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“booked through JT Safaris”

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Little Governors' Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Chigwell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“booked through JT Safaris”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2013

Day1 Arrived in Masai from the plane and greeted by a guide who said he would be our driver and introduced ourselves to a German couple who we where told we would be spending the next three days with us on our safari.

1st game drive after lunch we met at cars as advised. We were then told without explanation that we no longer had original driver but had another driver ' Fredrick' and the German couple would no longer be with us. As this was our third time on a safari and second time at little governors we had some idea of what to expect. However our new driver was a little backward in coming forward, firstly with interacting and volunteering information and secondly not very good at answering questions about the various wildlife.
As Fredrick was a Masai warrior we thought perhaps he was by nature perhaps a little quiet. Perhaps he needed to get to know us.
I think on the first day, perhaps we afforded him to much sympathy as we were paying good money for what should of been a good service with a forthcoming driver.
We returned that afternoon a little tired and a little disappointed .

Day 2
2nd game drive
We left camp very early we saw some lions right near the camp that everyone was watching. We had told Fredrick the day before that we were hoping to see a black Rhino, as it was the only animal from the big five that over our last few years of visiting we had yet to see. Fredrick received a call to an area where a black rhino had been spotted. We went along and saw the Rhino. After this Fredrick seemed to drive around and seemed distracted, often completely missing animals that we had both spotted without binoculars. We stopped by the river and ate breakfast but Fredrick seemed to have an unwillingness to converse.
However I attempted to speak to him about his culture and Masai tribe he then took an interest and even suggested quite adamantly that we should go to the village meet the people and it would cost us £25 dollars to do this. Also suggesting if we come to the Masai that we should take time out to visit the villages as this enables the funding of the kids education. We explained we are only here for three days maybe next visit to Kenya we may visit the village. Fredrick seemed insulted by our refusal to go.
Our long morning game drive continued with Fredrick receiving phone calls. We asked if these were his colleagues and had they spotted anything interesting he replied 'no'. After this we saw very few animals mainly birds. On the whole Fredrick seemed very distracted and disinterested. This was by far becoming a totally different safari than any of our previous experiences. Our next problem was a flat tyre. Fredrick refused to ring the camp with regards to this as it turned out his vehicle was supposed to be equipped with a jack and wheel brace neither of which he had. Through fear of getting in trouble we had to sit and wait until a fellow driver arrived with the correct equipment. Some time later, a passing governors vehicle stopped and gave us a lift back to camp. On the way we stopped numerous times with this guide telling us about many animals large and small along the way the difference in Fredrick and this guide was phenomenal !!

Game drive 3. We gave this drive a miss as the morning had been so unproductive and disappointing with a more than tense atmosphere between us and Fredrick.

Day3 again we booked a packed breakfast so that we could hopefully put the previous day disappointment behind us and enjoy our last day.
Before we set off, both us noticed a really strong smell of petrol wafting into the vehicle Sherman made a point of asking Fredrick if everything was ok with the vehicle and that it smelt like a bad leak. Fredrick denied it was a leak at set off regardless. After a while the smell was so overwhelming that Sherman said he should check the vehicle again. Fredrick jumped out looked under the bonnet and returned saying he it needed water we all new at this point this was not a water issue. Nonetheless we continued driving to more or less a short distance from the park entrance where there was a Masai village not far from the national park entrance. We parked outside a Masai shop where Fredrick greeted the shop women warmly. He then suggested we do a little souvenir shopping whilst he and two other men with knives attempted to fix the vehicle. I personally felt under pressure to buy things from the shop and the very pushy and persuasive shop lady! Most uncomfortable situation. My fourteen year old daughter whispered that the men with knives were quite scary and started to get upset. Sherman took a look in the vehicle and as he had said this was a petrol leak that in no way needed water, a shopping trip or a visit to the village behind. He after some persuasion and insisting got Fredrick to ring someone to come and help. Strangely, rather than stay put until they arrived he then insisted in driving across an empty field in a diagonal direction. Then he parked up and waited until he could see the ' rescue' vehicle heading our way then he started the engine and drove toward it. One can only assume he didn't want to be found at the shop and village. Incidentally, we do have photos of the shop and one of the men complete with knife in hand.
We swapped vehicles and drove off far from anywhere we had been before. Fredrick barley said a word no animals just plains of nothing, we plotted up in a lush green area after driving through a couple of rocky streams there were no other safari vehicles around for miles. We stopped ate a very late breakfast and returned. This was a most unpleasant and at times unnerving morning. To be totally honest I think that throughout the previous 48 hours Fredrick seemed almost drugged or inebriated. His eyes were always bloodshot and eyelids low. Although there were no obvious alcohol fumes he most definitely seemed under the influence of something. On both days I noticed some strange twigs sticking out of his pocket. This certainly would explain his lethargy and lack of interaction. I have worked over the years with drug and alcohol dependent people and recognise the signs.

