Like a Swan, Serian glides serenely through life providing guests with an unforgettable bush experience. However, like a Swan, it is paddling hard beneath the water to appear serene to others. The people who are paddling hard are the staff who make everything happen, despite the glitches, that life remote from all the resources that we usually take for granted, thrown at them.
The milkman doesn't deliver the milk before you rise and there isn't a supermarket just down the road. Everything has to be ordered a week in advance and transported over gradually worsening roads from Nairobi - the journey takes up to 6 hours. But things don't stop there, there has to be fuel to power the generator that provides the electricity for the fridge, kerosene to fuel the hurricane lamps, replacement wine glasses for those smashed by a careless hand, washing powder for the laundry and the myriad of other items that make life in the bush what it is.
Behind the scenes there are the mechanics that keep the fleet of four different vehicle types ready and available to ensure that guests get their own vehicle every day. There's the sewing machine expert that can produce anything with canvas & material from a large tent for a mobile camp, unique tailor made book covers to delicate mosquito covers for the four poster beds.
Even more people make sure that the tents are always ready for guests' arrival /return, place the kerosene lamps on the paths to provide a soft illumination at night, plan ever appetising menus, wait on table. Then there are the Askaris with their torches (and more importantly spears and bows & arrows) who ensure the safety of guests as the go to and from their tents during the evening.
Definitely the unsung heroes.
All this is taken to a further level when guests opt for a mobile camp and everything that is made to happen in the main camp has to be faithfully replicated in the depths of the Mara wilderness.
But what would any successful safari be without drivers and guides ? They can spot a twitching ear above the grass at phenomenal distances, tell you the gestation period of the most obscure animal, get you to the right place at the right time to take a stunning picture and make you feel perfectly safe whether you are in direct eye contact with a Lion from the vehicle or making your way quietly on foot through the bush.
Co-ordinating all this is the management, oiling the cogs, placing the orders, paying the wages and meeting the requests - reasonable and otherwise - of guests.
Next time you see a Swan serene on a river, peer below the surface to see how fast it is paddling.