Things to do
Safari from Serian Ngare is both purposeful and fun, with your own private vehicle and guiding team, you explore at your own pace – away from the busier parts of the main Masai Mara in the Mara North Conservancy. Traversing the conservancy is limited to those staying within the handful of camps here. Should that not be enough, then Ngare has its own private further 1,500 acres which can be explored on walking safaris. The Serian experience is underpinned by the eponymous Alex Walker and his loyal tribe of staff and guides who count their tenure with the outfit in decades not seasons.
The wildlife is the stuff of legend, consistently excellent year-round and Serian’s expert guides make for a far more immersive experience rather than the passive approach found in rival lodges. The pace of the day is yours to determine, of course the cooler crepuscular hours frequently offer the best wildlife viewing; early mornings can also be extremely rewarding. It is also true that there are few better starts to the day than drinking a morning coffee on the vast deck of your tented suite overlooking the river.
A short walk from Ngare is The Nest. As if Ngare wasn’t romantic enough, The Nest dials it right up – a wistful treehouse suspended high in the boughs of a warburgia tree where a sleepout under the stars to the chorus of the nearby hippos honking in the river is the soundtrack.
The four tented suites are well spaced along the river frontage and they exude the style and charm of Serian. At once enormous, fronted with huge private terraces and with sunken baths overlooking the river, they are also beautifully cosy and comfortable. Swathes of cotton gently waft in the breeze at siesta time, the beds are sumptuous and impossibly wide and by retaining the canvas superstructure the suites are a romantic retreat. Each room is genuinely a spacious retreat, with bathrooms under the same roof, day beds and sofas to read on and sun beds to relax on.
The treehouse “Nest”, illuminated by traditional kerosene lanterns and the stars is the ultimate sleepout option. Up high in the branches, the nest is the perfect lookout platform over the river and savannah below and an irresistible experience.
Food & Drink
Food on safari consistently exceeds expectations and at Ngare it really is taken a step further. Bread rolls served hot from the oven, delicious tropical fruits and the coldest milk are on offer at breakfast and the freshest vegetables from the Serian shamba or vegetable garden promote clean seasonal dining.
There is a main dining tent next to the river where guests dine en famille unless a fireside barbecue, cold beers and tinkling ice-laden G&T’s are more your style. The sense of camaraderie and laughter is usually the soundtrack to the evening meal, over a backdrop of cicadas chirping, a distant hyena calling and the flow of the Mara River.
What We Think
The Serian stable of properties are imbued with a sense of adventure and fun, and at Ngare, the Mara North conservancy becomes your playground. The relaxed bonhomie of Ngare is only possible because of excellent attention to detail in every element of the camp, the guiding is of the highest order, the location is a serene tropical paradise and then the camp itself is safari heaven reimagined.
Best for a group of friends, a truly romantic escape into the wilds or a family get together, Ngare strikes a resonating chord in everyone who stays. It is best used in combination with other top-end camps or lodges in Kenya or Tanzania to chase the wildebeest migration, as part of a circuit of authentic properties in unique locations in Kenya or as a bolt-on few days at one the of the Alex Walker sister properties to let the good times continue.