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“Wonderful experience!”
Review of Porini Lion Camp

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Porini Lion Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2009

We chose this safari based on the African Safari Planner and its comments re Gamewatcher's Safari. Coomunication was excellent ahead of time. Easy to book on line. Everything ran as planned. The camp is in a conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara and therefore there are fewer vehicles than in the Masai Mara itself. This allowed us to view the animals without the feeling of harrassing them. The Masai Mara is so crowded that I worried constantly about the effects of such heavy traffic on the animals. The camp staff were very helpful and knowledgeable and nothing was too much effort for them. The tent camp is fun and the food excellent. We saw all the animals we wanted to and more. I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank ACEVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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581 - 587 of 629 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2009

Having come from Porini Amboseli we had very high expectations from this camp, and we were not disappointed. Within minutes of leaving the airport, we came across 3 lions up close to the vehicle. They within the next hour our guides found a cheetah with her three cubs. By the time we arrived at the camp, we felt like we had already almost seen everything. The camp is more luxurious than Amboseli, feeling more like a hotel room than a tent. With big windows all round the tent, you really feel like you are surrounded by nature, as you look out at the zebra and wildebeest grazing a short way away. Later that day we went for another safari drive and our guides almost immediately found us the famously elusive leopard, happily sleeping in the sun. We then later came across more lions and their cubs. This pattern of incredible animal viewings continued over the next 3 days, with our guides finding us two more leopards, many more lions and cubs including a female killing a wildebeest, more cheetah, the wildebeest crossing and much much more. Back at camp, the quality of staff is impeccable, and they are extremely attentive to your needs. The food was outstanding, and we were most impressed with being able to have a full breakfast out on safari. When we left after 3 nights, we couldn't believe how many amazing things we had seen. Porini Lion camp was a great opportunity to get up close to the animals and experience moments we will never forget.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank James_Heather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2009

I have just returned from a fantastic trip to three Porini camps - the Rhino, Mara and Lion camps - it was an awesome trip yet again. This was my first time to stay in Lion camp - I have been lucky enough to have visited both the Porini Mara and Amboselia camps 2 years ago. I absolutely loved this camp and the magnificent private conservancy. The camp is aptly named as there are 4 resident prides of lions within the conservancy, cheetahs, leopard, elephant, giraffe and countless other animals. Its a real treasure and ensures that you get that really wild natural feeling that nature intended that you just dont get on the Masai Mara Reserve with its traffic and crowds. The camp itself - as with all Porini camps - is amazing - its very relaxing and there is a lovely calm atmosphere. The food was excellent as was the hygiene. The service and attention you get makes you feel special and very welcome. I loved the sundowners and nights around the camp fire with the other guests swapping stories and having a good old laugh. The guides and spotters are brilliant, entertaining and so knowledgeable and they are together with the Masai who work in the camp very friendly and always smiling. There is a massive feel-good factor about staying in the camp and knowing that whilst you are having the time of your life you are also contributing in some small way to the local community. I have lots of best moments as there is nothing as thrilling as not knowing whats going to happen next but I will never ever forget my last sundowner - a lioness with 6 very young cubs playing together for ages - then their father arrives - a huge male of the Monico pride who starts roaring a few feet away from me - it was a truly awesome sight and sound. I feel very privileged to have experienced the really wild Kenya and would higly recommend this camp - I will definitely be back for another visit - Edel - Dublin Ireland

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled solo
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Thank DublinDelser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

I had spent a couple of days at Porini Lion and Ol Kinyei in February 2009 as a taster.
My wife, son and I returned for a ten day Gamewatchers safari in April 2009 just at the beginning of the rainy season. We visited Porini Rhino, Proini Lion and Porini Mara (Ol Kinyei). Each camp has a different feel but all have the same Porini special experience.

These camps are low impact and keep your carbon footprint down. but there is no compromise on quality and comfort. Don't expect TV, faxes and leave your hair dryer behind. The camps are solar powered without it any way affecting the greatly enjoyable experience. Hot water is provided for showers each day and all the tents have lights at night. No laundry facilities so take enough clothing or be ready to use the provide soap suds.

All the camps are in private conservancies. The conservancy concept was pioneered by Jake Greives-Cook in the 90's. The model is one that engages the local communities and provides tangible benefits from eco-tourism in a way that exceed the returns that they are able to generate from other forms of land utilisation such as farming. In 1997 his organisation signed an agreement with a Maasai community to establish the first Conservancy (Selenkay) on 13,000 acres of their land near Amboseli Park. This has proved very successful and has restored wildlife to an area that was seriously degraded. For example, elephant returned after twenty years.

