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“Forget the Mara go here on the conservancy!” 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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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Forget the Mara go here on the conservancy!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I went to the Mara 14 years ago and then there were a lot less lodges and vehicles - now there are just too many and you sense the animals are hounded. In fact we met a cheetah researcher there who had closed off an area to a mum with 6 cubs as otherwise she couldn't hunt for them with so many vehicles. Instead go to the Gamewatchers conservancies - a totally new way of eco-tourism and as there are only a few people in each conservancy you really do feel as if you are the only ones there. Much less intrusive and the animals can get on with their lives. the camps are all designed to be totally eco-friendly and can be packed up at a moment's notice with no impact on the land. We had one day in the Mara and we all just wanted to go back to Ol Kinyei! Stunning game viewing, some of the best I have experienced in 5 trips to Africa - including some amazing lion prides with kills, cheetah and elephant. This camp is fantastic, amazing food and hospitality and guides who are so knowledgeable and want to share everything with you. My sister and I will return with families as soon as we can!

Room Tip: All tents are great!
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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268 reviews from our community

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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 (33)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

This was the second Porini camp we stayed at and sadly only stayed there for one night! (we first stayed at Porini Rhino and then went onto Lion afterwards.) I would definitely stay here for longer next time. Porini camps offer you a certain level of luxury whilst camping in the wild. The camp has six tents set on a river in a small valley. The tents have very comfortable beds and spacious bathrooms and lots of thoughtful touches (e.g. flowers on the towels). You feel very spoiled by all the great food and comfortable accommodations. This is located on a private conservancy with rolling green hills and valleys and you don't see hardly any other vehicles.
Thanks to Jimmy for running a great camp, he looked after us very well and everyone there was a delight to meet and provided great service (thanks to Thomas in the main tent too). "Young" John and Stanley were a wonderful guide/spotter team - we had such a great time meeting them and getting to know them and we saw some excellent wildlife thanks to their expertise. We were fortunate enough to visit a local village and learn about the Maasai way of life and I would highly recommend also visiting the local school on the conservancy. We also went to visit the Maasai Guide School which was extremely interesting as well. This is a great camp set in a lovely location with lots to see and do, I would highly recommend a visit.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

Located in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, it feels as though you are on your own private game reserve. Tents are spacious, best comfortable and toiletries, a torch and water provided. The staff here really care for you - I had some brilliant conversations with the food and beverage manager and could tell that he was interested in what I was saying and wanted to do everything he could to ensure that I had a wonderful stay.

As a solo traveller that night I was fed at a communal dining table with another family - very Kenyan and seemed appropriate in line with the Conservancy model of sharing and caring. I was served French onion soup for starter, beef for main and creme brulee for dessert. Breakfast was fruit and eggs as you wish.

The guides from Porini Mara were the best I have ever had (I have been on 100+ safaris). They cared for me, making sure that I didn't get tossed out of my seat or hit by branches, and as locals they knew the ins and outs of the Masai Mara and the conservancy. They spoke good English. We did get a flat tyre but again, was thoroughly impressed with how they dealt with it - no drama and the wheel changed within two minutes.

Thoroughly recommend, will tell all my friends and family to visit.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Delray Beach, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014

I can't say enough good things about Gamewatchers! I traveled alone to Kenya in December of 2012 and would jump at the chance to do it again. I chose Gamewatchers because of their commitment to the environment and working with indigenous tribes. Their camps are very Eco-conscious, leased from the local Massai people and staffed by the Massai as well.

The food was surprisingly good, the tents were clean and everyone was super friendly and helpful.
But what really seperated them from everyone else was the game drives. All of their vecihles are open to the air. I can't stress how important this is. It gives you clear access for pictures and watching the animals. There are days when you are out in the bush in the truck all day, but you never feel like you've been stuck in a car all day. Most of the other vans I saw were completely closed in and forced you to stand up and stick your head out of the sunroof to take pics. The people in these vans looked miserable towards the end of the day.
The guides were also top of the line. They are from the local Massai tribe and grew up out in the bush. They were a wealth of information about the animals and knew all the hiding spots to check for some of the more elusive ones. They avoided the overcrowded areas of the park (there were 2 cheetah brothers that were surrounded by 30-40 cars) and took us to ares where it was just us. Including a private viewing of mating lions and a rarely seen rhino!
They also went above and beyond to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. It had been raining a lot and the roads to the river were soaked and most of the other companies just avoided them. We (an English couple and I) really wanted to see the hippos and they made it happen! This entailed them walking in knee high water to plot the best course, getting stuck several times, and battling some serious mud. They really wanted to make sure we had a good experience and left happy!
Last but not least, this amazing trip was a fraction of the price of other safaris. It made a lifelong dream attainable while supporting a company that supports sustainability and the local economy!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Wimauma, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

