Located in southern Kenya, in the northern Mara Conservancy, Serian is the most permanent looking of Alex Walker’s extraordinary line in traditional bush camps.
Eschewing the luxury trappings of some of the larger lodges, Walker has established a camp that is focussed primarily on the experience of real bush camping, on an experience that is about engaging with animals as authentically as humanly possible, and doing so in a way that includes some of the idiosyncratic comforts – quality of food, rest and fun – enjoyed by yesteryear’s bushwhacker.
Set in the shade of a mixed grove of olives and walburgias, Serian is a canvas, wood and thatch build. Consisting of a mess area and 7 sleeping tents (marquees), it makes clever use of the terrain, and of the trees, which in places appear to grow up through the structures themselves. The shared areas include extensive decking, lounge, bar, library and dining area. Raised and set on an old wood platform, protected by a thatched roof, open sided and characterised by slumber seating, low tables, an open fire and exposed beams, it offers guests of Serian opportunity to relax, meet and exchange notes. The food – advertising itself as farmhouse cuisine – is fabulous, and the service, from dining floor to safari guide, is nothing short of excellent.
Just as fine, and set on grass platforms, the marquees are identical, large and marked by stretched canvas ceilings, hardwood support poles and mixed flooring. Each tent includes a double bed, large verandha, places to sit, to change or to store personal effects, writing desks and a separate bathroom. Subtly minimalist in design, the tents are marked by large hand-woven rugs and the odd piece of well made furniture. The bathroom possesses a large tub, shower, twin sinks and flush toilet. Each marquee comes with its own personal butler.
Activities at Serian include game drives, guided walks, sundowners and bird watching.
Alex Walker’s Serian robustly supports a sustainable tourism ethic, based in the key dispersal areas of the Mara North Conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara, NgoroNgoro and Maswa Reserve in Tanzania. We have made a point of employing a large crew (3:1 staff to client ratio), 85% of whom are locally employed, engendering tremendous native awareness which when coupled with intrinsic knowledge of the wildlife promises a genuine safari experience.
Throughout your Safari we actively involve you in local conservation and long-term sustainable management practices for the indigenous environment. Through direct involvement and hands on application we help sustain the Living with Lions Predator Project, collect vital data on big cats, develop community understanding, perform anti-poaching patrols and initiate health and social enterprise within the local village.
Our responsibilities to local communities extend beyond the mere financial. We support several youngsters seeking further education, provide scholarships and have enabled local women’s groups. A significant proportion of your guest fee is dedicated to the preservation of these threatened dispersal areas. Serian’s focus is on the traditional, natural and wildlife experience during your time in the bush. As a result the Serian Trust has become heavily involved in the long-term vision that will be the African wilderness in years to come.
We have to date:
• Educated a number of local children as well as some of our staffs children through secondary and university having established small bursaries.
• We were the founder of Mara North Conservancy ltd a not for profit conservancy whose ideal was to see the individual landowner get his fair share of the park fee collected.
• We employed over 80% of our 120 staff from the local community.
• We guarantee conservation fees in excess of $300,000 usd annually wether we attain the target or not.
• We follow eco friendly minimal footprint practices by using tented camps, recycled and farmed hardwoods, composting, renewable energy, basic good practice.
We started and support the Living with lions Mara Predator Project.
We generate funds by soliciting individual donors and by writing grant applications to donor funds. We also reinvest a huge amount of cash right back into the system.