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“Good lodge on great location”
Review of Governor's Camp

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Governor's Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Going to the Maasai Mara it is very important which camp you pick. There are a lot of camps in this area and not all of them have a good location. A lot of camps are outside the gate. Of course you will see a lot of animals in these areas but the best changes of seeing the big cats and the wildebeest migration is inside the park. If you’re out of the park it can take you a long time to get to the river to see the migration which means that you have to leave early in the afternoon again to be on time at the gate. The gates opens and closes at 6:30. We stayed in several camps in de Mara and all were inside the gates which will give you the best changes of seeing what you wanted to.

Governors camp is inside the park near the Musiara Gate in the Narok County Counsil. It is a wonderful site of the park and you have a good chance of seeing lions daily. The Marsh pride (from big cat) is in this part too. Although lions travel they stick to their territory. Also cheetah are resident here so you will have a good change of cheetah too. Near the camp there are also lots of elephants and buffalos. It will take a while to drive to the river to see the migration at the main crossing points. (45 minutes) but along the way there is a lot to see since this is inside the park.
The camp itself isn’t fenced (most camps aren’t). The restaurant gives a beautiful view over the savannah and the tents can have river or savannah view, some have bush view. The tents are spacious and have nice beds. The bathroom is quite big with a good shower, toilet and sink. The power and the light works 24/7. You have one socket to charge your camera batteries. The breakfast is in the open which gives a nice detail. Birds are around the camp and in the river there are lots of hippos who will laugh at you during nighttime. They put a little card with a hippo on your pillow when you go to sleep which is a very nice detail, it gives you a smile when you go to bed.

If you want they will wake you up with tea, coffee or hot chocolate milk and cookies. It is a nice start of the day since you mostly go out first and come back for breakfast. The dinner is in a tent which is open on one side. The food is good and the people are friendly. They always have two choices for every course so there‘s always something that you will like. Water is included, you only pay extra for sodas or alcoholic drinks.

The only comment about the camp is that they start the engine of the cars that go on balloon safari very early and leave them running about ¾ of an hour. If your tent is situated next to the parking area you will be woken at around 5 o clock, while you will go up at around 6 for game drive. We mentioned this to the manager and they did give us another room that was far from the parking lot, but that doesn’t take away the problem for other guest. I do not understand why they need the engines to run for such a long time. This is the only camp we have stayed in that does this. My suggestion would be to just start the cars when you leave and no one will have a problem plus it is a lot better for the environment too.

We do recommend this camp and we would like to go back in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a room a bit farther from the parking area since they start the engines of the car early bec...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chantalremi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2012

Thank you for choosing Governors Camp for your safari and for posting your review of the camp. We are delighted that you liked the camps prime location for wildlife viewing.

We are also delighted that you enjoyed the views from the dinning tent and guest tents and that you liked the tents and the food and service. Your comments about the cars have been sent to the management for review.

Thank you for recommending the camp and we hope to welcome you back on safari with us again.

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597 - 603 of 981 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2012

First of all let me say that the game viewing in the Masai Mara is second to none and our 3 nights at Governor's Camp certainly offered excellent game viewing. Our guide, Samuel, was simply fantastic. Not only was he a very experienced guide but he also had a great sense of humour and made our time with him both informative and educational. We saw much more than the Big 5! In one day we saw the three cats (lion, leopard and cheetah) which was just sensational!

Our room (tent) was more than adequate - we overlooked the Mara River which was great. Governor's, like many other camps we stayed out, asked that you not leave your tent after dark without a guide. At Governor's this often proved problematic as it seemed impossible to get the attention of the guide (this was disappointing because it was so different to what we had experienced at all other camps). At times we just gave up and left the tent on our own. When the manager found out that we had had trouble getting the attention of the guide to leave the room, she came to apologise but she actually had a very unfortunate attitude and implied that we needed to be more patient (I believe flashing a torch for more than 5 minutes is patient enough!).

We found the food very average. Whilst there was certainly sufficient food, quality was lacking. Eating in the dining room lacked any real feeling. Whilst I appreciate that this is difficult for a large camp, seating could be arranged to provide a more friendly feeeling, giving people the option either to eat on their own or with others. We had breakfast on one of the morning game drives and whilst this was a great experience, the food was pretty awful.

Overall, we found the service at Governor's lacking. The tone of this seemed to be set by the manager. On our arrival, she quite rudely interrupted the person that was checking us in and then set about telling us what we would do. In fact all of our interactions with the manager indicated that she wasn't really interested in customer satisfaction.

A highlight of our trip to Governor's was the balloon ride. Riding a balloon over the plains of the Masai Mara really was a once in a lifetime experience. The pilot, Steve, was excellent and we flew quite low. He was also very friendly and willingly answered all of our questions. The breakfast we had following the balloon ride was the only good meal we had whilst at Governor's and it was just fantastic - in fact it was one of the best breakfasts we had whilst in Africa!