When we returned to camp Sherman spoke with George the camp manager about our disappointing trip and the disasters involved. We were told later that Fredrick had been dismissed and George had made a point of telling me personally that he had more or less been forced to hire Fredrick as he was the park rangers brother. Also that Fredrick had been immediately dismissed as he was already on a warning after a previous problem.
All in all the this expensive safari was an entire disaster, with little compensation.
We feel very let down as we afforded JT safaris our repeat business on three occasions, twice at Little Governors in addition the mere wiping of a bar bill cannot be expected to cover the hard earnings that paid for this expensive disappointment

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank ShermanWebb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Thank you for your comments on your safari which you took in December 2012. We understand that you have been communicating with JT safaris over this matter. We have sent your comments to management for review as we take comments like these extremely seriously.
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416 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2013

If you are looking for a unique and magical experience, look no further. Little Governors really does have it all! Others have already said it - the attention to detail is evident across all aspects. We went to celebrate my 40th Birthday, and boy, what a celebration it was!
Little Governors, with it's resident warthogs, luxurious tents, fine dining (in a safari camp?! But yes indeed!!) super friendly & caring staff (especially Duncan), and awesome game drives.....it was PERFECT. And we would definately say that among all that, one person was integral to the charm and character of the place, and that was Peter, the Manager. He knew all the guests' names, talked to everyone each day and was always showing genuine care and interest. A real gem!!
Thank you so much to all at Little Governors for making my 40th birthday so very special, and for giving us the holiday of a lifetime xx

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nicky m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, February 20, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013

Our second stop for our honeymoon and was a little apprehensive about staying in 'tents' however the experience was fantastic. Sleeping under canvas but with all the luxurys of a hotel room. Attention to detail was fantastic - tray of tea in the morning, picnic breakfast for morning safari. Wonderful food and welcoming and attentive staff! We were completely spoilt

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Vicki R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, February 20, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013

What a wonderful trip for my wife & I and our son & daughter (both adults). It started with expert trip planning thanks to Julius Nzumbi and his staff at JT Safaris, who managed all reservation and transfer details. Our stay at Little Governors Camp was professionally hosted by Peter and his wonderful staff. Everything was perfect! The guiding was top-notch and we saw 4 of the "Big 5" on the first trip out. (We'll have to return for the leopard.) The tents had all the amenities -- my daughter called it "glamping" -- the food was _beyond_ excellent, and our every need was anticipated in advance.

A highlight of our trip came the first night when, in the pouring rain, we could not return to our tents after the safari because a herd of elephants was in the camp. No problem -- there was a warm firepit under cover, drinks and snacks were served, we had great conversations, and were treated to seeing the herd (including a baby) pass by on its way out of the camp. Another night there was apparently a lion and water buffalo outside our tents, but we were well protected by the staff at all times.

We were sad to leave. Even on the trip to the airstrip, the driver tried to find a spot where we could see a leopard before we left. Even on our cab ride back to the hotel in Nairobi, Julius Nzumbi was on the phone to us to ensure that the final leg of our trip was in order. What service!

