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“Unforgettable experience ” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gamewatchers Adventure Camp, Ol Kinyei

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Gamewatchers Adventure Camp, Ol Kinyei
Sandvika, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014 via mobile

We travelled as two younger students looking for a budget safari in a private game reserve. We spent 5 days at Porini Adventure Camp, and we found the stay to be absolutely fantastic!

The camp hosts 18 guests, and the tents are big enough to stand upright in. In addition they are fitted with a mattress on the floor and a mosquito net. Behind the tents, there is a restroom facility. Every tent has their own shower (of maximum 20L water per shower), toilet and water basin. It can be a good idea to bring a flashlight as there is no electricity in the camp (except for charging a battery for the camera). There was a fence around the tent area.

The food was amazing! The chef prepared delicious food with egg and bacon for breakfast, two course lunch and a three course dinner. It is worth mentioning that the chefs at all the Porini camps take the same cooking classes, so at this camp you get the same food as in the luxury camps!

The camp is situated in a private game reserve named Ol Kinyei which is connected to other private game reserves, and it is approximately an hour drive from Masai Mara. We had a full day at Masai Mara which was very nice. We saw The Big 5 in an hour, and again the guides did all they could to make the day great. Worth mentioning is all the cars in the Mara. For example there were around 10 cars around the leopard which didn't give much room for privacy. However, in the private reserve there are almost no other vehicles. We did not see any other groups on safari whilst we were out. The reserve is only shared with a few other camps. The reserve has a huge variety of animals including a large lion pride, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffes, lots of zebras etc.

Our guides Jackson and David really went out of their way to make our stay unforgettable. They looked for all animals as we pleased. We even got to do night drives which is not allowed in the Mara. Nothing can describe the feeling of scouting for animals in the dark with a red light or your own flashlight! Also, our car was open, so there were no crowded white mini vans. The car is everything! We could stand up and see the fantastic scenery.

We really recommend staying at Porini Adventure Camp! Gamewatchers safaris was well-organised and proper. Everything was perfect!

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Lizz884
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Gualdo Tadino, Italy
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

The adventure safari was way and beyond our dreams. Porini works together with the Masai and 'make' camps on their land and provide employment for many which obviously has a knock on effect by hellping the individual's village. Everything was so nice and the staff at both camps really charming and helpful. Sleeing in the tents was extremely comfortable and the food was amazing. Flying into the middle of nowhere added to the excitement and we were met by Wilson & Melita and immediately went on safari! Selenkay conservancy was not teeming with animals but searching for them was very enjoyable the same. Our day in Amboseli was stunning seeing hundreds of elephants who crossed right in front of our vehicle. By the way the Land Cruisers are second to none and there were even sockets to charge your batteries!! Moving onto Ol Kinyei after 3 days and we were met by Jackson and David and the animal sightings just got better and better. A cheetah lying in the grass with giraffes and zebras going quite close to see what animal it was, was fantastic. In the evening we sat next to a big lion family with lots of cubs. Then the adults started to roar and communicate with the dominant male some distance away! Our day in the Mara was incredible with lion and leopard sightings which are always nice but it is also the little animals and birds that make a safari. We saw a huge hippo come out of the river with the most tiny baby in tow! A family of bat eared foxes, a strutting secretary bird, hundreds of vultures with their wings open warming up in the sun and so it goes on....Sundowners were memorable drinking Tusker beer and 'eatings' as they called them.Obviously January is a quieter month and we were the only ones in the camp so we were very spoilt! Would be so much fun with a group of friends or family. A big thanks to everyone at both camps for making it such a great stay!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mungo2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guangzhou, China
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

The guide was exceptional. Adventure camp offers an authentic wildlife experience. I discovered the beauty of the Masai Mara. The best New Year any solo traveller could hope for. Watching a pride of lions is about as good as it gets. The birdlife and wildflowers were also a surprising attraction and the short rains made the whole area verdant. Out of this world.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Becky908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ribeirao Preto, SP
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

The adventure camping is great! It was far much better that we had expected. We were impressed by the organization, the toilets and the beauty of the place.
The food was excellent, the chef is great!
As for the game drives, it was an unforgetable experience. The drivers and guides are great spotters and shared a lot of knowledge with us. We got to see all the animals we wanted, including the Big Five!
Also, staying at the conservancies with the Maasai was the best choice we made, I'm so glad we booked the trip with Gamewatcher's. They are great hosts, showed lots of professionalism and kindness. We loved visiting the Maasai village in Selenkay, that was WOW! I also consider that I made good friends there, both in Selenkay and Ol Kiney, and for that I'm forever grateful.
The animals are great, but for me it was the people who made this experience so special and unique.
Besides, it was a very exclusive experience, without all the fuzz and buzz of the National Parks.
This is great value for money! I cannot imagine any better safari option than this.

