The tents at Ngare Serian are set right on the Mara River.

Ngare Serian | The Masai Mara Luxury Kenya Safari Lodge

Get the ultimate escape at Ngare Serian, just four tents scattered along the Mara River accessible only by narrow rope bridge. Set in the exclusive Pusinkariak Conservancy, it’s the perfect base from which to explore Kenya‘s Masai Mara with a dedicated safari vehicle, or on foot with guided walking tours.

The place

All around me are the sounds of the gurgling Mara River. Feeling like an adventurer about to discover new lands, I walk slowly across it over a gently swaying rope bridge. Our tent, one of four scattered along the river bank on raised wooden decks, lies upstream. I smile in anticipation. Each is completely private; this is the retreat we’ve been looking for.Sister camp to neighbouring Serian The Original, Ngare Serian is located in the Pusinkariak Conservancy, private land bordering the Mara North Conservancy. This partnership with the local Maasai aims to preserve the environment and its wildlife, while giving us all the space we need to relax, explore and be ourselves.

All around me are the sounds of the gurgling Mara River. Feeling like an adventurer about to discover new lands, I walk slowly across it over a gently swaying rope bridge. Our tent, one of four scattered along the river bank on raised wooden decks, lies upstream. I smile in anticipation. Each is completely private; this is the retreat we’ve been looking for.

Sister camp to neighbouring Serian The Original, Ngare Serian is located in the Pusinkariak Conservancy, private land bordering the Mara North Conservancy. This partnership with the local Maasai aims to preserve the environment and its wildlife, while giving us all the space we need to relax, explore and be ourselves.

The room

I snuggle more deeply into our enormous four-poster bed as the dawn light peeps through my tent. There’s no need to get up in a hurry, I’ve scheduled my personal game drive for just after breakfast, giving me a chance to slowly wake up and enjoy my surroundings while my spouse sleeps in. And what a sight. Last night I’d left the drapes of our tent partially open, and now the morning is revealing vast swathes of grassland and lush forest hugging the river bank.As I peer into the near light, I see what could be a hippo moving through a smattering of acacia trees. I feel a shiver of excitement as I realise it is indeed a large hippo, heading back to the river. It’s my first wildlife sighting, and the day hasn’t yet begun. It’s impetus enough to get ready. I grab my gown and slippers and quietly walk across the Persian carpets to the adjoining bathroom, in its own spacious tented area with twin basins, shower and a sunken bathtub on a raised deck.Dressed and ready for the day, I meander over to the thatched mess to meet our guide, who is already having his coffee. I’ve decided to change my plans; I’m going to have breakfast in the bush. I tell this to my guide and it’s clear that it’s no trouble at all. Just 20 minutes and a leisurely coffee later, we’re ready to leave the comfortable sofa overlooking the river and set off. It’s just myself, my guide and our dedicated spotter heading out in our safari vehicle. This way I can take as long as I like at sightings. I’ve got my camera positioned for the best wildlife shots and all I need is some luck.

I snuggle more deeply into our enormous four-poster bed as the dawn light peeps through my tent. There’s no need to get up in a hurry, I’ve scheduled my personal game drive for just after breakfast, giving me a chance to slowly wake up and enjoy my surroundings while my spouse sleeps in. And what a sight. Last night I’d left the drapes of our tent partially open, and now the morning is revealing vast swathes of grassland and lush forest hugging the river bank.

As I peer into the near light, I see what could be a hippo moving through a smattering of acacia trees. I feel a shiver of excitement as I realise it is indeed a large hippo, heading back to the river. It’s my first wildlife sighting, and the day hasn’t yet begun. It’s impetus enough to get ready. I grab my gown and slippers and quietly walk across the Persian carpets to the adjoining bathroom, in its own spacious tented area with twin basins, shower and a sunken bathtub on a raised deck.

Dressed and ready for the day, I meander over to the thatched mess to meet our guide, who is already having his coffee. I’ve decided to change my plans; I’m going to have breakfast in the bush. I tell this to my guide and it’s clear that it’s no trouble at all. Just 20 minutes and a leisurely coffee later, we’re ready to leave the comfortable sofa overlooking the river and set off. It’s just myself, my guide and our dedicated spotter heading out in our safari vehicle. This way I can take as long as I like at sightings. I’ve got my camera positioned for the best wildlife shots and all I need is some luck.

