Everything about my 4 night/5 day stay here was wonderful. It was a dream come true and I cannot fault anything. From the smiling and friendly staff, with their warm welcome every time they saw me, to the comfortable and luxurious tent with great hot shower, to the fabulous meals and the daily game rides with my driver and guide Robert, I had the time of my life. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Governors' was recommended to me and is known by local Kenyans as "the" place to stay, and I would concur. It may not be uber-luxurious with swimming pools etc, but it is somehow really comfortable without being pretentious. The camp is not fenced, so wild animals do prowl around, especially at night. Askari (security guards) ensure that they do not cause any problems, but it is quite wonderful waking in the night and hearing a strange munching noise outside as a hippo eats some grass. You may even encounter an elephant walking towards you at night as you make your way escorted back to your tent after dinner. The askari are well trained to look after you and get you safely out of the way and it all makes for an exciting time...
The safari started at Nairobi with the little plane of Governors' Aviation, flown by a young pilot who was hugely proficient, landing softly on a runway near the camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Just driving to the camp meant passing masses of wildlife, mainly wildebeest and zebra which had already started to cross the Mara earlier than usual on their great annual migration - a real bonus. This migration usually only starts in July and continues on until about October. Arriving at camp meant dropping off my small amount of luggage in my spacious and lovely tent, overlooking the river and then having a wonderful lunch prior to my first game ride. I was so lucky - on this first trip, we saw four of the Big Five, i.e. buffalo, hippo, elephant and leopard. And the following day, in the morning, we saw the fifth - a solitary rhino.
A packing tip - take very little with you. You can get your clothes laundered each day as part of the service, and you don't need to dress up for dinner. Bring a rain covering (pack-a-mac is ideal) for those times when you might experience the heavens opening....
We were allocated a land rover and a driver/guide - our one was called Robert, and we were waved in and out of the camp with great ceremony by the wonderful David, who always raised a laugh with his enthusiastic welcomes. Robert proved invaluable - as well as an excellent driver (over rough and often very muddy terrain), he had an inexhaustible knowledge of the wildlife and did everything he could to ensure that we never missed anything. From small birds, to a python, lying resting in some reeds, from little Egyptian geese goslings sheltering beneath their mother's feathers to the great Marsh lion pride families, Robert would tell us stories and enlighten us as to the wonders of the natural world.
We had three drives a day, one first thing in the morning at 6.30 am then back to camp for a huge breakfast, followed by the continuation of a game drive from about 10.30 till 12.00 when we headed back to camp for lunch, then a little rest and a final drive at 3.30 until about 6.00 pm when the sun set.
I was extremely lucky (thanks Sanjay, our great balloon pilot) to go on hot-air balloon safari on one morning. Rising very early, our balloon set off at 5.30 am, before the sun rose and we floated quietly and smoothly not much higher than the tree line, watching the skyline change as the sun rose, and all the animals beneath us. On landing, there was a splendid champagne breakfast provided for us followed by a long game ride. Well worth trying to go on one of these trips if you can. It just gives a different perspective. You don't need to be scared of heights, as you don't go too high, and the landing is only a very little bit bumpy and lasts for only a couple of seconds, usually leaving everyone laughing as they come to a final stop on the ground.
I went on my own, and did not find this a problem at all. On a couple of nights, I was invited to share a table with other guests, and also with the main table of Governors' staff. And if I was on my own, it never felt awkward, just a great sense of peacefulness.
I love photography and every opportunity was given to us to be able to take as many photos as we wanted from just about any angle. Nothing was too much trouble.
I would totally recommend Governors' Camp to everyone. I genuinely believe that - if I never do or go anywhere else ever in my lifetime - that I will not worry, because I have been on safari in the Mara. Thank you so much all of you. I will be sending you all some photo prints that I took of some of the staff - so you should get them whenever the mail eventually reaches you! In the meantime, I will attach just a few of the photos I took, which bring me such pleasure as I remember every moment spent with you all. Asante sana
Susan F. (UK)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Governors' Camp nestles on the banks of the Mara River in the heart of the most prolific game viewing area of the Masai Mara. One of only a handful of camps located within the Masai Mara Game Reserve the setting is magical. Half of the tents overlook the rolling grasslands of Africa, with views of elephant, zebra and gazelle; the rest are tucked away in the forest lining the banks of the Mara River. Governors has been pioneering immersive and transformational safaris in the Mara since 1972. We were the first operators to be permanently based inside the Mara, our site was chosen for its prime location and was the designated “getaway” for the Governors of Kenya. Unfenced and right in the heart of the action. Our camps are Located in some of the best and most precious Wildlife Locations in the world. We are a family with a colourful cast of characters that embodies the spirit of safari, while placing the care of the environment, community and conservation at the heart of everything we do. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Governor`s Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Governors Camp
- Governor's Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve