Sweetwaters Serena Camp
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Nice Private Camp
"Stayed one night with Family of 4 on our way to Shaba and Samburu. Nice place, but alot of older vistors on tours stay there. Staff was very nice and view at watering hole at breakfast is wonderful. You can enjoy your eggs and watch the Zebra's. Tents were nice and grounds nicely kept. Wildlife a bit sparse, but visit to Chimps sanctuary and to Morani the Rhino great for the kids."
- Travel date: Sat 18th of August 2007
A great safari close to Nairobi
"Sweetwaters is only a few hours out of Nairobi and therefore and excellent way to see the African bush and animals in a short amount of time.
We spent two nights here and really enjoyed our stay. The accommodation was extremely comfortable (some of the fanciest tents we have stayed in). Each tent has its own bathroom with flushing toilet and shower with running hot water. There is a wardrobe and writing desk but the best part is the comfortable beds with their plush pillows and (this is the best part) hot water bottles placed in their every night while you are at dinner.
You can drive yourself or organise a safari guide (driving yourself is easy if you don't mind driving from Nairobi) and the park is simple to navigate around. We saw plenty of animals, but the highlight for us (we have done a couple of safaris) was actually visiting Morani, the park's pet rhino. You can actually pat her!
The food was nice - a standard buffet with plenty to choose from. The activities are quite pricey but some of them, like the night drive or the lion tracking, can be good. And if you don't feel like moving very far, you have a great view of the waterhole and various animals from your tent!"
- Travel date: Fri 1st of June 2007
My favorite place in Kenya
"This is a FANTASTIC property!! We loved every second of our time at Sweetwaters. The tent is large and comfortable, complete with a bathroom. The watering hole for the animals was just outside of our tent. If you book directly, I would caution that you ask for a front row tent. Some of the tents were behind ours, built up on a platform, and you probably wouldn't have as good of a view, although there are benches along the property you could walk over to. We sat on our porch and watched zebras, gazelles, impalas, warthogs, and a variety of birds drink water. The morning views of Mount Kenya were beautiful.
We did a night safari here, too. We didn't see anything new, but it was a different experience and if you're willing to spend the money, it is worth it. As mentioned in another review, the reserve is fenced, so the animals are not free to roam. In fact, the night drive guide told us they know exactly how many animals they have there.
We thought the food was great. Breakfast and lunch are buffet. Dinner is served to you. The hot water bottles were a unique touch that we got a kick out of and were nice as it was a bit chilly after the sun went down."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of May 2007
Loved this place
"We stayed at Sweetwaters for 2 nights last week. The accommodation is in luxury "tents" although they have everything you would need for your comfort including a hot water bottle in your bed when you return from dinner in the evening! The tents we had overlooked the waterhole and it was very relaxing sitting outside our tent and watching the different animals that came. We would highly recommend this hotel (it is a Serena) for the comfortable accommodation overlooking the waterhole. The staff were very friendly and welcoming and we found the food to be really excellent."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of March 2007
Hot water bottles!
"We stayed at Sweetwaters for 2 nights during our stay and were thrilled by what we saw. We were a little concerned about what a tented camp would entail but the rooms were like a 5 star hotel and they even put hot water bottles in your bed at night to keep you warm. There can be no complaints about the standard of accommodation that is for sure.
The camp is well planned and all of the tents have great views into the park. There is an electric fence to keep the larger animals out but it is placed in a dip so it feels like you are actually part of the park.
It was lovely sitting on the balcony watching all of the animals wandering towards the watering hole. The largest group we saw was 13 giraffes.
The food is all served in the lodge dining room, the staff are very attentive and the food is pretty good.
This is definately a place to visit if you can."
- Travel date: Wed 28th of March 2007
Sweetwaters Tented Camp
"Sweetwaters Tented Camp is a wonderful way to start your safari adventure. I took the nature walk which was very informative and enjoyable. We also reserved a night game drive from 9-11 which was incredible. We watched a lioness hunting and then enjoyed a pride of lions that are about 7 years old. The Serena properties are terrific...enjoy!"