We tend to be conservative in destination selection for vacations, so to make plans for an Africa Safari was a little stretch for us. We are so glad that we made this one of out top bucket list destinations. I did lots of research prior to the trip to try to narrow down where to go. There is obviously lots to consider and I was so grateful for all the help that Julie at Gamewatchers gave me. I had heard about the Porini Camps from a friend and knew that they were my preferred camps. We wanted to do the tent experience and it was wonderful.

We stayed in Porini Amboseli, Porini Mara, Porini Lion camps. All were terrific. They all have a limited number of tents which makes it very easy to meet wonderful people from different parts of the world. Each night at dinner we would all share our daily adventures.

Like the others, Porini Mara camp was beautiful. The tents are spacious and very nicely appointed. The staff was friendly and they did everything to make the stay comfortable. We thought that the food was well above average, and Beer man that I am, I looked forward to my Tusker beer every night. The camp gound is scenic and very well kept.

The guide and spotters that accompany you for the game drive are all full of the local knowledge and are so patient for seeking the animals that we all want to see and to get you in the perfect position for pictures.

The sundowners are great. To be in that beautiful surrounding with fellow adventurers having a gin and tonic or beverage of your choice is indeed a unique experience that I missed as soon as I got back home.

All the reports posted certainly show you what a fantastic experience this is. Do everything that you can to go, and I can't say enough good about the Porini Camps and the wonderful people of the Maasai. Truly warm people that made an impression on me.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

We were drawn to Gamewatchers' Porini Camps because they are eco-conscious, intimate, and situated on private conservancies. The Ol Kinyei conservancy is located on leased land from the local Maasai community, and Gamewatchers also works closely with the Maasai to generate jobs (our guide/spotter Josphet and driver Tippa were from nearby villages). The camps leave no footprint, meaning that they could be packed up in a few hours without leaving a trace.

Porini Mara Camp has six guest tents, and the animals can roam freely throughout the camp as they please. The Maasai stand guard with nothing more than a stick and a lot of confidence! The sounds we heard at night were truly amazing – grunting buffalo, barking zebra, a grumpy hippo (Simon), whimpering hyenas and a growling lioness.

We loved our group in our jeep and spent all 4 days together in awe of the abundant wildlife! Our amazing spotter found lions feeding (twice!), a mama lioness and her cubs, and a mini wildebeest river crossing.

Next time I may opt for a more luxurious safari experience, but this is an incredible and affordable option and I will definitely be back at some point in the future.

Room Tip: Tents 1 and 6 are on the edge of camp, meaning that you will be exposed to many animal sounds at nig...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

We travelled here with the help of go2africa.com in September 2014. This was our honeymoon and first safari experience and the two night stay at the Porini Mara camp could not have been more perfect! We were met by two friendly guides Nelson and Geoffrey at the airstrip. They were the guides for the entire trip and they were polite, knowledgable, funny and helped us to maximise the time we had there. The conservancy is a very natural space and there was no other landcruisers to make it feel overcrowded. The wildlife was breathtaking and we were able to drive off the paths to see everything close up which is not the case in many large reserves. I could not speak higher of the camp which was immaculate and very eco-friendly. It had a level of luxury and simplicity combined and the staff really made an effort to provide anything you required even in such an isolated place. The food and service was incredible and the views both during the day and in the evenings when the sun went down were beautiful. Sitting round the campfire hearing about the stars with the staff was a personal highlight.

We would definitely recommend the night safaris as the animals are completely different and their behaviour is fascinating to observe. We also thought the walk about outside the camp was great to learn about the plants and animals a little closer up.

Overall, I couldn't fault any part of this camp, the accommodation felt like a 5 star resort, the staff were both professional and friendly, the nature and surrounding area was perfect for experiencing animals in their most natural habitat. We can recommend this trip for beginners or returning visitors and we certainly hope to visit this beautiful place again.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
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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