Explore Kenya, Land of the Masai

Join a 1920's safari or become a Masai Warrior

For one week, or even a few days, leave behind overbearing technology and be transported to a life as a junior warrior in the plains of the Masai Mara. With the Warrior for a Week program at Saruni’s three safari lodges – Saruni Mara, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Samburu – anyone can learn the survival skills of world class warriors.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each individual is trained and taught in the same way as a junior warrior of the Masai. Under the tutelage of their ‘Moran,’ or Warrior class, guests gain survival skills, become naturals with a bow and arrow, track animals, craft tools and build a nomadic home. Under close instruction, the apprentice sees how the Masai and their warriors view the world and live amongst its wild creatures. Experience first-hand the bush skills, folklore and ancient wisdom of these unique people and their way of life.

Consider this a rite of passage – arrive in Kenya a tourist, leave a warrior.

No other adventure offers this exploration and education of wildlife, wilderness and ‘life’ from one of the most well-known and interesting cultures left in Africa, the Masai. The traditions and semi-nomadic heritage of the local people are an important part of the experience at Saruni Mara, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Wild. And in the Masai Mara, these bush skills are a necessity for survival.

Saruni Mara is set in a remote valley of forests and hills overlooking the open savannas within the most exciting wildlife sanctuary of Africa, the Masai Mara. Accommodation is for 14 guests in six uniquely styled cottages. Each cottage has elegant Italian bathroom fittings, polished wooden floors and large bathrooms with canvas fronts that can be opened to offer a “shower with a view.” The lodge also offers its own private spa treatment center, the “Masai Well-Being Space.”

Saruni Mara’s sister camp, Saruni Wild, is an exclusive tented retreat in the same Northern area of the Masai Mara. With only three tents, it offers the ultimate private safari experience.

Saruni Samburu’s five villas are perched on a rocky outcrop in the Kalama Conservancy overlooking waterholes where the famous Samburu elephant, leopard, giraffe and zebra gather to drink. A fusion of large spacious houses with bold and dramatic African details, Saruni Samburu is the first and most exclusive design lodge of its kind in Kenya.

Saruni Mara, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Wild are part of Cheli & Peacock’s ‘C&P Portfolio’, a collection of 14 eco-tourism lodges located in the best parks of Kenya. Each property has its own footprint and style with a common theme: a luxurious elegance with conservation initiatives.

“Warrior for a Week” is an included activity at the Saruni properties; therefore, there is no additional fee required to take part in this cultural activity. The activity should be booked in advance.

Another option for visting the Masai lands is Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, with its new exclusive homestead, “Cottar’s Private House,” in the luxurious setting of Kenya’s Masai Mara. Designed by owners Calvin and Louise Cottar, the house was built on Masai land by Kenyans, including the local Masai, with the use of indigenous and eco-friendly materials.

Bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve, Cottar’s Private House has views of the Olderekesi Hills and of the savannah plains that house the annual wildebeest migration. The house is based on the shape of the hill with pink quartz rocks from the hill and local pebbles and sand used in the design. Additionally, the roof is designed as a water catchment, so as to minimize water taken from the local spring.

The house is more than 9,000 square feet and includes five en-suite bedrooms, a large living room, dining room and viewing deck. Game drive vehicles, guides and a dedicated staff of eight are provided to guests throughout their stay. The house is powered with electric and solar energy with satellite TV and internet access throughout. A swimming pool is also due to be completed at the Private House by April 2012. Surrounded only by wildlife, this property is best suited for guests who desire a unique and remote safari experience of their own.

Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp exudes a 1920’s era feel, returning to the original spirit and essence of ‘safari’ and reminiscent of a golden era – a time of romance, adventure and elegance. Guided bush walks and night drives are led daily by the most experienced and charismatic guides in Kenya. On a more self-indulgent note, a masseuse is based full-time at the camp for complimentary massages, manicures and pedicures. Any other needs that guests may have are met by butlers who have been trained to provide guests with discreet, yet attentive service.

The oldest safari company in East Africa, Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp has stayed in the Cottar family, starting with Calvin Cottar’s great, great grandfather. Calvin grew up in the bush and on safari, guiding clients early on. He is now voted Best Guide in Kenya, Gold qualified KPSGA guide and Honorary KWS Warden. Calvin and his wife, Louise, have kept up the Cottar tradition of excellence with Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp – one of the 14 prestigious eco-tourism lodges in Cheli and Peacock’s ‘C&P Portfolio’.

Private House rates range from $4,000 – $6,000 based on a group of six per night, depending on the season, with children 0-4 years on a complimentary basis. This includes the staff of eight (one waiter, one house keeper, a chef and kitchen helper, two security guards, a guide and wildlife spotter), all game drives, a massage per person per stay, all meals, guided walks, laundry, soft drinks, beer, house wines and non-luxury spirits. Park and conservation fees are excluded. A minimum three day booking is required.

For more information, visit http://www.cottars.com/. You may also call the USA Booking & Reservation office at 1 (888) 870-0903 (international callers should use +1 (505) 795-7710). Or, email safari@cottars.com / info@chelipeacock.co.ke.

Saruni Mara’s and Saruni Samburu’s rates start from $390 per adult/night. Saruni Wild’s rates start from $910 per night, for a party of four. These all inclusive rates exclude flights, conservation fees, spa treatments and champagne and luxury spirits. For additional information, visit http://www.chelipeacock.com/ or call +254 (0)20 6003090/1.

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