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“HAKUNA MATATA if you tour with Gamewatchers Safari” 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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Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“HAKUNA MATATA if you tour with Gamewatchers Safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Tour : KENYA SAFARI & BEACH RESORT from Dec 15 to 28, 2012.

After reading the great tripadviser reviews on 'Gamewatchers Safari', I emailed them (GS) with my requirements. I received a prompt reply from Robyn and it was the start of many email exchanges. Since this was our first trip to Kenya, we left it to Robyn to chalk out the itinerary, based on, of course, our requirements; and, boy, did she do a good job! She gave us a plan as follows:
i) Hotel Serena, Nairobi : 2 nights
ii) Amboselli Porini Camp : 2 nights
iii) Sunbird Lodge, Lake Nokuru : 2 nights
iv) Mara Porini Camp : 3 nights
v) Hotel Pinewood Village, Galu Beach : 5 nights
Apart from booking us as above, she also arranged airport pickup & drop, domestic flights, game drives....everything, the TOTAL package. You do not have to do anything! The entire trip clicked like clockwork.
HOTEL SERENA: A good & clean, friendly staff, great food & good location.
AMBOSELLI & MARA PORINI CAMPS: Porini in Maasai language means 'in the wilderness'. If you are looking for 'four/five star' luxuries, then the Porini Camps are not for you. The tents are very basic but clean & comfortable. Food is simple, fresh & wholesome. Most of the staff are local Maasais who are very friendly with great sense of humor. They go out of their way to make you feel at home and are very obliging. The guide & driver are knowledgable and can talk for hours on the local fauna & flora. They worked very hard to track the 'big five' and were very successful. We saw 22 lions and lost count of elephants, rhinos, wild buffalos, giraffes, zebras, wilde beests, antelopes, wart hogs, baboons and birds. Were not lucky with cheetahs...just few of them. Were totally unlucky with leopards... not even one; very shy creatures!
SUNBIRD LODGE, Lake Nokuru: A great lodge with all the comforts you can think of. However try to avoid the cottages near the swimming pool because you have to climb over 50 steps to go to the lounge & dining area. Stephen was our driver & guide who drove us from Nairobi to this lodge and took us around Lake Nokuru Park which is great for flamingos, elephants, rhinos, hippos, baboons and birds. Wilde beests, zebras & giraffes are everywhere.
HOTEL PINEWOOD VILLAGE, Galu Beach: Private beach with white powdery sand, clean & safe, cool breeze throughout the day, unbelievably colorful sunrise & sunset on the blue Indian Ocean, unlimited good food & drinks throughout the day, laze in the swimming pool, dinner on the beach, well looked after by a friendly & professional staff, spacious & clean rooms.....what more do you want after 'roughing it out' in the Porini Camps! Just eat, read, swim, laze & sleep in a comfortable hotel resort....a perfect ending to a Safari!

CONCLUSION: If we want to go on a Kenyan Safari again, we know where to go...GAMEWATCHERS SAFARI !
HAKUNA MATATA if you make a trip with Gamewatchers Safari !
( remember LION KING....means NO WORRIES, in Swahili )

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (27)
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English first
Thika Valley, Central, Kenya
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

...as we embarked on the treacherous journey to the Maasai Mara i had varied thoughts on i thought having being to more than 60 Eco-camps in Kenya this was going to be just like any other experience; however, i was proved wrong..!! the camp is located in a private Ol Kinyei Conservancy - a partnership between 144 local private landowners and the facility. It has a comprehensive Environmental policy committed to environmental conservation through responsible and sustainable tourism, local community benefits and resources management. The policy is implemented through the environmental management system covering water, energy, occupational health and safety, and waste management.The Camp is constructed with a low impact to the natural environment. It is an active partner in Mara-Naboisho Lion Project - a research project established in collaboration with the International Research Institute (ILRI), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Danish Zoological Society (DSZ) to collar lions for ecological monitoring.
It has rigorous solid waste management system. Waste separation is done at source; waste bins are colour coded and labeled. Organic waste is composted in a well sealed pit within the compound whereas plastics, glass and metallic waste is transported to Nairobi for recycling.
It has invested in solar energy for lighting and running its refrigerators. Cooking for guests is done using LPG gas. Charcoal and firewood used for staff and the oven are sourced from sustainable sources of production at Kakuzi Limited. The water up take for the facility is metered at the main outlets and daily monitoring done. Water conservation is promoted through guest and staff sensitization, use of water efficient dual cistern toilet system, drip irrigation on the charcoal fridge and use of ‘safari showers’ - 20 litres refillable buckets showers at the guest tents. It has a well established health and safety system and an elaborate corporate social responsibility (CSR) and supports education and health initiatives not forgeting employment of more than 90% of its employees from the local Maasai. Basically, the camp crowns my2012 Eco Camps experience.!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

