is also possible to arrange walks with fly camping at night. A unique experience of watching the local cattlemen at the singing wells is not to be missed.
Location & Directions
Namunyak, Matthews Range, Kenya
Sarara Camp is situated on 75,000 acres of Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust land. It is mostly dry plains, but the Sarara River flows through, and is flanked by the Mathews Ranges, giving it a truly stunning setting and a good range of habitat.
When to go
Closed 15 April - 1 June and 15 October - 10 December
The main season is in January and February, when the weather is hottest and driest. At this time, the animals in the wildlife parks tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot.
Northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40°C during the day to less than 20°C at night. Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month, and November the wettest.