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“Excellent Combo of Wildlife & Culture”
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 4, 2010

We stayed here in late June, booked it through Gamewatchers, and were lucky enough to see the beginning of the great wildebeest migration, which was a few months early. Excellent (Masai) staff, great wildlife: lions, leopard, giraffes, topi, lots of elephants, etc. We really liked the fact that the Masai rent their land to the reserve and the reserve in turn pays them a monthly wage. So instead of killing lions, as they did previously as a rite of passage ritual, they now receive income that encourages them not only to protect the dwindling population of lions in Africa, but also all of the rest of the wildlife, now that their lands have reverted to pristine habitat. A great concept--and it really works. Our Masai guides, who are trained in a guiding school, were extremely knowledgeable and in general it the Masai staff was excellent--and interesting to boot. We really enjoyed meeting them. Very comfortable tent camp and excellent attention and service. A great way to see both wildlife and learn something about the Masai culture. Highly recommended!

Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
2  Thank kimmacq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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354 - 360 of 408 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2010

We have just returned from what was a holiday of a lifetime. To fulfil a life long dream of seeing the Maasai Mara and its wildlife and people was our aim, and this was more than exceeded. The camp, the food, the hospitality and warmth of the staff, the knowledge and passion for wildlife of our driver and spotter, the animals etc etc. It is difficult to describe such an experience in words as it is the atmosphere, sounds, sights and smells that make this holiday one that I would recommend to anybody. We were so lucky that the migration happened while we were there, a couple of months early. We have no tips for others as everything was perfect.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ceribattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2010

What a fanrastic experience. Make sure you give this a try - book through Gamewatchers. This was the second Porini camp I stayed in and it was magical. It is a smaller camp but you get a high level of customer care. The Masai people are great and very friendly. The guides and spotters know their stuff. I saw loads of animals and met up with some great people.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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Thank NorthWestRosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2010

I'd imagined you'd pay a substantial premium for this kind of safari experience, but astonishingly this isn't the case.
The conservancy concept is a brilliant one - prioritising the welfare of the animals by giving them an almost undisturbed environment free of mass tourism and local cattle herds, supporting the local community by giving them a share of the camp's profits and jobs as guides and game wardens - and offering us the privelege of very exclusive access to wildlife and an up close and personal experience without a premium price.
This Masai-run tented camp of six comfortable tents never had more than 9 guests when my 11 year old daughter and I were there, making it feel incredibly exclusive - a feeling reinforced by it being the only camp in the conservancy, so that we were the only people viewing the amazing number and range of animals on our twice daily game drives. No other vehicles, no one else even on the horizon when we repeatedly came across leopard, prides of lions, elephant, cheetahs with cubs and huge groups of giraffe. There was also the chance to go into the main Mara reserve to see the hippo in the Mara River and view the hordes of minibuses crowding the wildlife. Yes, we felt superior and smug and the tourists we passed looked at our Masai driver and guide as if they were another photo opportunity.
The Masai staff took great care of us - even putting hot water bottles in our beds while we were enjoying dinner - and dancing and singing as we sat around the fire. They took us on the usual game drives, were amazingly adept at finding wildlife, took us on a walking safari, thrilled my daughter by finding her a hyena tooth, answering her many (rather personal) questions and teaching her how to make fire. They also introduced us to their community in the Masai village outside the conservancy.
The food was plentiful and generally very good, the tents well-equipped with comfortable beds, flush toilets and safari showers and the staff genuine and charming and prone to find my daughter's unsubtle animal jokes hysterically funny.
The tents did get very hot in the middle of the day and there were biting flies and mosquitos around (although I got bitten and my daughter didn't, so it was by no means a big issue). The camp is nestled in the curve of a small river and surrounded by trees full of monkeys and bush babies which could be noisy early in the morning, but the night sounds included those of a hippo splashing back from night grazing - so the noises were part of the unforgetable experience as far as we were concerned.
Although the camp seems mainly to be visited by adults, my daughter had the most fantastic time there and, having been on safaris a couple of times in the distant past, I found the balance they have achieved of providing comfort and pursuing eco friendly practices, like careful use of water inspiring. We saw every animal we could have expected to see and got an insight into Masai people and culture that I hadn't anticipated at all. A very special place.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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Thank LSKDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2010

My family of four, consisting of two 72 year old parents, myself and my sister who has been in the travel business for twenty years had the best travel experience of our lives with Gamewatchers Safaris. Absolutely every detail is attended to and the service is exceptional. We visited all four Porini Camps and the guides, drivers, camp managers, stewards and other staff are terrific in every one. The game is abundant and the people are unbelievable friendly and knowledgeable. Open sided vehicles are the best for game watching and photography and having Maasai guides on their own lands is a richly rewarding experience. Gamewatchers fully deserves its outstanding reputation. Book now!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Watermarks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2010

This is the height of comfort and personal attention on a safari. Amazing guides. Personal service. Comfortable "tents" with indoor toilets and showers. Superb food. If you are looking for a safari experience that doesn't involve large hotels or camps and crowds of tourists this is the place. Ecologically friendly and the most hospitable staff imaginable.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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Thank kagardner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2010

What a great welcome we received from the manager David and his team. The camp is in a superb location - wildlife actually in the camp. The tents are spacious and well appointed - the safari showers are great fun! Excellent food, knowledgeable guides who went to great lengths to show us game both in the concervancy and the National Park - the drives were never cut short, we stayed out as long as we liked.

This was our sixteenth time on safari in Africa and by this time we know what is good and what is not - this is good! The concept of the Porini camps is what atracted us to them on this visit to Kenya - this idea should be copied in other areas!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Africa_Freak_10
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

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 9 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $784 - $1,307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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