  • Stayed October 2013, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank MarinaNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We visited Ol Kinyei after three nights at the Gamewatchers camp at Selenkay. After the great stay we had there it was hard to imagine that Ol Kinyei could be as good - but it was every bit as good. Wilson and George went out of their way to find us everything we asked for including the leopard on the last day. We will do our best to visit the Gamewatchers camps again.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank edk0404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Level Contributor
61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

Welcomed by the manager, Jackson and staff with a flannel and fruit drink. A lovely setting, with camp fire and guards, flushing loo and shower en-suite 'shed' for each tent. Food was stunning, creative and plentiful. We were surprised wine and beer were on sale,and very reasonable at 850 KES a bottle of wine. Fantastic guide Amos, with great sense of humour and penchant for finding and not disturbing the wildlife too much. Lanterns were solar-powered. We could recharge our batteries each day, and this was a necessity even with spares as we took 6,000 photos and videos over two weeks. The bucket shower of 25 litres pp was more than sufficient, and great fun in it's outside shed-type cubicle. As we travelled at the end of the dry season, there were very few insects, and no mosquitos were seen. We only saw two snakes, and no scorpions or spiders etc. We were untroubled by upset stomachs, which is quite rare. We didn't think we would see one leopard or rhino, as they are shy and rare, but we saw 4 leopards in our fortnight and at least 27 rhinos. It was good to hear lions roaring outside the camp. The sundowners and nightdrives, and walk with the Maasai were unbelievable. Do this holiday for it's environmental reasons, enthusiasm of it's staff, and professionalism. Wow.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank verneEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

I have just spent 7 days in the adventure Camp at Ol Kinyei and had the most fantastic time. Thanks to Jackson and his team the camp is a wonderful and friendly place to be.

If I had to list the three best things about my holiday the staff would be top - friendly welcoming gentle and knowledgeable. Always willing to help or even just chat, sharing their knowledge of the animals and the area. Wilson and George our guide and spotter fired us all up with their enthusiasm showing us this beautiful Conservancy and also taking us into the Mara. We learnt so much - not just about the animals but also the vegetation and birds. Richard and Stanley looked after us in camp - again always friendly and happy, Fanuels cooking was amazing, and of course all the other staff around in the background played their part too.

The second would be the setting. The conservancy is a beautiful area, without the vast plains of the Mara but with all the same animals and varied vegetation. I thoroughly enjoyed our day in the Mara but would not have been disappointed if I'd had to spend another day in the Conservancy. We saw fantastic animals and also birds, which sometimes get overshadowed by the large animals. Our guides did not tire explaining names, behaviour and sharing their vast knowledge of the whole ecosystem with us. Fantastic'! The hunt for the leopard lasted all week and meant a couple of really early mornings. Sunrise is as good as sunset and we were rewarded not just by seeing the elusive animal on our last morning, but also by seeing other tremendous things on the way.

Thirdly the accommodation. I slept well on the comfortable mattresses in spacious tents. Stanley looked after this area, lighting the way and our tents and shower rooms for us every evening with really efficient solar lights, sorting out hot showers when needed etc. The bathrooms with flushing toilet and working showers were great. Waking up to the dawn chorus made getting up early in the morning easy, and knowing there was a fence made lying in bed listening to the different noises entertaining! The central area with the dining tent and fire were really sociable, encouraging guests to mingle. We had some lovely evenings with the other guests, reliving our days safari and sharing experiences. The company was good, lively and entertaining and often shared with staff too.

A great experience and definitely to be repeated Thankyou!

Room Tip: Rooms are tents and as far as I am aware there is no choice. The tents are spacious and clean. Well...
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Sue D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gamewatchers Adventure Camp, Ol Kinyei

Property: Gamewatchers Adventure Camp, Ol Kinyei
Address: Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #75 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Gamewatchers Adventure Camp, Ol Kinyei is sited in Ol Kinyei Wildife Conservancy in the Maasai Mara. For those for whom the wildlife safari experience is more important than the accommodation, and who are prepared to sleep in small tents in sleeping bags with an element of “roughing it”, this gives an opportunity for an exceptional and exclusive wildlife experience with high quality guiding but at a much lower price than expensive up-market safari lodges. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gamewatchers Adventure Camp, Ol Kinyei Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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