I've been to Saruni Samburu several times, and it is an incredibly beautiful property, expertly run, with great guides, and really good wildlife viewing. Morning game drives are usually in Samuru, so a 40 min game drive away, with afternoon game drives in the Conservancy with some stunning sundowner spots.
Also the Beisa Oryx is the 5th special animal. They are beautiful!
Samburu doesn't have Rhino though, so if you want to see Rhino, Lewa is the place to be.
Thank you for the advice!!!
We had read that Samburu is more arid and less wildlife than Lewa...
BTW: rhino are in Samburu now: Samburu Saruni now has rhino tracking even...
Will have to look more now based on the above advice:
We had been told Lewa was greener and more wildlife than Samburu in mid September...
Hard choice to make, but equally lucky to have such a choice....
Anyone been to both Saruni and Lewa Lodge?
Reviews are equally good on TA...
As above, Saruni now has Saruni Rhino for tracking rhino. Located on the private Sera Conservancy (about 1.5hrs game drive from the main camp, but believe you can do day trips up there) and has received outstanding reviews besides recently 3 baby rhino.. Their cottages are very large and now they have added a 2nd pool. And on a private Kalama conservancy you sure won't see other vehicles and crowds. And on a clear day you can see straight on south to Mt.Kenya... amazing.
Lewa is completely different and a smaller conservancy with only 3-4 accomm/camps (no crowds) and does offer horseback riding (pre-arrange and a fee);.
The landscapes between the two are different. So you can't go wrong with either, though for me Samburu gets the vote where I plan to visit again in '18..
Thank you Sandi
I know you are a frequent traveler here, so this is really helpful
I don’t care about horse back riding or camel riding 😝
We had been told Lewa had greater wildlife (rhinos as well) and was greener than Samburu. If not the case,
Saruni sounded lovely. Just wasn’t sure about the drive to/ from on the rocks daily....
Hi Sue B,
This is Calum here, My wife Sophie and I own and manager of Lewa House. Thought I'd chip in and give you a bit more info on Lewa House.
Lewa House is located in the heart of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and we have access to some of the best game viewing in the whole of East Africa. From the ‘big five’ to the rarer more specialised northern species such as the Grevy zebra, Reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Gerenuk and Beisa oryx. We also have over 140 rhino – both black and white species.
Our family have lived on Lewa for 5 generations and whilst we operate as a safari lodge we also very much a family home, we’d love to host you here.
One of the unique features of Lewa House is the amazing variety of activities on offer. From ancient Cedar forest to savannah grassland, from wetlands to steep valleys and imposing hills. These ecosystems combined with permanent rivers support a rich variety of plant, bird and animal life.
Being located in the middle of the conservancy the game viewing starts as soon as you leave the house – sometimes even before as we have a waterhole located right in front of the house which large amounts of game visit on a daily basis. I personally lead all the bush walks and if you are keen to do this I'd highly recommend it. You can get closer to the animals in a vehicle but nothing beats seeing them on foot – especially tracking the black and white rhino!
Since the mid 1980’s Lewa has become a haven for the endangered black rhino. Conservation has been so successful that animals have been relocated to other areas (including Sera) where the black rhino was extinct. We encourage our guests to visit the Conservancy HQ to get an insight into the conservation work taking place here and learn about the challenges we face with poaching. You will also learn how your visit is supporting the conservation work, the conservation fee that guests pay as part of their stay covers 30% of Lewa Wildlife Conservancies running costs – see a rhino, save a rhino is our mantra.
Lewa cannot exist in isolation and we need the support from local communities. Without this, any conservation initiative will not be sustainable. Lewa House and the Conservancy focus on a number of initiatives ranging from micro-credit schemes to education. If you wish you can visit any one of these projects during your stay.
We also offer trips into the Ngare Ndare forest where you can swim in waterfalls and walk through the forest canopy on a wire bridge suspended 40 feet up as well as cultural trips to the community living to our north - a fascinating group of people who were both hunter gatherers and nomadic pastoralists, via the village visits they keep alive some of the last hunter-gatherer skills in Kenya.
We love food - not only that we love fresh food! Fresh vegetables from our biodynamic garden, milk from our jersey cows and eggs from our chickens. We also aim to preserve this fragile environment by being as sustainable as possible – we are 100% solar, both our power and water heating. We recycle our glass, plastic and metal and our waste food goes to our pigs.
There is no best time for game viewing on Lewa – it doesn’t vary much and is good all year round. Being much higher than the Samburu ecosystem (our altitude is 5,500ft - same as the Mara) our days are warm and our nights are cool – ideal conditions for game viewing.
If you'd like to get a feel for what we are about you can view our brand new promotional video here: https://vimeo.com/232026337
I hope that helps. Let me know if you need any more info – happy to help. Which ever property you choose you will have a great time.
thank you Calum! I had read a lot about your property and think that all you do is great!
We were thinking Lewa Wilderness rather than the Lodge, as we are a couple :
How would you decide on which one?