i will preface this by saying if you want a hot shower at will, temperature control in your room, electricity, etc. this is not the place for you. these are not luxurious tents, but clean and comfortable. what makes the porini camps so special is the experience. you will literally be next to the wildlife, being guided by knowledgeable, friendly masai, with no one around you, esp on the conservancy. once you get into the mara, more crowded and much more touristy. i wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone to come to the porini camps, but be forewarned about the rustic nature of the camps. solar power means just that. a safari shower is a 5 gallon bucket shower with water carried to your tent by one of the masai workers. food was great and the staff beyond friendly. once in a lifetime experience.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Mary, Jersey, Channel Islands
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

I recently spent 3 nights at Porini Mara camp (Ol Kinyei Conservancy) and it was absolutely fantastic!! This was my third visit to this camp, and definitely my best ever safari experience over the past 30 years.
The staff gave an unbelievably high quality service, and nothing was ever too much trouble.
Food was varied and prepared and presented to a very high standard, as good as you get in any 'hotel' in Africa .......(I have travelled all over Africa, so I know!!). And the bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in!
My safari guides (Stanley & Geoffrey) were fabulous, and their wildlife spotting skills were out of this world!! One example was when we were ambling along in the conservancy one morning, and Geoffrey suddenly said "Cheetah, to the right". We looked, and couldn't see anything. He said "see that bush about 100 metres over there, to the left there's a little wagging tail". Sure enough, when we got closer, there was a cheetah secreted in the thicket, with four gorgeous little cubs about three months old. We spent the next hour or so with them, and of course because it is a private game conservancy, we were the only vehicle in the area, so these five wonderful creatures were not hounded by countless mini-buses as they would have been in the neighbouring Masai Game Reserve ....... this is one of the best things about going to Ol Kinyei - the game is yours and yours alone, and there’s nothing better than just sitting there watching them being a family, and all the interaction that goes on.
Thank you to everyone involved with Porini Mara …… I’ll be back soon!

Room Tip: There are 6 luxury tents in the camp, and I've stayed in Nos. 3, 4 and 5 over the years. They...
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  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

I recently spent two nights at Porini Mara and had a fantastic time. Saw lots of wildlife including cheetah, lion, giraffe etc on the conservancy. The Maasai guides were excellent trackers and very good company. Being able to take walks, enjoy sundowners and view wildlife from a comfortable, open 4x4 was fantastic. You could see the envy of those driving around in minivans when we showed up in the Masai Mara Reserve. The quality of the food was excellent as was the service at camp. Very clean, spacious, comfortable tents.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We have stayed in several 5* lodges but never in a tented camp. What a difference canvas makes. You hear every little noise, you are so close to nature and the wildlife. The camp and the staff are excellent. They really go the extra mile for the guests. The tents are luxurious, and kept very clean & tidy.

  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We first stayed at Pornini Mara Camp in January 2012 and enjoyed it so much we went again in November 2012 and brought friends with us! We all had a wonderful time, nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The tents are large with everything you could wish for, the food is good, both when eating at the camp and when we took a picnic on a full day safari. The drivers and guides are extremely knowledgable, they know not just about all the animals and but also all the birds, trees and flowers. They are also very flexible, letting you decide what time you would like your game drive and also trying to find a particular animal you would most like to see. Gamewatchers also arranged our balloon ride followed by a champagne breakfast in the Masaai Mara Game Reserve which was amazing. Well done to all the staff who organise and work with Porini Mara Camp, we will definitely be returning again next year!

Room Tip: All tents are excellently positioned around the camp.
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

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 9 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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Also Known As:
Mara Porini Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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