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“Just as good as before”
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Just as good as before”
Reviewed January 19, 2014

This camp has the best of all worlds withj game right on the doorstep, literally in the case of the bush bucks and the vervet monkeys.
We stayed 4 nights and this gave us time to opt out of the odd game drive to relax and watch the wildlife - especially the birds around the camp.
Harry and the rest of the staff do all they can to ensure your stay is the best it can be. Our guide and spotter, Wilson and George were very good and enthusiastic, resulting in us seeing some fantastic sights, not the least of these being a cheetah stalking a gazelle for sometime before giving up because the prey wandered away.
A special mention for Julius the chef. He does wonders in the mess tent. I will copy his recipe for minted cucumber (once it gets to summer) and I recommend his pancakes for breakfast.
2 years ago we did all 4 porini camps this time we chose one for a longer stay coupled with a non porini camp (off beat Meru ). It was a great coupling and just as good as we remembered. Thanks to all

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Feetupagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2014

What a great way to start the second leg of our Kenya safari after Porini Amboseli. We started by booking with Julie from Gamewatchers, who was so patient with all our concerns and always got back to my emails or phone calls promptly. So a big shout out to Julie! We are a family of 8 so there were a lot of differing expectations and needs- especially with teens. The transfer was smooth and everyone was exactly where they were supposed to be, and we were never left wondering what's next. At Mara we were greeted by Maina (thats his Kenyan name) who introduced us to the beauty of the Masai Mara and had all of our accommodations ie. food and itinerary down to a science. The chef and food were excellent, especially since we drove them crazy with all our dietary restrictions, but never did we hear a complaint or a "no we can't," it was always "you are our guest and we will take of it , as it is our pleasure!" The sleeping accommodations aka "tents," are anything but. If these were the tents used by Lewis and Clark, they wouldn't have come back. Luxurious is an understatement. You feel as though you are part of nature but you've left the mosquitoes behind. Running water, fully functional toilets, spacious, and very, very comfortable beds- CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN! More inviting than some 5 star hotels I've been at. But remember the room is just a great place to freshen up in comfort as the real excitement is outside. The rooms are located just outside of a beautiful stream where the animals drink and frolic. Monkeys in the trees surrounding us, birds everywhere... made the concept of 360 degree glasses more intriguing each and every day. Maina took out the time time to interact with the kids, and especially the teens, to teach them about Africa, Kenya and the Masai. We were so mesmerized by the discussion that we missed a game drive- but learned just as much! The Masai warriors took a special interest in the kids, teaching them about their culture and the flora and fauna. We were able to manage lots of alone time, all the while knowing the kids were in great hands. Game drives were excellent, each time something new and fantastic. The guides were amazing, spotting, naming, and teaching about the various things we were seeing, all the while taking into account our over all demeanor and interest is a talent! Cats, Cats, Cats - lots of 'em! Spending time with the Masai people was eye opening and educational to the entire family and really allowed for a better appreciation of a culture so different than ours. Evening tea/coffee/hot cocoa by the fire or out in the bush was always a special touch and looked forward to. If you get a chance WALK! The conservancy has so much to offer by foot, that we almost missed the beauty of the land by not doing it the Masai Way." Lastly, a big shout out to our guides and spotters, will not mention by name so as not to miss or offend anyone, for a spectacular night game drive where we were stuck in a ditch, surrounded by lions, and now have a story that will live on in our memories forever! (We then transferred to Lion Porini which capped the whole experience. I've reviewed that separately.) Taking the level of service, value of the staff, the guides and spotters, quality of the food and accommodations - 5 stars! Definitely recommended for an authentic experience in the African Bush.

Room Tip: All are great!!
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank galapointernational
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greeneville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

As my husband said, "this is not the camping that I remember doing!" Luxury tents with attention to detail, wonderful service, delicious food, and game rides with excellent Maasai guides that created memories for a lifetime. We never dreamed that we would see all the animals that we did - up close and personal. If you want a trip of a lifetime, Porini Camps is the way to go.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JGH793
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2013

We had a beautiful experience at this safari. The tents were luxurious and comfortable. The small touches like the heating pad left in the bed for us at night and coffee and tea in the morning were great. Chloe, our camp manager, really made our stay special as it was our wedding anniversary, and the food was incredible. They made accommodations for me as a vegetarian that were just as good and substantive as the meals with meat. The safari driver and guide (Ben and Jeffery) were knowledgeable and took such good care of us. From the booking experience with Julie to the staff at the camp, this was a once in a lifetime experience that I would love to return to and will definitely encourage my friends and family to consider doing in the future. HIGHLY recommended!!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jenkerez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