- Travel date: Thu 8th of March 2007
Tented camps in a beautiful setting
"The property is quite lovely but does not have as much as a feel of being in Africa as do some of the other properties (Governors' Camp, for example). The lodge is located in a reserve that borders a number of small towns. This made us feel as if we were in Walt Disney World's Animal Kindgom because the animals were fenced in. Having a fence around the property took away the "excitement" of looking for animals as you were guaranteed to see them because they had no where else to go. The lions have tracking devices on their necks so taking their picture and put it in your photo album would seem a bit out of place since they are wearing collars! Overall, the game drives were anti-climactic for these reasons.
The accomodations were permanent tents which were very nice. There were two "rows" of the tents and all faced the watering hole which was frequented by many, many giraffes during our stay. The birds we saw were spectacular. There is an electric fence that separates the animals from the lodge property so this took away some of the "excitement" of actually being out in the wild with the animals. The food is buffet style and was fair. Internet service was excellent!"
- Travel date: Fri 29th of September 2006
A very special place
"Sweetwaters Tented Camp is located 2 Â½ hours drive north from Nairobi and is managed my Serena Hotels. It comprises of 39 luxury tents overlooking a waterhole with views of Mount Kenya. The tents are sited in two rows the front rows have the best views of the waterhole with the second row having more restricted views. The tents are all en suite with hot showers, electricity and patios or balconies. Meals are taken in the main lodge which in former times was the ranch managerâs home. It comprises of reception, bar, lounge and dining room. The dining room has large glass windows which allow for unrestricted views of the waterhole where you can watch the comings and goings of the animals as you dine. The food is a mixture of waiter and buffet service and is extremely good. The staff are polite, helpful and so very friendly. The sanctuary is home to the big 5 along with all the main plains game as well as 50 rhino. This was a great place to enjoy some superb game viewing away from the mass tourism you find in some of the other parks. If you do stay give yourself at least 3 days to completely explore the place as well as game drives you can take a guided walk along the river bank to view the hippos, visit Jane Goodalls chimpanzee sanctuary and also visit Morani the tame rhino.
This was our 4th visit to Sweetwaters and by far the best as it has recently had a major refurbishment and change of management which it has greatly benefited from.
A very special place."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of September 2006
Great wildlife outside your tent!
"We stayed at Sweetwaters for two nights at the start of our honeymoon. It's about a three hour drive north of Nairobi. We loved it. Had tent #26 which is at the end of the property and gave us privacy. We loved the fact that we saw all kinds of animals just by sitting outside our tent. One day, we watched a bunch of giraffes walk up to us! How cool.
The tent inside is really done smartly and beautifully. Comfortable bed, hot showers, toilet, closet space. No complaints.
We viewed a lot of wildlife on our game drives-- elephants, Grant's gazelles, zebra, etc. There are more animals in the Mara, but it's not crowded on this reserve. Also, we got to meet Morani, the black rhino, and visited Jane Goodall's chimp sancutary which was great.
Sweetwaters also has night game drives and walking safaris. We enjoyed the night drive. Our guide was excellent and we saw four of the "Big Five"!
Food was OK. It was buffets for every meal, and there was a lot of Indian food. We were tired of eating curry by the time we left, but at least the food was well-prepared.
The staff here is incredibly friendly. We had a great time here and would certainly return."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of August 2006
I got to pet a rhino!!!
"They have a rhino named Morani that you can pet. Super cool! At dawn you can see Mount Kenya and there is a watering hole right outside your door and you can watch the animals. You can see it from the restaurant as well where the food was excellent. The accomodations were great with full bathroom and hotwater bottle ready for you at bedtime! Tough to see animals as there is a lot of bush but one of the only places where they do night game drives. We saw more animals in the Masai Mara reserve for sure but this place was very nice."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of September 2005