Following the success of Selenkay Conservancy, in 2005 the 8,500 acre Ol Kinyei Conservancy was set up in the Mara eco-system and in 2006 the 22,000 acre Olare Orok Conservancy was set up in another part of the Mara. This was followed by Porini Rhino at Ol Pejeta. The areas to be used as conservancies were chosen by the Maasai landowners and then were vacated by the community and set aside for wildlife so that they could be utilised for eco-tourism to generate an income and economic benefits for the community. Each conservancy has seen a measurable and significant increase in wildlife and a regeneration of habitat in areas that were previously over-grazed by livestock and denuded of wildlife. Signature species have returned to areas after many years. I am a keen conservationist and visit many wild places and I was impressed by how game rich the conservancies are. They also act as an all important buffer around the parks and engage the local communities in understanding and protecting wildlife and providing employment through eco tourism-

The conservancies work on a limited number of bed nights per acre of space and no others can use them. This means great game without the mini bus circus. You can do game walks, sundowners, bush picnics night drives - the flexibility is great. It is easy to access the main Maasai Mara reserve and we did a couple of game drives there but you probably will prefer to spend most of your time in the conservancy All the staff are top notch - really friendly, great hosts and very knowledgeable.

Book directly with Gamewatchers who can plan your whole safari and will book you into other lodges if you want to mix and match with tented camps. All the arrangements work well and picks ups and drops offs are efficient and cater to your requirements. They are my favourite tour operator!

Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
1  Thank Safaribuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2009

This was my 2nd stay at Porini Lion Camp having visited in Oct 08. The welcome received on arrival was amazing. Many staff remembered us from last year and could not do enough for us. My 10 year old daughter was the centre of attention with the staff at Porini Lion Camp and they really looked after her. I love this camp because it is set in a conservancy where you can have game drives without coming across another vehicle hence you get great photographs and the guides take you really close to the animals. Currently Porini Lion Camp has lots of animals in the conservancy and we saw many Lion, Cheetah, a Leopard, a large group of Wildebeest to name but a few. We had the same driver and spotter who were with us in Oct 08 and this made the visit quite special. The Camp Manager ensured that both myself and my daughter enjoyed every day we stayed. We timed our visit with the Wildebeest Migration and were not disappointed. We got to see the most fantastic river crossing - truly memorable. I cannot thank the staff who work at Porini Lion Camp enough as they go out of their way to make you stay enjoyable. The whole experience you gain from staying in an eco- friendly tented camp where the animals are free to come and go and yes, you do get them at night, hippo, buffalo and elephants outside our tent, is magical. I love Porini Lion Camp and will be back for my 3rd stay soon.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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Thank smith12family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2009

I have experienced a multitude of different 'Safari type' holidays from the Etoshi in Namibia to Kruger in South Africa. Each have their own unique benefits. However I can honestly say that Porini Lion Camp tops my list as THE MOST AUTHENTIC Safari experience. WIth most hotels in the Mara, they can be quite commercialised with electric fences and mini buses with only profits as the driving force. This is not the case with Porini Lion Camp, as they have a long term ecological and community model which benefits the ENVIRONMENT (so that there will be pockets of land which will be protected for our childrens childern to visit). Benefits the local Maasai COMMUNITY through partnerships to directly benefit them from the use of the land through employment and leasing arrangements and finally and most importantly benefits the VISITOR. So that the experience is a once-in-a-life time one With excellent hospitality, knowledgeable guides and wonderful of experiences of Sundowners, Night drives and Bush walks. I can't wait to visit again.

  • Stayed: August 2009
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Thank WillisG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2009

We go to the Masai Mara every year, it's always great, but Porini Lion camp was magnificent. As a wildlife conservationist I can't describe how impressed I was at the ecological restoration that has occurred over the few years that Ol Kinyei has existed. We saw more than we'd see in the Mara Reserve, lions, antelopes, hyenas, and no cattle! It is a model conservation project in an area that is being misused by many others. The small numbers, low or positive ecological impact as well as the fabulous facilities makes this camp so special. As a Kenyan I felt hugely proud at the initiative and the excellent staff, we were able to get amazing photographs of lion and elephant and the intimate setting with a few other guests meant we made some new friends. Every tent has it's own view over the river, super romantic. I would love to do it again and stay much much longer.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
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2  Thank Wildlifedirect
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

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 142 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $829 - $1,389 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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