A fantastic safari experience right in the conservancy. Everything was perfect and we would definitely recommend it to others - in fact we have!
We felt so lucky to be there. The food and accommodation were great and the staff could not have been more helpful. Unlike many other people we saw viewing the wildlife we were in our own vehicle and both had a spotter and a driver. They did an incredible job and went out of their way to get us the very best safari experience.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank LD0g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

We did a 5 day safari to the amboseli and mara camps. AMAZING. from our arrival at the airport to drop off we were just on a high. Our first stop was Amboseli and the bar was set. Tony and the staff (john, fred, danny, dennis....all of them!) could teach the rest of the world about service! We had a couple issues with our tents but Tony was so accommodating and on top of everything! He runs a tight ship and he does a great job!

The scenery at Mara was picturesque. It had rained a week before and it was green and lush in contrast to amboseli that was very dry. The game viewing at both camps was spectacular! the only things we didn't see were jaguar and rhinos. But we eventually got "tired" of seeing giraffes, elephants, zebras and lions.

It is by no means the cheapest safari and I am glad we didn't skimp but went for quality. In addition to the exceptional service, we were happy that our money was directly impacting the communities and preserving the maasai culture and wildlife. Seeing my money in action, I would have no problem doing it again. I especially like that it was an eco camp. Everything is run on solar and everything is recycled. The day to day operations is also ran by the local communities and the staff is all male! (This is because Maasai women don't work outside the home).

The best of both worlds would be the staff at amboseli and the tents/scenery at Mara. I understand that they plan to renovate the amboseli camps (it was the first camp) next year. We also added a hot air balloon ride that was truly spectacular. Another camper that was in my cohort called it "glamping" (glamourous camping) and it was such an accurate description. The tents exceeded all my expectations and the food was amazing!Never been camping before but if all camping was done like this I would do it more often!

Because we were staying for 2 weeks in Kenya, Gamewatchers made every accommodation to accommodate our "special" transportation needs. When we needed a ride back to the airport, we thought we need a reliable service provider and that meant calling up back gamewatchers. Everyone should do a safari..and everyone should do it with Gamewatchers.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank toniteddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2013 via mobile

Our final camp of our safari was Porini Mara, after experiencing Porini Amboseli and Porini Rhino. Mara did not disappoint! I believe the true test of service is when there is an issue to be dealt with. Our issue was entirely our fault, but Chloe and Jimmie, the camp managers, went over the top in helping us. We lost our ziplock bag of camera battery chargers, spare batteries, adapter, data card, etc., between the trip from Rhino to Mara. Chloe immediately contacted David at Rhino and Safarilink to try to locate the bag. During that time, she checked with every other guest to see if their chargers were compatible with ours, and when that didn't pan out, arranged for our guide Wilson to take his camera on safari with us to take photos that they could send to us so we didn't miss out. I can't imagine a more compassionate response to being on a once in a lifetime trip without camera battery power! Imagine our excitement when Jimmie reported to us that our bag of camera equipment was found on the plane and would meet us back in Nairobi! It was truly outstanding. Jimmie also did an incredible job of helping to arrange a day trip for our last day in Nairobi.

Now, onto the stay at Porini Mara. Wow! Our driver Wilson and guide Marima were absolutely outstanding. One time I swear Wilson saw lions from miles away. We were always the first vehicle to find the exciting game in the Reserve, and on the conservancy we were alone! We saw basically everything we could imagine, including a striped hyena and bush baby on a night drive! Spent so much time with lions and cubs over the few days we were there, and got to see a leopard go for a reedbuck. We also got to see the tail end of the wildebeest and zebra migration (I did NOT expect to see that as I was sure we were too late!)

The camp was great; the wake up coffee and tea was much appreciated and the hot water bottles were awesome. I now want them at home! Food was excellent, and the goodbye serenade we got from the Maasai staff felt very genuine and warm. I truly felt like family there, even more so since we knew that some of the staff from different camps were related. I would encourage everyone to visit and can't wait to come back myself!!

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank nutmegmace
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 #2 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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