The night before we left Governor's we asked the manager to confirm the time of our flight the next morning (at all other camps we stayed at in Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania this was done as a matter of course without us even asking). She informed us that we would be given the time the following morning. She never did give us a departure time, just told us when we needed to leave the camp. To cut a long story short after about an hour at the airstrip the despatcher realised there was a problem with our flight. Eventually he got a plane to come back for us but this of course meant problems for our connecting transfer and flight. We can't help but wonder if the manager had checked the flights the night before, as other camps do, if these problems could have been avoided.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank MarggyCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2017

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us.

Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you on your next trip to the incredible Masai Mara!

Best wishes,

The Governors Team

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Reviewed October 11, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at the Governor's Main Camp and had an excellent experience. We were traveling as a foursome and had our own jeep and driver to ourselves. We had Joseph as our driver and he was excellent. He was knowledgeable and patient and let us set the pace. He also was willing to stay out in the rain so long as we want to. James the manager while we were there was very helpful and spent time making sure that everything went smoothly as we transferred from one camp to the next.
Our tent was very large and well appointed with plenty of electricity and hot water. We stayed on the lawn side, not the river and we were very comfortable. You hear the trucks and jeeps every morning early because most people want to get out for the game drive as the sun comes up. We strongly advise doing the early game drives so hearing the trucks just meant to us that it was time to get up and get going! The camp has a real advantage in that it is right in the Mara and animals are abundant so there is less time than in other places getting out there and with the animals you want to see.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank chrisnhoward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Thank you for your review of Governors Camp and for choosing Governors for your safari. We are very happy to hear that you had an excellent experience. Its great to read that you found Joseph to be an excellent guide and that you liked the tents and the location of the camp in the heart of the Mara. We hope to be able to welcome you back sometime soon.

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Reviewed October 11, 2012

Have just returned from the govners camp. Let me start by saying what a welcome from David on the gate, he has a smile that would brighten anyones day. We had a fantastic time. We had a hippo at our tent, a warthog wandering around while we ate lunch and lions at the airstrip. What more can you ask for. Robert was our driver, he was very knowledgable and done his very best to make sure we seen as much as we could in the time we were there. Thank you to all the staff.
Will definitely return.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank peco6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Thank you for posting your review of Governors Camp and for choosing Governors Camp for your Masai Mara safari. We are delighted that you had a fantastic time and that David's welcome into camp brightened your day and that you found Robert to be a knowledgable guide. We hope to welcome you back on safari with us again soon.

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Reviewed October 11, 2012

From September 17th to the 28th we traveled to 5 different camps in Kenya and Tanzania. Each was special in its own way, and we loved the entire trip; but if you are going to one place in Africa we recommend the Masai !Mara, and Governors Camp. The topography and diverse animals in the Mara highly recommend it. Governors Camp had a special feel about it. The location was very good. The food exceptional; the tents were beautiful; and the staff outstanding. Richard and Clement and Henry made our stay very enjoyable. James was very helpful with wi fi challenges. And James, the relief Manager was a standout. He was everywhere in the camp checking things out, and on his own initiative followed up with the camp we were moving to when our driver did not show up on time. Over and above the call of duty. Wonderful trip.

Room Tip: We had a plains tent and loved it.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank travellover60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Thank you for posting a review of Governors Camp and for choosing Governors Camp for your Masai Mara safari. Your recommendation of Governors Camp if someone is choosing only one place in Africa is a wonderful compliment, so thank you for that. We are delighted that you felt the camp has a special feel, the location good, the food exceptional, the tents beautiful and the staff outstanding.

Your comments have been sent to camp and Richard, Clement, Henry, James and James will be delighted to read them.

We hope to welcome you back on safari with us sometime.

