We booked a 3D/2N package at the Porini Mara camp somewhat at the last minute and without much research, so were fully prepared for all sorts of glitches. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
The process was smooth and effortless from the start. Caroline and Zuhura at Gamewatchers were prompt, helpful and efficient in setting up the logistics via email. The process of getting to the camp worked out perfectly. The camp itself was just wonderful - comfortable, friendly, and absolutely gorgeous. Everyone we dealt with was great - from David, our camp manager, whose warmth and humour put us at ease immediately; to Jeffrey and Tipa, our knowledgeable guides throughout the weekend who always seemed to know when to feed us information and when to be quiet and let us soak in our surroundings; to all of the camp staff who provided food, drinks, hot water and much else efficiently and without fuss.
The weekend was full of surprises. A tent that included not just spotless linen, but also clothes hangers, a flush toilet, a dressing table, and a shower. Comfortable mattresses. Freshly baked bread with every meal. Delicious soups every night. Freshly brewed coffee during a coffee break in the middle of the wildlife reserve. A vehicle comfortable enough that our 50+ year old bones weren't aching even after many hours of driving around on bumpy roads. Stories of Simon, the shy resident hippo, whom we never did catch a glimpse of.
Highlights of the trip included pulling up in a clearing in the middle of nowhere to sip glasses of wine and experience the glorious sunset, herds of deer and wildebeest grazing not far away. Seeing deer, zebra, and elephants wandering around a few hundred feet outside our campsite. Spending eight hours in the wildlife reserve - lots of elephants, hundreds of giraffes, thousands of zebra and deer. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest marching in straight lines towards Tanzania, or massed on the bank of the Mara river waiting to cross. And most spectacular of all, a total of 18 lions in four separate groups, each of which we were able to observe for half an hour at a stretch from a distance of less than 15 feet.
The Porini Mara staff really seem to understand how to make a vacation special, not just in all the obvious ways (clean sheets, good food etc) but with all sorts of thoughtful little details that transformed an excellent weekend into a truly extraordinary one. This was our first trip to Africa, and it turned out to be.an experience that will be very hard to beat. I couldn't recommend it more strongly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Porini Mara Camp is located in the exclusive 17,500 acre wildlife conservancy of Ol Kinyei, one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the Serengeti-Mara eco-system. The camp has 6 spacious guest tents with an en-suite bathroom sited in the shade of Yellow-barked Acacia trees. The camp accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, where guests enjoy game drives in 4x4s, sundowners at scenic viewing points and escorted walks with Maasai guides. Ol Kinyei is noted for its excellent wildlife viewing with a resident pride of lions, cheetahs, leopards and a wide variety of animals. There is a strict limit on the number of tourist vehicles allowed in the conservancy so that visitors from the camp can view the wildlife without other vehicles. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mara Porini Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Porini Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve