Saruni Rhino

Saruni Rhino is a unique, 4 “bandas” (stone cottages) camp located in the large and remote Sera Conservancy, in the wild, undiscovered northern frontier of Kenya. It is little over 1.5 hours’ drive from our Saruni Samburu lodge in nearby Kalama Conservancy. It is unique not only for the unforgettable, raw beauty of its habitat, but because, as the name says, it is the gateway to an extraordinary place: the rhino sanctuary where black rhinos have been successfully re-introduced and are guarded by the community. The camp offers several diverse experiences. One is the first on-foot black rhino tracking experience in East Africa. This incredible walking safari provides a thrilling adventure and the opportunity for guests to actively contribute to the protection of this iconic species. But it is not all about the rhinos. Herds of elephants populate this vast landscape, there is amazing birdwatching, and cultural experiences with the “singing wells”. Northern Kenya is a largely unexplored and uninhabited expanse of wild beauty rich in colour and experiences.

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Accommodation

Saruni Rhino is a 4-banda camp. A banda is a rustic stone cottage with a thatched roof and canvas zip down windows and doors. All bandas have flushing loos, hot & cold water and natural stone showers. The bandas are situated along a dry river bed lined with beautiful doum palms in a way that ensures maximum privacy for guests, but intimate enough for group bookings on an exclusive basis.

Bandas

Bandas are large, open, simple but elegant stone-designed buildings with a traditional thatched roof, a bedroom, a bathroom and flushing toilets en-suite or accessed directly from the room. Each banda sleeps two people and has a beautiful terrace furnished with chairs and tables. In some bandas an extra single bed can be added. The terraces overlook the “lugga”, the amazing dry sand river bed that “flows” in front of the bandas.

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Family Banda

The family banda is a large and elegant house composed of 2 x double bedrooms sleeping 4 people (configuration can be arranged as 2 x doubles or 1 x double and 2 x singles based on the requirement. An additional single can be added). Both rooms have en-suite bathrooms & natural stone showers with flushing toilets. A shared lounge provides a cool retreat from the large verandah. It is booked as a complete unit.

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Rates from US$500

See our 2024 Saruni Basecamp Rates and Terms & Conditions – simply click on the view/download button below.

Please contact us for Resident Rates applicable to residents of Kenya & East Africa.

View or download the Saruni Rhino rates
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Activities & Experiences

  • On-foot black rhino tracking
  • Guided, shared day & night game drives
  • Waterhole for wildlife sightings
  • Picnics, bush meals & sundowners
  • Guided bush & dry-river bed walks
  • The Singing Wells – visit & walk
  • Tribal storytelling through song and dance
  • Birdwatching. Includes sand grouse ‘spectacular’ – seasonal
  • Pool swimming
  • Re-wilding rhino calf visit
  • Lontopi Mountain Hike
  • Reteti Elephant Sanctuary Excursion
  • Helicopter scenic flights

Facilities

  • Swimming pool & sunbathing area
  • Waterhole for wildlife sightings
  • Communal lounge, dining area & fireplace
  • Dry river bed bar

Amenities

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Indoor shower
  • Fan
  • Mosquito net over bed
  • In-room water dispenser
  • Private verandah
  • Private living area & private dining (Family banda)
  • Electricity

Saruni Rhino is located in Sera Community Conservancy, Samburu, Northern Kenya.

Discover where our other Saruni Basecamp Properties are in Kenya

Saruni Rhino is a small camp, but its symbolic significance in Kenya goes well beyond its size. The camp is being considered a leading example of sustainability because it is the first time that a community owns and manages a black rhino sanctuary, using tourism as a tool for the protection of one of the most endangered and iconic species of the Africa big fauna.

We work using a modern solar system that reduces to very little and only as backups the use of generators, we use bio-degradable detergents, we encourage our guests to disperse seed balls that help with the reforestation of eroded areas. But perhaps the biggest contribution is to the community: our employees are Samburu and members of the community, and our financial contribution to the conservancy is the only source of commercial income (the rest of the financial needs are covered by donors and by Northern Rangelands Trust). An income that is going to go when new investments will increase the capacity of eco-responsible tourism facilities in this region, that is still relatively new to tourism.

We also believe that sustainability means to encourage the cultural pride of the Samburu people and allow them to share their values with our guests. These values are strictly connected to conservation and protection of habitat and wildlife. This is why our guides are always around the fire exchanging stories with the guests, sharing with them their culture and their beliefs.

Reasons to Visit Saruni Rhino

There are many reasons to visit Saruni Rhino and we have selected the six main ones to make it easier for you to feel the uniqueness of this safari camp, where nature, wildlife and people connect in a special way.

First black rhino tracking experience in East Africa

The first walking safari of its kind in East Africa, this unique experience provides a unique and exhilarating adventure whilst allowing you to actively contribute to the protection of an iconic species. Tracking black rhino on foot, accompanied by an expert Saruni Basecamp guide (and a highly trained Sera Community Conservancy ranger for complete safety), gives you an excellent opportunity to spot black rhino roaming free in the 25 650-acre sanctuary.

First community-owned rhino sanctuary in Africa

Sera Community Conservancy is home to around 16 000 Samburu semi-nomadic pastoralists. Within the conservancy, the Sera Conservancy Rhino Sanctuary offers a secure environment for a group of reintroduced black rhino. The goal is to increase Kenya’s black rhino population and the range they occupy, and to demonstrate the sustainable benefits of fully community-focused conservation initiatives.

First Black Rhino reintroduction to North Kenya

An area which for over 40 years has seen the depletion of the black rhino, until now, where one of the most advanced conservation projects has taken place and the first of its kind in Africa, whereby a group of black rhino has been successfully reintroduced in the fenced, maximum protection sanctuary offering the endangered species a chance to flourish.

Singing Wells

The Fifty Wells or ‘Kisima Hamsini’ is a series of springs where local pastoralists take their livestock to find water, digging deep into the dry earth and filling up wells that they then use to add water to troughs for their livestock. As they dig, each Moran (or warrior) sings a unique melody to which his animals are accustomed to responding. A unique and intimate tradition, the singing wells of Samburu are an experience that will remain with you long after you leave Kenya.

Endless, untouched landscape

Located a little over 90 minutes’ drive from Saruni Samburu, Saruni Rhino lies in the wild, undiscovered northern frontier of Kenya in the 839 000-acre Sera Community Conservancy. This striking, semi-arid landscape stretches further than the eye can see, giving you a sense of limitless possibility.

Unique wildlife & ecosystem

The Sera Community Conservancy protects a fascinating ecosystem, which you can explore as you seek the ‘Samburu Five’ - rare, endemic creatures found nowhere else. During your time here, see if you can spot the gerenuk antelope, the reticulated giraffe, the Somali ostrich, Grévy’s zebra, and the Beisa oryx. Sera also offers the chance to see an abundance of other rare species such as leopard, the striped hyena, civet and African wild dog, plus a great many bird species.

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