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“Just Perfect!”
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Farrington Gurney, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Just Perfect!”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We were on our honeymoon and visited both the Porini Mara and Amboseli Camps. All we can say is that these camps are rated #1 in their respective areas with good reason!

Both camps somehow manage to give you feelings of being out in the wild whilst at the same time being in the lap of luxury. What really makes the camps special though are the staff - friendly, helpful, attentive and knowledgeable; they made our stay absolutely wonderful and we cannot praise them highly enough.

As nearly every other review has stated, the animal life we saw was fantastic and the guides and drivers knew their stuff, so we really got "up close and personal" with the wildlife.

To us Porini seem to be going about things in the right way, working with and employing people from the local communities, so while the camps are more expensive than others we came away with the feeling that this was for a good reason.

To sum up, everything about the Porini camps was wonderful and we will definitely look to make a return visit sometime in the future.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Montse1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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383 reviews from our community

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Stabekk
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We where at both Porini Mara and Porini Lion camp. Both excellent and Porini Mara just a little bit better. Smaller and little more personal. Six tents at the first and twelve at the other. The animal life where outstanding at both places and without a lot of other cars. That was very nice. We saw everything we hoped for: lions, cubs, cheetahs, leopard, elephants, bulls, hyenas, etc etc etc and of course crossing of the Mara river with the great migration and lucky us two hunts all the way. Not so common. So happy!!! Very happy!!! Guide/spotters And drivers where all Masai And excellent and I really mean excellent. Friendly, personal, knowledgeable And wanted you/us to have the best experience. We had a lifetime experience! Thank you again! From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you!!! All the best to Ben and Samuel at Mara camp and John Mac and Daniel at Lion camp. All these where really perfect!!! All the best and all well from Lise and Per!

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Stabekk007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
endless summer
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 3, 2013

The most amazing vacation and experience of my life. All the animals. Right up close. The guides were amazing, The drivers were so skilled. The camp help was everywhere. The Maasai were just the best. Campfires at night. Daywalks looking at the lion, hyena and elephant tracks that were just a hundred yards from the camp site. All the spectacular landscapes, sundowners out in the bush. I will never forget how truly awesome the shole experience was Gamewatchers does it better than anyone else. People at the camp who had on previous safaris with other companies told me "it does not get any better than this if you want a real african experience" Hakuna matata.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank mashamarefu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhaka
1 review
Reviewed August 2, 2013

My spouse and myself had an awesome four days safari and game park trip organized by Gamewatchers.Weather was fantastic. Could ask for a better timing. After being picked up from our Nairobi hotel we drove through the Rift Valley to Nukuru and stayed for two nights at Sunbird Lodge. We had an English speaking driver who was also our guide in the day trip we spent at the National Park. The Lodge was beautiful perched on the cliffs of the lake with breathtaking view. The staff were friendly and service good. Though the walk to the lodge from the main building can be taxing. Next two days were at the Porini Mara Camp. For me it was the first time staying in a tent. But the living arrangements were excellent.Very comfortable beds. We had pipe water plumbing in the bathroom but had "Bucket Showers" . Food was great. Staff were cordial and always ready to make you more comfortable. Not having access to internet was the best part.
We got to see all the big fives and many more animals.
Watched the Lions's Pride with eight cubs.. But most amazing was the Massai driver and Scout who accompanied us during the game watch. I was amazed with their knowledge on nature. My Camp manger also arranged a visit to a Massai village, Wish it was longer.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mayeeda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

It was with some trepidation that we went on safari, prompted by our 16 year old daughter. We haven’t been camping for years and the prospect of tents ‘in the wild’ seemed very daring. In retrospect, we needn’t have worried. Gamewatcher Safaris’ website gives a true picture of what to expect and is packed with useful information for safari novices. Any gaps were expertly and promptly filled by Steve in the UK office who wisely advised that we split our week between their Porini Mara Camp and Porini Lion Camp.

Porini Mara Camp is the more intimate site, with just six tents for sleeping and a central dining/seating tent. The provision is comfortable and appropriate, demonstrating a genuine concern for the environment but with comfortable beds, a flushing loo and running water 'en-suite'. The bucket showering system is ingenious and doesn’t feel like a compromise at all.

Jimmy, the Maasai manager, is an excellent host - welcoming and hospitable. The little touches, like evening drinks around a camp fire, hot water bottles in the beds each night, wake up tea in the morning, and a check card for the animals we might find on our abundant drives, all provided pleasurable moments. We particularly loved our breakfasts, lunches and sundowners in the bush, though all the food was good, masterminded by Simon the cook: simple, healthy and with warming soup at night to stave off the cold evening chill.

The real stars were our Maasai guides, who impressed us with their knowledge and enthusiasm. Nothing was too much trouble and each and every day brought an example of their thoughtfulness, passion and welcome openness to our curiosity about the animals and their own traditions. Worth personal mention were Wilson and Bill who started the magic the minute we landed at the tiny airstrip by whisking us straight off on our first ‘drive’, and Shadrack and Jospeht, who took us on a fascinating nature walk.

