Four days into our Kenya Gamewatchers Safari we said a reluctant goodbye to sister camp Porini Mara (see separate review) and headed for Porini Lion Camp. The transfer was seamless and came in the form of an action packed game drive across the Maasai Mara. Along the way, encountered basking crocodiles, hippos treading water, elegantly grazing giraffes and a family of cheetahs taking a midday rest, then a typically delicious lunch (Porini style) near a man-sized termite mound (happily, dormant).
We arrived to a warm welcome by Juma, the manager of our second camp, and a tour of our impressively spacious new quarters - a very large tent complete with two double beds and a full en-suite bathroom, including a real flushing loo, running tap water for washing, and the 'bucket' shower that our first camp had demonstrated delivered a warming, fulsome shower at the end of the day.
Porini Lion Camp is on a par with Porini Mara, albeit a little larger in scale (twice the number of tents), a little more spacious and less rustic in design. We adored both. The food was equally delicious (same simple but nutritious style), the staff as wonderfully warm and welcoming. Again, the attention to detail was faultless: hot water bottles in the bed each night, early morning tea and hot water for bathing to help us face the 6am starts, home-baked cakes at tea-time, bush breakfasts, bush lunches and bush sundowners, blanket lined waterproof ponchos for chilli mornings and evenings on the 4x4, a wind-up torch in the tent, and a warming campfire to end the day.
Once again, it was the people that made the camp such a wonderful experience. From Big John, our driver, and John Mac, our tracker, to the charismatic and always smiling James in the dining tent (who did a magnificent job of identifying the birds we had photographed on the drives), they were tremendous.
Juma and our two dedicated guides ensured that each of our remaining three days were full to capacity with game-watching, a combination of early morning drives, all day drives, afternoon drives and night drives. The level of excitement was sustained by the enthusiasm of the two Johns who clearly relished tracking hard to find game, and punctuated each outing with informative commentary and perfectly pitched bush meals. Our return from every outing was marked by Juma waiting to 'welcome us home' - another thoughtful touch.
Our sadness at leaving was alleviated by the arrival of Wilson and Josperht, our lovely guides from Porini Mara Camp, to drive us to the landing strip and our flight out. In true Porini style, the journey was a game drive - a last lookout for leopards, a quick detour to see a hippo staying unusually late out of the water, and a pause for my daughter to photograph her favourite Lilac Breasted Roller (they remembered). Not a moment wasted.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Porini Lion Camp is located in the exclusive 20,000 acre Olare Orok Conservancy bordering the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, home to an abundance of animals. With 10 spacious comfortably furnished tents, each with private verandahs and en-suite bathrooms, the camp is small and exclusive giving a real bush experience. Guests enjoy the game drives in open 4x4's, escorted bush walks with Maasai warriors and sundowners. The Camp is the perfect base to experience the annual wildebeest migration. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porini Lion Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Porini Lion Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve