Serian 'The Original'
There’s no tearing through the bush, ticking off animals from a vehicle at Alex Walker’s Serian; this is a safari that’s about listening, watching and feeling the very heart of the bush and engaging with all its inhabitants (four-legged and other!) And luckily, there’s an enormous range of activities to help you on your way. Back at base, the camp is a haven of tranquillity, tucked away in the wonderful Mara North Conservancy under a sleepy grove of olive trees. And funnily enough, the local Maasai translation of ‘serian’ is ‘calm’ or ‘serene’ – which is exactly how you’ll feel after a few days here.
At the lodge
The mess area (and library and dining area) is a treetop expanse of wooden decking complete with gnarled trees protruding through the floorboards and the perfect sprinkling of little luxuries to make you feel right at home – think plenty of low-slung and seriously comfy seating, an indoor fireplace and G&Ts on request. The fabulous Treehouse teeters in the nearby trees and if you’re not sleeping there, head up for a quiet cushion-filled siesta and contemplate the Mara stretching before you.
Perched on platforms for the ultimate in uninterrupted views, the six tents are as big as marquees and perfectly bush-chic in a totally understated way. Enormous double beds draped in mosquito nets take centre stage, surrounded by simple woven rugs and carved writing desks and there’s plenty of cushions and chairs on the veranda to relax in. Bathrooms have twin sinks, showers and huge bath tubs to float in and and gaze at the divine views of the Mara River and Oloololo Escarpment.
Where do we start? Game drive to your heart’s content with your private guide (included in the price), practise your archery skills with the local Maasai, breakfast on the banks of the Mara River, head out on a walking adventure through the magical terrain (maybe even with a night of fly camping?) and soar through the air on a balloon safari. So what doesn’t Serian have? Lots of people and lots of cars – you’re pretty much on your own up here and it’s heaven.