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Reviewed October 8, 2012

I was returning to my home country where I was born and brought up, but this time with my own family and after a gap of many years. It was going to be an epic trip around Kenya and the Mara was a must. After many hours researching, we decided Governor's was the experience we wanted, mainly to rekindle that true 'old' Africa feeling, that I so fondly remembered. We were not disappointed. The location is fantastic, even as we were warmly welcomed with cooling drinks taken at the bar/lounge overlooking the mara river, the hippos were beneath us wallowing and snorting in the water. We chose tents overlooking the savannah, we had a double and our daughters of 18 and 20 had a twin, both were good and for us an ideal location. Nerinka who looked after both our tents, was just charming and so attentive but in a lovely gentle way. He brought us tea with homemade biscuits each morning and our daughters said he still managed to smile constantly even after picking his way over the mess (theirs!) on the floor with a tray laden with hot chocolate! Thank you Nerinka.....for the hot water bottles too!
The food at the camp is excellent and all the staff without exception were wonderful. The Kenyan people have a great spirit and even having travelled widely and stayed in amazing places, in our opinion you will not find a country in the world as hospitable as Kenya and its people.
We saw an abundance of game on our drives and Moses our guide was excellent. He was very skilled at driving/manoeuvring our jeep and took us as close as was safe to watch a couple of lionesses teaching their playful cubs how to climb this enormous old knarled tree trunk, with the sun setting and casting this golden glow, it was as though Disney had just come in a set up this magical stage set! We saw the big 5, plus everything else times a hundred. Moses even found us a cheetah, as that was the only animal we hadn't seen. How he found it, heaven only knows, we just reasoned afterwards he had super visionary powers, as it was completely camouflaged in the long grasses. The askaris were so gracious showing us back and forth to the tents at night, even though they must do the trip a million times. Nothing is too much trouble here for anyone.
We took an early morning balloon flight over the Mara which was breathtaking and all the more beautiful with the sun rising, this was followed by a champagne cooked breakfast, that was magically whisked up in the middle of nowhere and was very good.
However, the only negative is; if after all this activity of game drives etc., you fancy a Spa treatment....you would be hard pressed to find it. There is a Spa, which happened to be next to our tent, which is why we know there is one! The sign is painted on a rock pointing into the bush. I thought it was a joke, but on discovery apparently not! The Spa, in our opinion, would be much better positioned nearer the main site, with better signage. There is not pool at the Governor's so a Spa comes a close second in our book, especially to unwind and relax after all the adventures! There is a great lady that runs the Spa, but it does need a better location. Apart from that, this place is perfect. Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Tent numbers in the 30's if you want good savannah views.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Thank you for posting your review of Governors Camp and for choosing Governors Camp for you family safari. We are delighted that you enjoyed the safari. We are very happy to hear that you liked the tents, that you found the food to be excellent, the staff hospitable and the game abundant. Your comments have been sent to the camp and Moses and Nerinka will be delighted to read them. We take on board your comments about the Spa and already have plans afoot for a new spa in a better location. We hope to welcome you back on safari with us sometime soon.

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Reviewed October 7, 2012

Stayed sept 9th - 14th 2012.
We had requested a plains facing tent prior to our arrival and were initially given a river tent, however we were moved that evening to tent 35 with a welcome back bottle of wine waiting for us.My only gripe about the tent would be the main zip is wearing out and could be difficult to use.
James was our room attendant and woke us every morning with our coffee and biscuits and had to run the gauntlet of a herd of elephants that were all around our tent one morning! Even the guard had to hide in our tent for a couple of minutes until they moved a safe distance away.
Our food waiter Richard was brilliant and taught us a new Swahili word everyday and wrote them down so we wouldn't forget.
Food really good and lots of it.Had to wait to get to dinner one evening because the elephants chose to come to dinner too!
Bar is as good as ever, with the bushbabies putting in the odd appearance at night. Great views of the river from the viewing deck. Lots of hippo's and a couple of babies which i could have watched for hours if i had the time.
Game viewing Brilliant!
Our driver was Duncan who had great knowledge and was just as interested in the animals as we were. He was in contact with lots of other drivers and thanks to that and his driving skills, we got to see the elusive black rhino which had we arrived 5 minutes later we would not have seen at all! We didn't see a large crossing but did see a herd of Zebra cross,and some not make it.
We took a picnic lunch everyday so we could go farther afield and see more. We were lucky enough to share our vehicle with 2 lovely american ladies for the first 2 and half days and then have it to ourselves for the rest of our stay.
Duncan was happy to tell us about the masai and their culture as well as share his knowledge of the animals. He would find wonderful places for us to have our picnic with great views.
Not much more i can say really. We saw the big 5 as well as many other things and lots of cubs and babies.
Sorry if i waffled on but it is hard not to as it really is a fantastic place and my first review said trip of a lifetime......well we have now been twice and i am already saving for a third!

Room Tip: I think plains rooms are best if you can get them as there are not many.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank hanf246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2012

Thank you for posting your review of Governors Camp.

Your comments have been sent to camp and we will look into the issue with the zip on your tent.

We are delighted that you found Richard to be brilliant, the food really good, the bar as good as ever and the game viewing to be brilliant. We are very happy to hear that you thought Duncan, your guide was knowledgable and interested in the wildlife.

All your comments have been sent to camp and everyone will be very happy to read them.

We are thrilled to hear that you are making plans for a third safari and we look forward to welcoming you back.

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Additional Information about Governor's Camp

Address: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $522 - $1,078 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Governor's Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Governors' Camp nestles on the banks of the Mara River in the heart of the most prolific game viewing area of the Masai Mara. One of only a handful of camps located within the Masai Mara Game Reserve the setting is magical. Half of the tents overlook the rolling grasslands of Africa, with views of elephant, zebra and gazelle; the rest are tucked away in the forest lining the banks of the Mara River. Governors has been pioneering immersive and transformational safaris in the Mara since 1972. We were the first operators to be permanently based inside the Mara, our site was chosen for its prime location and was the designated “getaway” for the Governors of Kenya. Unfenced and right in the heart of the action. Our camps are Located in some of the best and most precious Wildlife Locations in the world. We are a family with a colourful cast of characters that embodies the spirit of safari, while placing the care of the environment, community and conservation at the heart of everything we do. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Governor`s Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Governors Camp
Governor's Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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