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“Porini is the way to do it !”
Review of Porini Lion Camp

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Porini Lion Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Kent, England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Porini is the way to do it !”
Reviewed August 12, 2009

We visited Amboseli, Mara Camp and Lion Camp and were impressed by all three. They are different in some ways but the basic care for all guests while at camp and out and about was faultless. We saw all big five, two crossings plus a range of other things. The food was superb and the facilities very comfortable. A normal shower is definitely very boring now that we are home!! Without doubt the way to see the Mara and ensure that the locals benefit too.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank paulnwb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Essex
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2009

We struggled to choose a safari location amongst the hundreds that are out there and found trip advisor helpful in making our choice. So I wanted to add my comments to the others on here about Porini Lion Camp. It simply was an amazing experience. We were on our honeymoon last year and had always wanted to do a safari. For us it was a once in a life time opportunity and we wanted to get it just right. I can't compare it to any other camps as we went from here to Zanzibar but we had such a great time at Porini. From the incredible, knowledgeable staff to the fantastic food and comfortable 'tents' everything was spot on. But most importantly of course were the drives into the park. Within ten minutes of being picked up from the airstrip, we had encountered a family of lions with their cubs, an incredible sight! From then on it was a constant stream of lions, cheetahs, elephants, buffallos and even the elusive leopard. Our drivers and guides could not do enough to enhance our experience. We also opted for a walking tour one morning which I highly recommend, great to get your feet on the soil, in amongst the 'foot' prints of all of those animals you've been spotting! The staff couldn't do enough for us, including bringing us fresh coffee to drink whilst watching the wildlife from our terrace and leaving a bottle of wine chilling in the tent. The tents were 'guarded' by Masai at night time and even though we could hear lions roaring outside and hippos grunting (!!) we felt completely safe and secure. Don't think about going, just go - you won't regret it.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Jenflump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2009

We love the lion camp, No crowds ! Off the beaten Path , it seem no one was around for miles....The guides were very good and we were able to see Baby everything,lions,hippo,cheetah ,giraffe,zebra WartHog, Just to name a few. The food was good .Everynight around the campfire we could discuss day and share our pictures with our fellow campmates .Loved listen to the lions at night from" {INSide"} the tent. Perfect !

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pmr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2009

As the name suggest Lion camp is situated in an area that is teeming with wildlife and especially big cats, in fact the Big Cat Diary is filmed near there and the best thing is that it's a private conservancy, so you don't get 20 mini-vans around you while you watching a lion and you can actually observe cheetahs hunting something that would be impossible with the kind of traffic you get elsewhere in the Maasai Mara National Park.

The camp itself is clean and comfortable and you know that it isn't destroying the surrounding environment plus the conservancy is managed and owned by the local Masai. So if you want an exclusive wildlife experience then Lion Camp is the place to go.

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank filmingholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2009

If you want to experience a real safari in the most natural environment possible without cement and other permanent man-made structures, then the Porini Camps booked through Gamewatchers is the route you want to take. I celebrated by 60th birthday at three of the camps and they far exceeded my expectations. I was able to experience the most enviornmentally -friendly safari accomodations while still enjoying luxury camping amenities such as solar-powered tent lights, hot shower water, and hot water bottles in the extremely comfortable beds at night. The staff is very knowledgable and ready to help you with any request. They provide "back-to-nature" safaris that I look forward to doing again.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Safarigirll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 12, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Lion camp for the first three days of our honeymoon. I have done safari before in Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya where my other half had not done anything like it and needless to say he was very excited!!!
From the moment we landed in our little plan on a dirt strip in the middle of nowhere I knew that thsi would be nothing like I had done before. We were met by our guide and driver in an amazing 4x4 vehicle perfect for gameviewing and very comfortable too. Then it was about an hour and half game drive just en route to the camp where we saw tons of animals!

The camp is beautiful and truly inspirational. I love the concept they have and the fact that they are trying to make a difference to the local community and giving something back. If you can be prepared to 'rough it' a little bit with the bucket showers the tents are surprisingly comfortable and great fun in a massive rainstorm!

The food was delicious and varied the only downside being that we felt compelled to make small talk with people sat at a group table with us when , as honeymooners, we just wanted to enjoy a meal alone.

