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Reviews (276)
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All reviewsol pejeta conservancygame driveschimpanzee sanctuarywatering holeluxury tentswater holeblack rhinomain buildingelectric fencenight safaripastahot water bottles at nightserena campdining areabuffet stylesweet watersmorani wing
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Reviewed 5 October 2017

I live and work in Nairobi with my wife and three young children. We wanted to take our kids on their first game safari to see elephants but did not want to drive far or pay for expensive plane tickets. The closest and best choice seemed Ol Pejeta Conservancy which is most famous for its rhino conservation program. The drive itself is around 4 hours on a new tarmac road, but we stopped for breakfast at Frapa Leisure Gardens just past Sagana about half way from Nairobi to Nanyuki where is Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Mount Kenya. While I cannot find Frapa Leisure Gardens on TripAdvisor, it is a very nice and clean local hotel that serves a very good basic breakfast with a nice garden and play area for kids. It's a very good "pit stop" from Nairobi to Nanyuki, especially if you are travelling with kids.

At Ol Pejeta Conservancy, we stayed at Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp which was wonderful in all respects. Great staff, great accommodation and great food. Anything we asked, they were more than willing to help. The luxury tented camps surround a flood lit watering hole that attracts animals day and night. Upon arriving and after having lunch, we watched a lone bull elephant lingering around the watering hole. We saw the same elephant this morning doing the same. We also saw plenty of buffalo, giraffe, gazelle and wart hogs. On our first game drive with the kids, we saw elephants, buffalo, rhino and lions all within view of each other. It was quite amazing. For bird lovers, the bird life was stunning. We even saw a pair of orange bellied parrots, if that's the correct name.

Without a doubt, this will be our destination of choice for long weekend game safaris with the kids, for reasons of cost (no expensive safari plane tickets) and proximity (only 4 hour drive from Nairobi), and for reasons of game viewing. Having been to the Masai Mara and other game parks many times, Ol Pejeta ranks among the best in terms of seeing elephants, rhino, buffalo, giraffe and lions especially, and general concentration of game. There are also a fair amount of leopard (but easier seen in Samburu) and cheetah (but easier seen in Masai Mara) which we still hope to see on our second day here.

As for accommodation, the luxury tents are truly luxury. Excellent 24/7 hot water at high pressure. In the cold mornings or after a dusty game drive, the showers were wonderful. The beds and beddings are also very comfy. Rooms are very spacious with nice verandahs for viewing the central watering hole.

In typical Serena standards, the food is very good. They pay special attention to fresh fruits and salads which my wife and I enjoyed. The basics like chicken, fish, beef and lamb were all of high quality. They also accommodated our special requests for our kids.

While we drove our family van from Nairobi, we elected to use the camp's local vehicles and drivers for game viewing. Our driver Gilbert was amazing with an ability to spot lions and other animals in the bush at great distances.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Travellingwithmywife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2017

Sweetwater Tented cabins are the absolute luxury. They are so comfortable and beautiful, It is hard to imagine that you are in a tent. We were in the tent for a huge thunderstorm and the tent held up well. The overhead lamp swayed but we were not concerned. The bathrooms are also luxurious. We enjoyed sitting out in the veranda and watching the animals. The gift shop here is wonderful and I would highly recommend buying most of your souvenirs here. The prices are very reasonable and the quality and variety is very high. The staff here is nice but not as friendly as in many of the other lodges. You also tend to find the visitors to be heavily American and not as cosmopolitan as in the other lodges such as Sopa. The food is ok but not outstanding.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank luv2travelorinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2017 via mobile

Our family of 8 visited for two nights and we were just blown away! The service (special shout out to our server David, who went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable and happy), the food and the rooms were just perfect! The hotel is beautiful - it truly is the ultimate wilderness retreat! Thank You to the entire Serena team for such a wonderful stay!

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
Thank Azzrah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2017

Lovely luxurious tent made our stay very pleasant however we did not like the idea of being so close to electric fences. The whole idea of a great African safari was gone within split seconds and we felt as if we had been animals in zoo ourselves.

Services and food were delicious.

Warning - if you want a true African safari this is not a place for you.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank monicar382
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2017 via mobile

We stayed at Sweetwaters for two nights. When we arrived we were greeted with a welcome drink and cold towels, which was refreshing after our 4 hour drive from Nairobi.
We were in tents 1, 2 and 3 which was great and also had a good view of the water hole. Within an hour of being there we could see a family of giraffes, warthogs and elephants.
The tents were spacious and clean and also had tea and coffee making facilities. Hot water and electricity were on 24/7 which was great and the wifi was very good, and even worked in our tents. The tents were lovely and cool during the day and although the temperatures dropped at night, they provide hot water bottles and very warm covers!
The pool, although small, was never crowded.
The food was good and varied, and I especially liked the pasta which was cooked in front of you and tailored to your preferences.
The thing that made the trip though were the staff - so friendly and helpful, especially Steve who went out of his way to answer any questions we had.
A great resort to stay in overall!

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Emma W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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