Saruni is delighted to be able to offer our guests a scintillating, ‘thrill-of-a-lifetime’ experience: a walking safari tracking black rhino on foot, accompanied by an expert Saruni guide and a highly-trained Sera Community Conservancy ranger, equipped with a transmitter correlating to the GPS whereabouts of the 11 rhinos throughout the 54,000 hectares-large sanctuary. The vast rhino sanctuary has been fenced in what is one of the most advanced conservation projects in Kenya. Operational only throughout certain hours of the day for maximum protection, the use of the transmitter allows us to game drive our guests a tracking distance away from the nearest rhino, leaving the vehicle and continuing on foot (very lightly to not give away our presence) to metres from the grazing rhino. The tension is palpable as you come across the rhino in such close proximity for the first time; heart beating, pulse racing, curiosity and excitement mounting – it doesn’t get more thrilling than this!
The adventure doesn’t stop there. Following your ‘up close and personal’ encounters with ‘the supreme rhino of Sera’, the conservancy provides further plentiful wildlife opportunities and experiences; game drives to spot the Samburu specials (oryx, gerenuk, ostrich, Grevy's Zebra, reticulated giraffe), buffalo, elephants, antelope and a plethora of birdlife.
Sera is also home to The Fifty Wells, ‘Kisima Hamsini’, a series of (50!) springs where local pastoralists take their livestock to water, digging up water from the wells to fill up holders and troughs. The Singing Wells are also a driving distance away and can be visited with some notice – a rare treat to see the local community singing proprietary songs recognisable only by their own cattle, to encourage them to come to the wells to drink.
In addition, guests can pay a visit to the recently opened The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy located in the remote Mathews Range nearby, providing protection for orphaned and abandoned elephant calves with an aim to release them back into the wild herds adjoining the Sanctuary.
At nearby waterholes, early morning and late afternoon, an amazing natural spectacle can be witnessed. Thousands of sand grouse swoop to take the water, the flapping of their wings en masse creating one of the most sensory delights possible. Sera is the ultimate birding enthusiast and photographer’s playground.
For Maps of Saruni lodges locations, Saruni Rhino, NRT conservancies and Sera Community Conservancy click here.
Download a Saruni Rhino introductory 1-pager below;
Some of you may have been on safari before and have the question of “what to pack?” down to a fine art! However, for many, excitingly, it will be your first time tracking endangered black rhino ON FOOT in Northern Kenya! And this raises a whole new level of “what do I wear” questions. Luckily for you – we’ve had time (and practice!) to think this through. You will most likely be visiting our ‘small but perfectly formed’ lodge, Saruni Rhino, and participating in rhino tracking as an addition to your other safaris in Kenya. This packing guide – ‘Packing for Tracking’ - specifically relates to the SARUNI RHINO TRACKING EXPERIENCE. For ‘normal’ safari packing considerations, you should familiarize yourself with the ‘Saruni Safari Packing List’.
Rhino tracking sessions can last anywhere between 2-4 hours, with varying walking distances depending on each track. Terrain is harsh and arid, bushy with thorns and grass burrs/stickers, with thorny Commiphera branches underfoot. The African sun can be unforgiving at any time of the day – maximum protection is strongly advised! More importantly on a safety note, the black rhino don’t have such sharp vision – but – hearing? Oh boy – we are not joking when we say, “Tread carefully”. Silence really is golden – so have in mind how ‘lightly’ your shoes or clothing allow you to walk. Smell is also a factor – your guides will keep you down-wind from the rhino, but avoiding perfumes and strong-smelling lotions is also advised.
Download the Packing for Tracking guide below;
Listen to Saruni CEO & Founder, Riccardo Orizio, introducing ‘Saruni Rhino’ in this link to a recent webinar.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints”. (Chief Seattle)