I have been meaning to write this review for some time. In August, I took
an eight night safari with Gamewatchers at three Porini Camps, Amboselli, Lion and Rhino Camps. I will review the others in additional reviews.
I am a single woman who traveled solo. From the beginning, the experience with Porini was professional, easy and completely comfortable. I booked with Julie at Gamewatchers nearly year in advance. She was amazing!
I landed in Nairobi and was met by the Gamewatchers staff. I transferred to a hotel for the night and was picked up and flew to Amboselli by Safari Air. You can drive but I would suggest flying to save the time.
I was met at the airstrip by the guides who where both Masai. The way the Porini camps work is that they pair you up with a driver and spotter who you are with the entire trip. The open air jeeps seat 6 so you have up to 6 people on game drives with you. The jeeps are really nice and two steps up from the other ones you see. I loved my guides the entire trip. I enjoyed talking to them and learning about their culture. They are so good a spotting animals since they grew up doing it!
We game drived for the day after the pick up. The camp itself is on a conservancy which means that it is land owned by the Masai. The park boarders the conservancy. The benefit of staying on the conservancy is that there are not rules. You can drive anywhere at anytime, even at night. I would say it takes 30- 45 min from the park boarder to get to the camp.
Amboselli is known for its elephants. There are sooo many of them. They are supposed to be friendly. They definitely seemed less phased by people then in other parks. The highlight of my game drives was seeing the "elephant crossing" where 100+ elephants walk from the forest to the swamp and cross the road right in front of you! Make sure that you leave early enough on your game drives to see this.
The camp itself is really nice. The "tents" are about 200 square feet with full beds and flushing toilets. You can have warm showers via the bucket shower - The camp staff pours a bucket of water in a contraption outside your tent and you take a shower normally via the plumbing. You only have a bucket so you need turn the showers off when you are soaping up and back on when you are rinsing.
You eat in a community dining area. When I was there, there was a total of 6 of us there. It was fun to sit together and talk to people who love animals and are from all over the world. Food is good. I am a vegetarian and not once did I have a problem having something to eat. They were so accommodating. When I was there, the BBC was staying at our camp filming for an upcoming series called Africa. One night we sat around the fire talking to the entire crew.
One other good thing about Amboselli is that you have the opportunity to visit a real Masai village with someone who lives there (that also works) at the camp. Dont miss this! This will be a bit out of your comfort zone and I am sure most people have never seen anything like it.
We game drived every day and took several night drives which you should not miss. One thing I will say is do NOT miss a game drive. Someone told me this and the one I missed in 8 days ended up being amazing.
What I can say about Porini is they are awesome. They are accommodating, knowledgeable and first class. What I do need to say about my Porini experience is, these camps are for people that love animals and really want an experience. They are nice, not luxerious. There isn't internet or washing facilities. There is weirdly enough cell coverage in the parks and you can wash your clothes in the sink. You hear noises at night (animals). It is very safe but its still Africa in the middle of the bush. Game drives are long compared to other camps which is good since that is why we are there. You are up early everyday since this is the best time to see the animals.
Here are some tips about my trip/stay:
* take planes between camps this saves time
* bring glasses since it is really dusty and you will not want to wear contacts
* If you go during the "winter" USA summer, it is COLD. I had a scarf, gloves and hat and I wore them. It is 40 degrees in the morning and colder as you are in an open air jeep
* Bring deet bug lotion and aways where it
* Dress in layers
* Buy a rolling duffle - the weight limit for the safari planes is 33 lbs total!! This means your carry on too. My duffle wasn't rolling and I regretted it
* Bring a flashlight/headlamp
* Do not bring anything you care about besides a camera - it is so dusty and dirty you will want to get rid of all your clothes at the end of your trip (give to the locals)
* Bring small bills for tipping
* You do not need a lot of clothes - buy the kind you can wash out and they dry fast.
* Wear hiking shoes vs flip flops ( you can step on things or get bitten)
* Bring dramamine if you get motion sickness since the game drives are bumpy
* Ladies - only wear sports bras on the game drives. It is harder on your body then running * Although you will be tired, do not miss a game drive
* Bring disinfectant wipes and wipes for your camera. Yes you go to the bathroom behind a tree a lot
* Bring TP with you on the game drives plus a zip lock bag
* If you can, stop on your way to africa to get acclimated to the time change. So if your plane stops in Istanbul, take a day or two there to get used to the time change
* I took Turkish Air along with many people we met, it was amazing
* I am so passionate about this trip, please email me at email@example.com with any questions!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Selenkay Conservancy lies a few miles north of Amboseli National Park, is an important dispersal area and rangeland for wildlife migrating out of Amboseli. The number of tourist visitors is limited to eighteen per day. Accommodation is at Porini Camp. The facilities include 9 spacious tents, comfortably furnished with en suite bathrooms and solar-powered electric lighting. Game drives in open 4x4s with qualified guides, bush walks, sundowners and night game drives are all included ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with T4B so you can book your Porini Amboseli Camp reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Amboseli Porini Camp, Selenkay Conservancy Hotel Amboseli Eco-System