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“outstanding experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
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swindon
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
“outstanding experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights here, and our only complaint was that it was not enough! The location is wonderful, being the only camp in this Conservancy, and the tents are very comfortable, and well positioned for views and a degree of privacy.
The camp is staffed my Masai, who are quiet and reserved, but very efficient. They also served the coldest Tusker beers of our entire trip to Kenya! The food was plentiful, of good quality, although there was no choice of main course (not a complaint, as I amsure they would have provided another option if we had wanted) and meals were taken around a large communal table with the other guests.
Stars of the stay for us were Jimmy, our guide/driver, and Marima the spotter. They were simply wonderful, and helped us see everything we could have wanted (except the elusive leopard), Highlight was spending over an hour (without other vehicles) watching a female cheetah with 4 small cubs - priceless! There is a huge amount of game in the Conservancy, and any fears we had about staying outside the National Parks were completely unfounded.
We will return, health and wealth permitting.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

I and my sister have made many trips to East Africa going on safari (I the older sister made my first East African safari 1965) A few years ago we discovered Porini Amboseli and fell in love with it. This year we returned for out third visit and also went to Porini Mara and last to Porini Lion so now we have three loves!
We are both elderly (72 and 76 years) and not so agile any longer but all three camps can be highly recommended also to elderly people who are still young in mind.
The service is absolutely firstclass. All our wished were fullfilled also some we did not know we had!! The staff, guides, drivers, camp staff including the manager always made sure that we were well looked after from the early morning tea outside our tent to the hot water bottle in the bed.
The tents were large and well equipped, food was good and ample both when we had out meals "at home" and as picknik lunches during the safaries.
We saw a very great number of animals . The guide/driver was very good at spotting those and also know how to get the best possible angle for taking good pictures. He was also a good driver managing the rather rough roads.
We spent tree nights in Mara Porini and finished each day happy and exhausted after a day crammed full of experiences.
The camp can be highly recommended and we certinaly want to return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

This review is a few months overdue, but I just have to tell people about this fabulous place. My husband and I spent the first week of our honeymoon at the Porini Mara camp, and we can't imagine beginning our life together in any better way! We weren't sure what we were in store for - we had seen pictures online of the tents and weren't sold on the camp, but were assured by my uncle, who had visited recently, that this was the camp to stay at. He was so right! The guides were absolutely lovely: they are all knowledgable and friendly and so flexible - everyone at the camp really cares about making your experience special. We were lucky enough to travel with Jos and Stanley, and they were incredible guides. The food was always great, and best of all, we saw amazing animals, all the time, everyday. From the moment we arrived at the airport, we were taken care of. Thank you so much to everyone at Porini Mara for making our trip so extraordinary.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

This was our first visit to this camp, although we have been to the other Porini camps previously. I was very pleasantly surprised when we arrived as the scenery and surroundings were so different from our previous experience in the Maasai Mara with it's vast rolling plains - here there was greenery everywhere, and it wasn't after the rainy season. The camp nestles in a hollow and is surrounded by trees, close-by is a water hole, there is a hippo, monkeys, all sorts of birds, we had a visit from an impala, and various other animals during the night by the sounds we heard. This was very definately 'Real Africa'. We chose to remain in the conservancy during our 5 night stay as we were moving to Porini Lion camp after the Mara camp so would get plenty of opportunity to visit the National Reserve then. This camp - like all Porini camps - is very eco friendly. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly - nothing was too much trouble. The accomodation and food was very good - as it is in all the camps. There was a wealth of wildlife to see, and our guide, Jimmy,a very good job taking us around. We did early morning drives, night drives, a nature walk and saw a huge variety of creatures - a trap door spider to elephants with all sizes in between. We would certainly return and have no hesitation in recomending this camp to perspective guests.

Room Tip: All tents are the same.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

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.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

The Porini Mara camp was the fourth Porini camp my wife and I have stayed in, and, as with the other camps, I give it an excellent rating. The camp is in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy next to the Masai Mara Reserve. It’s the only camp in the conservancy, so you won’t be caught in a vehicle crowd while in the conservancy. On conservancies you can go off road and do night drives, which you can do in the Reserve. I took a GPS to mark sitings, and we saw quite a lot within a few miles from the camp. There’s also a trip the Mara Reserve. FYI, the road to the Reserve is rough, but that’s part of experience. Our guides were Jasper and Simon, and they did a great job. I’m amazed at what these guys see with the naked eye. The camp is next to a stream or small river and is in a ‘hollow,’ which gives it a cozy feel. We were in tent 4, which has a nice view a slope across the stream. A word about Porini camps: they’re eco-friendly bush camps. The beds are comfortable, the food is good, and the service is great. You can hear the wildlife during the night. You get a hot camp (bucket) shower. There are no swimming pools, no spas. Guests eat together and talk about the day’s drives. If you want a luxury hotel, go elsewhere. If you want a high-quality bush camp experience, the Porini camps are good places.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

The overall experience was amazing from the start when I was picked up at the air strip and taken back at the end. During the entire trip they made sure that all comforts and needs were met. On the drive into the private reserve they immediately started the safari sharing about the different animals and making sure I was able to maximize every photo opportunity. They instinctively anticipated on every game drive when I would like to take a picture and would adjust the vehicle for any adjusted angles I would like!

David the camp manager and his staff did a amazing job every time in camp making sure all the comforts were there. From beer and cocktails in the afternoon to the morning wake up of African Tea being brought to my room and evening having the bed toasty warm when I was ready to retire for the night.

On the game drive Jeffrey and Stanley were top notch guides. They both new where to go and when to get a great experience! In the first 24 hours of arriving I had seen all the Big Five! On the full day game drive in the Mara Reserve they spotted a lioness with a fresh kill. During the drives they also were an amazing amount of information sharing very unique things about every animal and willing to customize the drive to what I wanted to see and experience.

Thank you to all of the staff for your amazing hospitality and sharing your culture and history with me. It has been such an amazing experience and it brings me much joy at home sharing the stories of my time at with Porini. You are on my top recommendation to all friends that are planning a safari trip!

Room Tip: All of the tents are great at this camp and very private from other guests tents. All are within a s...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Porini Mara Camp

Also Known As:
Mara Porini Camp Hotel
Mara Porini Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve
Address: Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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