This was a trip of a lifetime, and I would recommend it to everyone in a second!

Room Tip: Tents 10 & 11 were perfect -- Excellent views!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank drdjc35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, February 20, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

What an amazing place to stay - this is serious luxury and service next to a marsh in the middle of the Masai Mara. We went with our children (14 & 12) and had the amazing 3 days. The staff/service/food and cleaniness of the whole camp is outstanding.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Oliver F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, February 20, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

This was our second time at Little Governor's and it was as wonderful as the first. The camp has changed some since our first visit 9 years ago. It now has internet (which I could actually have done without), electricity in the tents and a few other "21st century amenities", but the general atmosphere is still the same. The marsh right outside your tent makes for wonderful viewing during the day and interesting sounds at night. Our guide this time, Ngaye, was incredibly knowledgeable. One would expect the guide to know all about the larger animals, but Ngaye could identify every bird and reptile we came across as well. I loved the fact that he was every bit as excited about seeing the migration as we were. He went out of his way to please us. Back at camp, the hospitality could not have been better. If we wanted for anything, they tried to arrange it. Both the bar and wait staff were excellent and we were so happy to see Duncan, our waiter from 9 years ago and again this time. One afternoon a herd of elephants visited the camp and made themselves right at home. While the staff kept us a safe distance away, it was quite an experience to be so close to such a huge animal and not be in the confines of a vehicle. That night we were awoken by hippos that were not happy with one another. In the evening as we had cocktails before dinner there were lively discussions about that day's game drives. While everyone's adventure is different, I can whole-heartedly recommend Little Governor's Camp.

Room Tip: We have stayed in tent 3 and 12A. I don't think there is a bad tent, however the lower the room...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sushuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, February 20, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chepstow
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

Jambo! What a wonderful place! To be in an unfenced camp in the Masai Mara is surely the best way to experience this amazing part of Kenya. The boat access over the river adds to the excitement. The tents are more than your average tent. The beds are very comfortable with a hot water bottle provided every night & the bathroom is large & luxurious. It's true there isn't much hanging space, as mentioned in a previous review, but you don't take alot of clothing with the weight allowance so adequate. The view from the tent is the stuff of dreams with nothing between you & the water hole except subtle but ever present security. There were different animals in the water hole every day, just living their lives, while we watched! By night the noises are exhilarating. The staff were very friendly & always willing to chat & impart their own knowledge about the animals. Service brilliant. Duncan our waiter, Issa our bar waiter & Joseph our steward, all excellent. George, the manager, such a nice man, greeting us every day on the return from game drives. The food was excellent. The game drives were incredible. You are out for most of the day if you want to be but you don't have to. We loved the long drives with a picnic. You see 'something new' every day. Our guide was Oliver who was brilliant & he did all he could to ensure we had the best experience, even to the extent of driving much further out on our last day to try to see small lion cubs as we hadn't seen any up till then. He even spotted small animals like a hare & a tortoise! (They weren't having a race). We did the balloon safari from which we didn't see a lot of animals but just loved flying above everything with a champagne breakfast. We did a walking tour with Patrick which I would highly recommend. To be actually walking among the animals was amazing & what Patrick didn't know, wasn't worth knowing! Posh breakfast with champagne in the bush to finish it off. Visiting the Masai village is definitely a good experience plus meeting many Masai staff first hand & learning about their tribe was enlightening. The experience was so much more than seeing the animals. Kenya & its people are special.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Lisbnis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, February 20, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Little Governors' Camp

Property: Little Governors' Camp
Address: C14 Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Little Governors' Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a forest in the heart of the Masai Mara, Little Governors' is intimate in character. The luxury en-suite tents are tucked around a large water-hole clearing that teems with life. Beyond, lie the grasslands of the Masai Mara and the deep blue Olololo Ridge Escarpment. Arriving in Camp is an adventure, leaving your vehicle behind you cross the Mara River by boat and are escorted on foot through the forest to the camp. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Little Governors` Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Little Governors' Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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