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Saruni SamburuSaruni MaraSaruni Wild & Saruni Ocean
Watch: Saruni video & Saruni Ocean video here. 
The Match, The Hero & The Rhymes of the Bush
Dear <<First Name>>,

We are happy to announce that after a long drought, the rains have finally arrived. Both Samburu and the Masai Mara are full of lush vegetation, striking flowers, stirring scents and vibrant colours. The wildlife is thriving once again and our communities are celebrating the godsend as Christmas come early. The Saruni family is a beehive of activity and is as busy as ever at this time of year. Take a moment to enjoy news and pics and remember to send us your snaps for our very popular #WhyILoveSaruni Facebook competition. 

Happy reading,
Riccardo

PS. Thanks Rick Hood for the fantastic image above shared with us on FB!
The Bright Colours of a Saruni Safari
We have had a great response to our first 4 months of the #WhyILoveSaruni Facebook photo competition, with beautiful images of unique wildlife and cultural experiences, gorgeous scenery, our lodge facilities and amazing safari experiences with Saruni. Thanks again to all our guests who have submitted their photo entries! This month we have seen a lot of colourful images coming through, reminding us of the vibrant reds, blues and greens one sees when in Africa. Congratulations to Georgie Lockett, Robin Yong & Rosa Beers for being our November finalists and going through to the final draw with your colourful images of the Samburu and Maasai people, and an jaw-dropping Mara sunset!

Find out all the details to our #WhyILoveSaruni photo competition here, and enter your photo to stand a chance at winning a 2 night safari for 2 at the Saruni property of your choice - valued at almost US$3,000!
Beautiful Game in the Bush
One morning a few weeks ago, in a remote Samburu village, 22 men of all ages and backgrounds toiled through some very high temperatures and a rather questionable surface to complete a memorable game of football: the first Saruni vs. Guests match! The team representing Guests (Norwegian company Datamatik) took a first half lead. A quick team talk from local Saruni captain Francis inspired the troops and two quick second half goals looked to set up a rout. Alas, the goals dried up, but the Datamatik fans made up for this with plenty of cheers. Final result? 2-1 to Saruni. The big question on everyone’s lips is........what next for this talented squad? Great fun was had by all! Up Saruni!
Cradle of Mankind - captured
 
Many believe this is going to be the next ‘Out of Africa'. The new film to be directed by Angelina Jolie focuses on the amazing life of Kenyan conservationist and palaeo-anthropologist Richard Leakey. With Brad Pitt rumoured to be in negotiations for the lead, the film will bring again Kenya, its people, its wildlife and its history to big screens all over the world. Angelina recently said: "I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life. [I] was taken with the beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him". The script, by Eric Roth, is described as "a sweeping epic, which tells the story of African-born Leakey, a fossil hunter who helped find bones of early man but later turned his attention to combating elephant and rhino poaching".

Read the recent coverage in the UK's Daily Mail in full, here
"...they call me the Wanderer..."
There are moments when elephants decide to get very close to humans, re-affirming what is a fascinating and age-less connection. Recently, it happened at Saruni Mara when, in the middle of the afternoon, we heard them scuffling around in the bushes and then coming out in full sight a few steps away from our dining area, Kuru House and its veranda. Thank you ellies!
Spotted!
We have been inundated with reports of daily sightings from both Saruni and the Mara of the ‘shy and retiring’ leopard, in the evening and surprisingly in daytime. Usually remaining on many a guests’ ‘wish-list’, sightings of this majestic creature are becoming more and more frequent in the conservancies in which the Saruni properties are located. This beauty was snapped by recent Saruni Mara guest, John from Nairobi.  Leopard? Tick!
Seeking something special?
 