What sets it apart

I love the sense of isolation at Ngare Serian. Crossing the suspension bridge is like entering a whole new world, and as it’s situated in the private Pusinkariak Conservancy, you actually are. There are neither vehicles nor cattle here, so the walking safaris are better than anywhere else in the Masai Mara. There’s also no Wi-Fi, apart from Wifi the dog, so you get a digital escape too. I also valued the flexibility; nothing is too much trouble for the staff, who will work around whatever you feel like doing. You can even rent out the entire place, if you want to.I particularly enjoyed the sunken bathtub, cleverly built into the verandah decking. I had several long, leisurely soaks while watching the hippo lounging equally languidly nearby. Of course, I can’t fail to mention The Nest, Serian’s treehouse accommodation that guests can stay in for no extra cost. Sleeping out in the wild, under a vast sky dripping with stars, is an experience not to be missed.

I love the sense of isolation at Ngare Serian. Crossing the suspension bridge is like entering a whole new world, and as it’s situated in the private Pusinkariak Conservancy, you actually are. There are neither vehicles nor cattle here, so the walking safaris are better than anywhere else in the Masai Mara. There’s also no Wi-Fi, apart from Wifi the dog, so you get a digital escape too. I also valued the flexibility; nothing is too much trouble for the staff, who will work around whatever you feel like doing. You can even rent out the entire place, if you want to.

I particularly enjoyed the sunken bathtub, cleverly built into the verandah decking. I had several long, leisurely soaks while watching the hippo lounging equally languidly nearby. Of course, I can’t fail to mention The Nest, Serian’s treehouse accommodation that guests can stay in for no extra cost. Sleeping out in the wild, under a vast sky dripping with stars, is an experience not to be missed.

At a glance

  • Very private safari lodge, accessed via an exciting swing bridge, where you can truly escape. It has just four tents, each overlooking the hippo-filled Mara River.
  • Private concession, private safari vehicle, off-road driving, dedicated guide and spotter, freedom to tailor-make itinerary and opportunities to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, bush dinners, bush picnics, river fishing, fly camping (additional cost), cultural visits (additional cost) and hot-air ballooning (additional cost).
  • Child-friendly activities and babysitting available (additional cost).

  • Very private safari lodge, accessed via an exciting swing bridge, where you can truly escape. It has just four tents, each overlooking the hippo-filled Mara River.
  • Private concession, private safari vehicle, off-road driving, dedicated guide and spotter, freedom to tailor-make itinerary and opportunities to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, bush dinners, bush picnics, river fishing, fly camping (additional cost), cultural visits (additional cost) and hot-air ballooning (additional cost).
  • Child-friendly activities and babysitting available (additional cost).

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is the most popular time to visit the Masai Mara, and for good reason. The Great Wildebeest Migration returns from the Serengeti from July to September, and at its peak the plains of the Masai Mara are covered with the animals as far as the eye can see. You’ll also get to witness a Mara River crossing at this time – an awe-inspiring experience. While it can get somewhat crowded, there are many luxury properties in private conservancies that offer greater exclusivity. The weather also plays along now, being dry and cool, perfect for game drives.

As it dries out after the short rains in November, large herds of resident game and predators congregate closer to the Mara River and other water sources during these months. This, combined with thinning vegetation and fewer visitors, makes for exceptional game viewing, comparing favorably with safari experiences across Africa – despite that the Great Wildebeest Migration has moved on by now. To combine exclusivity with the migration, merge a Masai Mara safari now with a visit to the Serengeti, where the migrating herds will be.

The Masai Mara’s long rains, which fall steadily throughout April and May, are followed by short rains in November – generally quick afternoon bursts. While muddy roads can make getting around an adventure, as it’s a quiet time for tourism wildlife experiences are highly exclusive. As the vegetation is in a growth period, the game is easy to see too. All in all visitors get good-value holidays during this time, provided they pack their sense of humour (and their gum boots!).

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