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“The experience of a lifetime”
Review of Governor's Camp

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Governor's Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 29, 2012

I have wanted to go on safari for as long as I can remember - and am so glad that we chose Governors' Camp in the Masai Mara to fulfill my dream!

The location of the camp, next to the river in the middle of the reserve, means that not only do you see lions, cheetahs, wildebeest, zebra and elephants (to name but a few!) as soon as you head out on each game drive, but also elephants, buffalo and hippos wander into the camp if they feel like it! The whole time we were there, I felt like I was living in the animals' environment, rather than them having had to adapt to our environment - which was exactly what I wanted.

Samuel, our driver, contributed so much to our enjoyment - as he managed to find all the Big 5, and much more besides. Seeing lionesses calling their cubs out of a hiding place underground and greeting them at sunrise is an experience I will remember forever.

When I was booking my safari, I looked at other camps that had infinity pools, saunas and other 'luxuries' - but I'm glad I didn't waste my money on these, as Governors' ensure your time is wonderfully filled with 3 game drives a day; and I wouldn't have wanted to give any of this game drive time up to lie by the pool!

Our tent was very comfortable - the bed was so big we could hardly see each other! The hot water bottle the staff put in while you're having dinner is a nice touch, and the en-suite facilities were excellent.

I would recommend Governors' Camp to anyone.

Room Tip: Our room, overlooking the river, was peaceful and private.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Libby P
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 November 6, 2012

Thank you for posting your review of Governors Camp and for choosing Governors for your dream safari. We are delighted that you enjoyed the location of the camp and the fact that in the Mara, we live in their environment, not the other way round, very much an ethos of Governors.

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your game drives with Samuel an that you had such a memorable encounter with a lioness.

We are delighted that you enjoyed the tent and facilities and thank you for your recommendation.

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559 - 565 of 940 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2012

We (my wife and I plus my sons who are 9 and 13) recently returned from a seven week trip to Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar. We spent many days on safari, the highlight of which was our five day stay at Governors. The staff were wonderful and we have been exchanging emails since our return. Samuel our driver / guide had my 9 year old, whom he called little simba, walking hand in hand with him by the second day! The tents are very luxurious. Nirinka would turn down our beds and left small stone hippos for the boys. He put hot water bottles in our beds and woke us with coffee and hot chocolate.
Governors has many advantages over other camps. It's in the Mera, no commute. It runs it's own fabulous balloon safaris. The vehicles are OPEN!!! only roll bars between you and the Mera. It's wonderful to stand in the truck leaning on the roll bars with an absolutely unobstructed view of the world. Great picnics, or eat by the river. Animals in the camp. The drivers will get you CLOSE!!! We sat feet away from nursing hyena, saw a kill, saw so much. Thanks to everyone at Governors.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Douglas K
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 November 6, 2012

Thank you for posting a review of your stay at Governors Camp. We are delighted to hear that your stay at Governors was the highlight of your trip and that you found the staff to be wonderful, the tents luxurious and that you enjoyed your time with Samuel and Nirinka. Your comments have been sent to camp and everyone will be delighted to read them.

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Reviewed October 17, 2012

On my 14 day trip, I stayed at a camp with 3 people total and with about 150 total as I would estimate here. The pluses are that their vehicles are by far, far superior to any other camp which makes your drive great. The down side is that there is more noise and more non-africans than I preferred and it did have a semi-uncomfortable feeling of imperialism that I'd not fully realized its name implied. That said, the staff was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, educated and attention to guests very high. I also was a little less than thrilled with the full vehicles each day and rotating guests so that we had to rehear the guide's pitch on the park each time a new person joined the group. However, this was the result of big camp vs. small. However, the staff at this camp were far more concerned about me and my travel than my really bad travel agents at Bush and Beyond and Eyes on Africa were so I appreciated that.

Room Tip: Try to get a tent on the end of the trail. Otherwise, you'll get my experience in 26 of having...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Abracapocus
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 November 6, 2012

Thank you for posting you comments on your safari. The camp has 37 tents and can accommodate total of 74 guests. We are happy to hear you found the vehicles to be far superior to any other camp you have experienced, your comments on the atmosphere of the camp are surprising to us as the vast majority of our clients enjoy the atmosphere in camp and find it to be a very inclusive welcoming, friendly camp. We are happy to hear you found the staff to be extremely helpful, knowledgeable, educated with a high attention to guests. We are happy to hear that you found our camp staff helpful in helping you to resolve your travel issues.

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Reviewed October 14, 2012

We visited Governors camp first week of Oct 2012, to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday on a safari. Governor's camp left me feeling awestruck. Their service level is of a very high standard with attention to detail. They assigned us a personal food waiter, drinks waiter and a driver who would serve us through out our stay. To say the least all three of them viz Richard, Harrison (Nampaso) and Dominic our driver were amazing.
These guys organized a surprise birthday cake and brought a band to sing Happy Birthday to celebrate my husband's birthday.
Their location is lush and the wild life is concentrated. We saw the big five in about three days of our stay and many more animals. Their system for game drives are amazing, the drivers network and keep themselves updated so that everyone gets to see the best.
The tents are clean and luxurious with all the amenities. They have wifi access in the communication center and they also have a set up to download and upload pictures if you like. They are fully equipped in the wild!
We had an amazing experience in the balloon ride, saw a beautiful sunrise from the air and many many animals, especially a rare white Rhino with its baby running through the jungle. After we landed we were served an amazing Champagne bush breakfast in the wild.
The food was of very good quality, three course meals, lovely desserts. I felt like I was eating in an gourmet restaurant in New York.
We will definitely return to Governor's Camp, we had an awesome time and we are so happy we chose Governor's Camp.

Room Tip: If you are bold enough then request for a room where elephants pass by at night. It's an experie...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SimmiVaswani
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 for your 40th birthday celebration safari. We are thrilled that the camp left you feeling awestruck, that you found the service to be of a very high standard and that you found the staff amazing. We are delighted that you enjoyed the game drives, that you liked the tents, that you had an amazing experience on the balloon and that you found the food to be of a very good quality. We hope to welcome you back on safari with us sometime soon.

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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...
  • 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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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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Additional Information about Governor's Camp

Address: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 142 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $645 - $1,234 (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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