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“Can't be beat safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Porini Amboseli Camp

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Porini Amboseli Camp
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3.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Selenkay Conservancy, Kenya   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Montclair, New Jersey
1 review
“Can't be beat safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Had 6 days in the Porini Camps in mid-March--3 days in Amboseli/Selenkay camp and 3 in Masai Mara/Ol Kinyei camp. Unforgettable travel experience. Accommodation, food, everything really was top-notch. Every member of the staffs at both camps seemed dedicated to making our experience the best it could possibly be. What was so evident was that all had a great love of nature and seemed eager to share that. They worked hard at this--both on the drives and back at camp. I'd like to give a special thanks to the dedicated guides at the Selenkay Camp--Wilson, Shadrack, and Richard--and to the guides at Ol Kinyei--Riza and Tipa.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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232 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We spent 14 days on safari with Gamewatchers (Selenkay-->Ol Kinyei-->Rwanda), They took excellent care of us and I couldn't recommend them more highly!
This was our first stop and we were unexpectedly upgraded to this camp. Starting with a wake up call and tea service every morning, we couldn't have had a better introduction to "roughing it" within the bush of Africa. LOL.
I loved having our own adjoining restroom and shower. The beds were comfortable and super cozy when you crawled in and found the hot water bottle at your feet!
There are no fences surrounding the camp, so every now and then you might find a curious elephant or giraffe walking between the tents!

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My extended family of ten, ranging from ages 6 to 70, visited four Porini Camps: Amboseli, Rhino, Mara, and Lion. Every aspect of Porini - the cultural experience, game drives/wildlife, accommodations, service, food - was stellar, and I'm convinced is totally unique from any other safari experience. Porini's model is rooted in environmental and social responsibility and partnerships with local Masai communities and their land, which in turn created a truly meaningful and immersive experience that we didn't fully appreciate until we were a part of it.

The hospitality from the local Masai camp staff and guides was unparalleled, so genuine that at times we felt more like friends or family than guests. In fact, we made some new friends and are now keep in touch via email. Perhaps best of all - no other safari groups! It all belongs to you! Porini camps are located on Masai conservancy lands, so everything is right outside your tent door! (We had a giraffe walk through camp one afternoon and were visited during the night by elephant, hippo, and cape buffalo, among others). You can go for a nature walk or have a picnic (but always with the guides!), and drive anywhere your Land Cruiser can handle. This all really helps you explore the entire area and find the animals. Where else would I get a chance to go for runs in the bush with a Masai Warrior, following the paths he has traced since his childhood?

Accommodations: the key word is "glamping" (glamour camping). Spacious, clean, nicely decorated tents, comfy beds, good (solar powered) lighting, and flush toilets/running water (drinking water in bottles). The bucket showers require some getting used to, but that's about as rough as it gets. The food was excellent and customized to individual tastes and dietary needs - nut allergies and vegetarians. None of us - kids included - were were ever wanting for anything. Each day began with coffee/tea/hot cocoa and biscuits delivered to our tent, and we looked forward to each evening's "sundowner" (drink and snacks) as a refreshing conclusion to the day's game drive before heading back to camp for campfire and dinner.

As parents of children ages 6 and 10, we had some questions about our family's safety. We needn't have worried. They took care of us at all times and both our kids were in heaven from day one. Our kids were often the center of attention from doting staff who loved entertaining them and kept them smiling. We did not see a single mosquito or biting fly in 13 days (February = dry season), so never used insect repellent and malaria meds were just a formality.

Wildlife sightings and game drives were far above (already high) expectations! We were not prepared for the sheer number, variety, or frequency of animal encounters and how close we got to them - sometimes just a truck's length away from lions, elephants, and giraffes. We quickly realized that game drives are not about just seeing the animals, but about observing them in action: hunting, eating, playing, birthing, nursing, fighting, mating, .... We saw it all, including a run-in between lions and hyenas that resulted in a hyena being killed 50 feet from us! The guides were incredibly knowledgeable and our endless questions were gateways to fascinating conversations. Their intimate knowledge and love of their environment came through in everything they shared with us.

"Kwaheri" is Swahili for "goodbye" but it implies that you hope to meet again. (Someone explained to me that literal Swhili "goodbye" is only said at death). This captures the spirit of the Kenyan people we met and the spirit of Porini as well. I hope to go back to Porini some day, perhaps with my own grandchildren. Porini is far and away the best you can do!

Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
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Canberra
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

We spent 3 nights at Porini Ambosell Camp, and another 3 at Porini Mara.

