ALEX WALKER’S SERIAN

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For Short Lets - Luxury Camp
SERIAN ‘THE ORIGINAL’

Serian was the first of Alex’s camps, and it perfectly captures the essence of its name: meaning ‘peaceful, calm, serene’ in the Masai language, it was designed to be a retreat from the bustle of contemporary life, and a chance to experience untamed Africa in traditional tented splendour.

It lies in the private Mara North Conservancy, and the beauty of this location is that only 10 other camps have access to it – so the feeling of having your own personal piece of Africa is a luxury that we have in spades.

    OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND.
  • One of just 11 member camps in the private and exclusive Mara North Conservancy.
  • 5 vast, spacious tents, of which one is a family unit.
  • All tents set on hardwood decking, above the Mara River with views over the Olooloo Escarpment.
  • Each has an adjoining bush bathroom with hot and cold running water, flush toilet, and a shower and custom-made bathtub with gorgeous views over the landscape.
  • 24hr electricity on a combination of solar and generator.
  • Hosted dining en famille, in our cosy dining room or under dappled sunlight on our wooden deck.
  • Exclusive use of 4WD Safari vehicle and dedicated guide and spotter.
  • No Wi-Fi available.

Camps tend to be a manifestation of the personalities behind them, and ours are no exception. If you’re part of these spaces for long enough, they seep into your pores, and a slow, gentle osmosis attunes your rhythm to the cadence of sunrises and seasons – and this permeates the atmosphere of our peaceful abodes.

Accordingly, tents blend into their surrounds, and are designed to afford the most minimal separation between you and the outside – there’s no cut and dried division where the wilderness ends. To truly immerse somewhere, you should be touched, reached, accessed by it… And much like in nature, our furnishings are simplistic and functional, but unobtrusively beautiful.

After a day out in the silence, solitude and indescribable immensity of the bush, the ancestral ritual of coming together to enjoy fire and food caters to our innate appreciation for sharing. We are social animals, and part of what makes things vivid and real to us is this capacity to share: the pleasure of dissecting your day, raking over the delicious details and unwrapping the delights over and again as you enjoy a meal, is what renders the evening perfect for digesting and processing the day.

Camp life is something unpretentious that unfolds according to the ingredients at hand – simple tasty food, solace from the unending bustle of contemporary life with no sacrifice of all the creature comforts that make it feel like home… The perfect setting for unforgettable adventure and a trove of memories to take away and treasure.

WE CALL IT HOME

The ancestral ritual of communal fireplace and dining – the essence of sharing… we are social animals, and part of what makes things vivid and real to us is our capacity to share: the joy is dissecting your day, raking over the delicious details and unwrapping the delights over and again, over the fundamentally communal experience of breaking bread. It’s also part of absorbing and storing memories – the re-telling and re-living makes it more vivid, and sets the place of the experience in our minds.
EXPLORATION & ADVENTURE

There’s a whole world of exciting things to do and beautiful places to see, and of chief importance is making sure you have enough time to indulge in a good range of the sublime experiences on offer. We’ve designed a collection of sample itineraries to lend some inspiration on how to put the ultimate trip together.

You’ll see we’re big fans of combining our camps, and this is because each location proffers a different experience. Our camps are scattered across two countries, and a diverse range of wildlife zones – Mara North Conservancy, Masai Mara Reserve, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area – and on top of that, each camp has its own unique character too.

We also love mixing up traditional game drives with other fun activities: balloon rides, bush dinners, exploring at night, getting out on foot, river fishing, learning traditional cultures… There are so many ways to enrich your safari experience.

Of course, we are all about flexibility, so if you’d like to pick and mix and concoct your own safari, that’s an option too – all the ingredients are there for the taking.

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH
The new year heralds a time of new life, and adorable offspring all around. Southern Serengeti hosts the wildebeest birthing season, while Kenya is abounding with young predators getting playful. February tends to be the focal point for the calving, but join us in mid-January or in March, and you’ll have the best of the season with no one else about. This is the perfect quarter for a ‘Winter Sunshine’ long weekend – when the frosty cold gets to be too much, the Mara is a mere hop from Nairobi, and guarantees a delicious dose of heat, and a heap of things to do: a night-drive with infrared spotlights, or a view from on high in a balloon… Or even a romantic Valentine’s night in our Tree House.
APRIL • MAY • JUNE
A time of transition: the tail-end of the emerald season in April means everything is fresh, new and full of vitality – flowers blooming, birds breeding, and lush rich life is everywhere. In Serengeti, cheetah and wild dog are feasting while they can on the glut of the wildebeest calving season before the herds move north in search of greener pastures, as May and June dry out. In the Mara, the river brings life to our camps: plains game are in rut, and elephant abound in our private conservation area. Look out for lion in trees, looking for vantage over the long grass. In short, it’s our very favourite ‘secret season’, and a magical time to bring the family for an Easter getaway.
JULY • AUGUST • SEPTEMBER
The buzz is all about the wildebeest river crossings, but it’s important to make sure the gnus don’t steal the whole show: the Mara especially offers incredible big cat sightings, and the exclusivity and freedom of the conservancy comes into its own in busy August. The key to this quarter is giving yourself enough time to catch a crossing or two, but also to explore the territory beyond the river. A great way to do this is through walking and adventure flycamping – the cooler, drier weather at this time of year makes getting out on foot the perfect way to get to grips with these stunning landscapes.
OCTOBER • NOVEMBER • DECEMBER
Late October and early November see the last of the wildebeest river crossings before the herds begin to move to the edge of the short-grass plains in southern Serengeti for the unparalleled spectacle that is their birthing season. As the wildebeest empty out, so do the people, and these three months in the Mara before the festive season mark a spectacular time to roam and explore without the distraction of other vehicles and the millions-strong herds. The rest of the game comes to the fore, as does the cultural element in Serengeti South: the Hadzabe make for fascinating walking companions as they reveal their homeland to you on foot. This time of year yields itself to long lazy stays, with some adventure flycamping and safaris on foot thrown into the mix.

TANZANIA

The wildebeest are still launching themselves across the Mara River, and in fact as the short rains start in the end of October, the herds start heading south – which means big-volume crossings. The tail end is still coming through even in November (albeit on a smaller scale) when the short rains draw them to central Serengeti. Come December, they are heading all the way down to southern Serengeti, their primordial birthing grounds – the females heavily pregnant by this stage.

KENYA

The herds start to head south over the border in October, following the northern Tanzanian storms. Come November, they are being drawn by the rain to central Serengeti, and all the way down to Serengeti South in December for their birthing season. Although empty of wildebeest, Ngare Serian in November is a wonderful place to be: because it’s’ a higher rainfall area, it stays greener than everywhere else, and it keeps the game close by.

WILD YET RESPONSIBLE
The very foundation of Alex Walker’s Serian is constituted by a deep respect for the beautiful wilds of Kenya and Tanzania, as well as its people and cultures. The preservation of these precious spaces lies at the heart of our ethos and practice, and this manifests itself in a number of ways. One of the keys to conservation is managing the way people interact with these wild spaces, and the game that they harbor. As human populations increase, and pressure on resources mounts, it’s crucial to invest in ways that makes it profitable to local populations to keep conservation alive.

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