Sarova Mara Game Lodge

Zebras after catching lion scent in the eastern Mara

Zebras after catching lion scent in the eastern Mara

Over the coming weeks I’ll be collating notes from my just completed Kenya trip and will convert them to narrative for uploading to this site. I’ll cover four separate and distinct locations and describe some diverse landscapes and wildlife … all in due time. But there’s one aspect of the trip that merits immediate discussion and posting. That is the Sarova Mara game camp and its wonderful people and extraordinary tradition of hospitality.

I’ve visited most of the game reserves in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya and have never been disappointed in the service and accommodation. But I’ve found this particular lodge to be incomparable. It sits on a wooded hill not far from the easternmost entrance to the reserve. It is protected with an electric fence, but inside the wire I’ve seen hyrax, mongoose, dik dik, vervet monkey and impala. It is a permanent tent camp, which is very nice because it offers full access to the sounds of the Maasai Mara night.

The Kenyan people have always gone out of their way to be kind and welcoming. But the Sarova staff always seems to take it a few steps further. At my first lunch – immediately upon arrival, in fact – I was greeted by a gorgeous smile and a friendly face. It was Caroline M., the restaurant receptionist, who I’d met on my 2008 visit. She is, in every way, a lovely girl. Shy and modest, she does her job with grace, dignity and an optimum level of proficiency. I was thrilled and honored that she remembered my name after twelve months absence. Caroline is Kikuyu, originally from the city of Nyeri, which is not far from Mt Kenya. She is not only beautiful, she is brilliant. She speaks Kikuyu, Swahili, English and French … all fluently. And I’m very pleased that she’s my friend.

Caroline M at Sarova Mara

Caroline M at Sarova Mara

There is another Caroline, who helped me battle the internet gods in 2008 when I attempted to send an e mail home. She is now in a management position, and went above and beyond the call of duty in making my traveling partner and me comfortable. She upgraded our accommodation and delivered a complimentary bottle of wine to our front door. She is not only a lovely hostess, she is a genuinely caring and beautiful human being.

Over a malt beverage on a cool evening at the lodge, my friend Moses the bartender welcomed me back for the third time and said “you are now part of us.” I do feel so, and miss the place almost as much as my own home.

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