So what do you get? Lots of animals, spectacular birds, good food, outside open fire, gins and tonic as the sun sets. The guides (local Masai in traditional costume) are both expert and willing.

Technically accommodation is a tent, but really it's a room about 7 metres by 4, a separate bathroom with shower and basin, electric lights, rugs on the floor, plenty of space.

There's a lot of bouncing round in open Landcruisers spotting game. This can be testing at times but the thrill of coming across a pride of lions recovering from the overnight kill compensates handsomely.

And the thoughtful program provides variety: picnics at lookouts, inspection of the local village, a walk to check animal tracks and their droppings (we were told how to tell an elephant's age from its poo), and siestas to balance the early starts.

The food was excellent, the atmosphere terrific and the guides very keen to make sure guests had a good experience. Highly recommended.

Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

We are hopeless addicted to Africa and this was our 17 t safari. We wanted a great gaming experience, tented comfort,not uber luxury and an authentic bush experience. We chose Gamewatchers with high expectations having read and heard many extremely favorable reviews and I must say, their Porini Amboseli camp delivered in spades! One of the things that attracted us to these camps was the conservancy concept and to see it done so well and with such great results was delightful.
The sense of ownership and pride that each person associated with the camp has is very evident. It shows in the service, the commitment and the smiles.
Tony the manager runs things efficiently but unobtrusively..everything works life clockwork but with charm and no visible stress. There is definitely something infectious about the good humour and cheer of the place and it led to a very convivial atmosphere. Jonathan at the mess camp was so hospitable, one felt like valued guests in a private home. Our guides were Julius and Jonah and I was impressed by the thought they put into our game drives..as we were spending six days there, it must have been a challenge to show us something new on every drive and yet, they achieved it.
The visit to the Masaai village was not something I was looking forward to, having experienced some very hokey ones in the past. This one however, was very different. For one there was no commercial angle and no goods were on sale at the village. The chief was very mindful of the privacy of the villagers , so we didn't feel too much like voyeurs.
The Porini service extended beyond our stay...they called to tell us we had left behind a small pouch of cables and arranged to have it waiting for us at the airport on our way back from a different camp. We were very touched by the thoughtfulness and the extent of their helpfulness and can't talk highly enough about the camp. Would we go with Gamewatchers again? In a heart beat....

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

We were picked up at the airport strip and treated to coffee and snacks before we headed off on a safari drive on our way to the camp. Our guide and driver were nice and willing to do whatever we needed. We saw lots of animals on the way to our camp. When we arrived we were greeted by those who worked there and shown to our tent/room. Out tent was spacious and clean. We continued our day with good food and another drive. We had a lovely dinner and then slept well in our comfortable bed. It was quiet at the camp when we were there, only 1 other person. We spent 2 nights there and had a great experience.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

Gamewatchers Porini conservancy camps offer an experience which surpassed all my expectations. I endorse all the superlative comments made by other guests. This was my first safari travelling solo at age 71. The organisation from start to finish could not be bettered. Steve dealt with my booking in a meticulous, prompt, patient, friendly and professional way answering all my questions. He is very familiar with all the camps. Gamewatchers look after you every step of the way and nothing is left to chance. I have never been so well looked after. The Maasai teams at the camp are so courteous and friendly, always willing to take the time to talk to you and answer questions about their customs and culture. A genuine warmth and friendliness pervade the camps. The conservancy concept is win win for all concerned. Game-viewing is fantastic thanks to the very knowledgable guides and spotters who do everything they can to enable you to see as much game as possible from the best possible position and are full of enthusiasm for what they do. On the Sekenkay conservancy Julius and Jonah did a brilliant job of tracking lion one morning and we ended up in the midst of the pride of eight. A wonderful variety of game and birds and not another vehicle in sight. Our custom-built open-sided landcruiser with tiered seats for six guests was perfect for game-viewing. I was bowled over by our day visit to Amboseli National Park. We must have seen between 300-400 elephant of all ages and a huge amount of game with the backdrop of Kilimanjaro. It was breath-taking. There were numerous unforgettable moments on the conservancy, too, including a surprise bush-dinner, drinks around the campfire, sundowner game viewing. I cannot recommend these Gamewatchers Porini conservancy camps highly enough. Nobody could do it better and you will be thrilled by the experience and treasure it forever, as I will.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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 Amboseli Camp

Address: Selenkay Conservancy, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Porini Amboseli Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
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 
Also Known As:
Amboseli Porini Camp, Selenkay Conservancy Hotel Amboseli Eco-System

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