The staff were fantastic particularly our guide who was very knowledgable and approachable and had as many questions to ask of us as we did of him. The animals we saw were beyond anything we could hope for and the benefit of being in the conservancy meant that for most of the days we were the only vehicle around too.

Overall a fantastic place and much recommended for a few nights amazing and relaxation

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rascal79Southampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2009

This is the best – so good that we’ll be returning. As privileged and experienced travellers through all continents, and with considerable game safari experience in much of Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia as well as Kenya, Lion Camp blew us away ! Imagine a very rural protected ‘Conservancy’ area, scattered with tiny Maasai villages and school, and the nearest road some 45km away. Then place five or six very spacious guest tents, equipped with private bathroom and safari shower and properly flushing porcelain toilet. Mix in another couple of tents for Lounge and Dining facilities and for staff accommodation. Add in a manager, and many traditionally-dressed Maasai staff including guides/spotters/drivers/ chef/housekeeping/waiter and warriors who guard you and the camp from wild animals while you sleep. Combine your image with solar panels and bottled gas for hot water and cooking etc (no nasty, noisy, polluting generators here). Add in the freshest food and even decent imported wines. Now consider the best of ‘Eco-tourism’ coupled with ‘Fair Trade’, and you’ve pretty well got the picture.

Lion Camp was the third of our three consecutive two-night stops in Porini Camps following Amboseli and then Rhino. Picked up initially from our London flight by Ray with a big van at Nairobi Airport, we had been driven south down the ‘African Massage’ experience towards Amboseli for our first Porini Camp encounter. Don’t miss this road journey. It demonstrates just what road travel in Kenya is like ! Three huge trucks spread out in parallel, all lumbering towards you as you all simultaneously aim for the for the same narrow way through ! But Ray does that journey several times in a week and knows every stone, every blade of grass, every dip and hollow, and you pretty soon realise that you are in good safe hands. You realise also that the best decision that you had made was to fly between the Camps in little Cessna 12-seater Caravans using grass or gravel airstrips.

So, if you were thinking of self-drive in Kenya – Don’t. If you are thinking of taking a guided road-tour in one of those microvans with ‘guaranteed window seats and a pop up roof’ – Don’t ! Either way you’d spend seven to ten times as long going from place to place by road, see very little because you cannot even enter the Conservancies and such vehicles cannot go off-road anyway, and even when finally in a Park you do see an animal, there’ll be six other people’s heads, hats, arms and cameras all poking out of your own pop-up roof, and all at the very same height !

In contrast Porini Camps use door-entry deep-cushion-seated Land Rover 4x4s for all their day and sundowner drives, both within the Conservancies and the Parks with which they have completely open borders. We, in our luxury Land Rovers, were the envy of those in microvans whenever they saw us in the Parks. As for the animals, suffice to say that in just one Mara drive we saw at least 60 Lion in varying groups of seven down to one – including a huge male and a female 6 meters up adjacent trees where a huge Buffalo herd had tree’d them – and others with kills and cubs. We also spent time with the three Cheetah brothers immortalised in ‘Big Cat Diary’, and until we actually got ‘bored’ with it, we were right on top of a most beautiful Leopard stalking her dinner – a choice of Warthog and Topi. Even a Serval spent some time with us. And all that was just the cats ! Plenty of other reviewers have indicated the plethora of animals here, so we’ll move on to the people.

All of the staff know that money you’ve paid goes to the local communities in aiding schools and water projects etc in an environmentally friendly way that does not ruin their culture. They know too that you’ve chosen to help in this way rather than see all of your hard-earned cash end up in the profits of foreign-owned hotels. So they ‘hang on your every word’ even if they don’t understand it ! Nothing is too much trouble, and nobody is seeking individual tips from you. Photograph and film whoever and whatever you like here. They know that’s exactly what you want to do, and are very happy to oblige without payment, unlike at many other locations. We have actually deleted no fewer than 169 DSLR animal/people/landscape photographs taken at Porini Camps not because they weren’t good, but simply because they were so much like the 600 others that we have kept.

And two months later it’s still a great feeling. Not only did we have the best time ever, but we are still very comfortable in the knowledge that our holiday made a difference not only to us, but also to the Maasai and other Kenyan people.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank AviationSpirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Porini Lion Camp

Property: Porini Lion Camp
Address: Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Porini Lion Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 10
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 
Also Known As:
Porini Lion Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Lion Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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