If you are still seeking that special something for that special someone in your life – then look no further.  Our 2016 Saruni Specials give you every reason to include a visit to Kenya as #1 on your list to Santa this year. There is something for everyone: early bird specials, flash sales, 3 nights for 2, long-stay discounts and much more that will leave you enough to even buy a bow for the top!
Through the Eyes of a Guide
Many of you have told us how much you liked last month’s Q & A with Francis, one of our guides at Saruni Samburu. So we’ve decided to make it a regular feature, allowing you to get to know better our ‘memory-makers’, both before and long after your safari experience. This month, it’s Dixon Yaile’s turn in the spotlight! As a talented tracker and a senior, silver-level guide at Saruni Mara for 6 years, Dixon’s knowledge of birds and plants is second-to-none, with an ability to get close to elephants resulting from many childhood years spent in their company. Here’s what he has to say…….

Q. What is your most exciting or memorable sighting?
A. I came across two male leopard fighting. They fought for three hours before one of them became victorious and the other ran away. I remember it so well because of how rare it is to see a leopard let alone two and fighting over territory. Leopard are very illusive and are solitary animals so this was an exhilarating and unusual sighting.

Q. Why do you love Kenya?
A. There are so many things about Kenya; it is my homeland; the Masai Mara, the Great Rift Valley... Kenya lays in the cradle of mankind and it is therefore not only my home but everybody’s home. 
 
Q. What’s the strangest / funniest thing you have ever been asked? 
A. I’d have to say without a doubt that would be “What do lions eat?”  I rather gently replied “Well, carnivores generally don’t eat grass…”
 
Q. When was the last time the wildlife of the Masai Mara scared you?
A. About two months ago I was driving home after some very heavy rainfall and I had to cross an area where some of the land in the road had completely washed away, leaving very tricky terrain in which I became temporarily lodged. About 5 meters away were four lions. I knew I had to grab my shovel and dislodge the troubled area so I waited a long time to see if the lions would go away and after they didn’t I made the decision to get to work. With one eye on them at all times I was able dislodge the vehicle very quickly and get on my way. Phew! 
 
Q. What motivated you to become a guide? 
A. I have always had a love for nature. However, before I was a guide I was a night guard.  I used to listen to the stories the guides would tell the guests around the fire and think of telling such stories myself.  It was during my time as a night guard when I actually sat my Bronze-level Guiding exam and became a guide. Now I live and tell those very stories.
 
Q. What makes Saruni different?
A. We are far removed from any other lodges and  the hustle and bustle of other game viewers. We neighbour Mount Kilelioni, the highest point in the Masai Mara, which is unique to us and our guests; a place that touches our guests hearts when we take them there for sundowners. Also how we, the guides, as well as the rest of the Saruni team, share these experiences with the guests. I recently spotted a leopard from our main lodge during dinner and myself, the guests, the managers, and the waiters, were all beaming with excitement. 
 
Q. What is your favourite animal species in the Masai Mara? 
A. The black and white Colobus monkey . They have unfortunately been hunted extensively leaving them to be a very rare sighting. Now, the only place we can see them is Mount Kilelioni, where we go for sundowners. The couple of times I have seen them here, I have turned the engine off and just watched them glide from one tree to the next; such graceful creatures.
 
You can email us your very own questions for our guides, by emailing marketing@saruni.com. Next month, Saruni Samburu!
At Saruni, we are constantly reminded of the special, breath-taking panorama viewed  from the top of the ‘hot rock’ that is Saruni Samburu. Recent guest Quentin needed no reminding of this when he chose this unique, memorable location to propose to his now-fiancée Jess. We wish you many years of happiness ahead, and look forward to welcoming you back as husband and wife!
Poetry in motion
This is an unusual entry for our newsletters: an evocative poem, which beautifully depicts Saruni Mara. It has been written and shared with us by recent guest Amenuve, who grew up in Ghana and now lives in the US. We loved it and decided to share it with all of you.
 
The Baboon On Watch At The Entrance
 
The baboon on watch at the entrance
Buffalo on guard at your doorstep
Impala prancing on the grounds
The brilliance of the sunset
Birds singing out aloud
The soft raindrops screaming peace
Is it the snort of a zebra or of a buffalo?
The riddle of the dinner table
Welcome to Saruni Mara
Nestled in the ... hills
And on leaving, leave it as is....
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