Although we were too early for the full impact of the migration, it didn’t matter one jot. Because the Porini camps are in independent conservancies, we enjoyed off-track encounters with every animal and bird imaginable, undisturbed by hoards of other tourists, and the open sided/topped Land Cruisers that Porini use were brilliant for getting us up-close and personal with the wildlife. The only animal that proved elusive was the aardvark whose abandoned burrow we saw on the nature walk but who refused to make a live appearance - our excuse to go back.

See Porini Lion Camp for Part II of our amazing adventure.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DebsR01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

My son and I visited Porini Mara and Porini Lion (reviewed separately) in early July , 2013. I was nervous about the trip, basing it entirely on tripadvisor reviews and a few others. It was, simply put, amazing. I am really at a loss for words to describe the trip other than to say I am counting the months until I can return. have wanted to go to africa for years and this was all I had hoped for and more

First off, this is not a posh resort, but it feels like one. The food was excellent, the accommodations are tents but really comfortable, clean and well wet up. You receive a fabulous welcome and the staff could not be more attentive. The showers are short, but frankly, we always finished with extra water and are now more aware of how much we waste at home! You are not going to have pools or tennis courts but you will have amazing scenery, fabulous wildlife and a comfortable and memorable trip.

Recommendations: Plan ahead on weather. It was colder than we expected and while we packed fleece jackets and hats (which seemed ridiculous when we were in a heat wave at home ), we used them daily and wished for something warmer. When you are out in the mornings, there are blankets and ponchos in the vans, plus water and anything you need. At night, they provide a hot water bottle in your bed which was divine but you still want something warm to sleep in. Its also DRY -- I had sunscreen and a light moisturizer packed but my skin was parched. The lotions in the room were great but I wish I had packed more. You want a long lens for your camera, and learn how to use it before you go; its worth the time and money to get a camera that will take great pics. And that takes videos. Do not bring a snap camera or a small video We took pictures on the normal settings iwth our Nikon and Olympus digital cameras then switched to fine quality and were really pleased with the results. Take a short lens, a pair of binoculars and a panoramic or wide angle (here I wish I had a snap and shoot with panoramic or had brought my cell with me, the landscapes are really great). I wish I had brought an external hard drive as we filled the memory on my MacAir with pics and filled our many SIM cards, and I was terrified i'd lose the pictures. Bring a book or a deck of cards if you want. you are in the camp for a few hours in the afternoon and you may want to relax in your room rather than the main area. Also, pack shillings for tips. You will want to go over and several of the other guests we met at the Lion Camp were short on cash.

Guides: tell them what you want to see and ask to go closer if you need to. As to stop and look. Learn the few words (sawa sawa was okay -- as in, seen enough, I am ready to go, Karibou was you are welcome, Asanti sana was thank you) We were with Wilson and Marima (sp?) who were amazing. Simply the best. I think we saw almost everything on our list on the first drive alone. The Ol Kinyei Conservancy is smaller and so we could get around easily and were often the only people out, so you never felt crowded and the wildlife was much less agitated.

We took picnic breakfasts most of the days we were there to see more of the animals. You leave the camp at 630 am (they wake you with tea or coffee in your tent and a jug of water to wash with at 6 for a 630 departure). We'd drive until about 9 or so and then break for a breakfast (hardboiled eggs, great bread, some sausage or bacon, usually a few other treats and great fruit), then get back to the camp noonish, shower or rest until lunch at 1 and then rest until 3:30-4 when you go out for another drive until sundown (with a stop for drinks and snacks on the plains) then back at the camp for shower and rest for a half hour or so until dinner. Drinks by the campfire before dinner were great and the meals were amazing. Soups before every meal and my very finicky son ate them all and has asked for them now on the menus here.

Really just a fabulous fabulous trip. This was my favorite of the camps because of the small size, intimacy with the animals and laid back attitude. And the guides. And the camp manager Jimmy and his team were amazing.

Room Tip: all are fabulous!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank rysdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norway
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

We had the pleasure of spending time here in June and I must say: If you want to get close with nature and all nature has to offer - this is the real deal. The tented camp is amazing. Crew and guides are very knowledgeable, service minded and will always make sure we are satisfied and pleased.
Food is great. You will eat well and feel pampered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A perfect place to rest in between excursions. I can only try to imagine how the plains will be packed with animals during the migration. We never tried the offered balloon trips over the savanna at a price of $900 for a couple.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NorwayPer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Porini Mara Camp

Property: Porini Mara Camp
Address: Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porini Mara Camp is located in the exclusive 17,500 acre wildlife conservancy of Ol Kinyei, one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the Serengeti-Mara eco-system. The camp has 6 spacious guest tents with an en-suite bathroom sited in the shade of Yellow-barked Acacia trees. The camp accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, where guests enjoy game drives in 4x4s, sundowners at scenic viewing points and escorted walks with Maasai guides. Ol Kinyei is noted for its excellent wildlife viewing with a resident pride of lions, cheetahs, leopards and a wide variety of animals. There is a strict limit on the number of tourist vehicles allowed in the conservancy so that visitors from the camp can view the wildlife without other vehicles. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara Porini Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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