We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Unbelievable game drives and service!”
Review of Porini Mara Camp

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Unbelievable game drives and service!”
Reviewed 4 August 2011

I was trying to book a safari and really had NO clue on which tour company was best. However, after contacting multiple tour operators I selected Porini / Gamewatchers because the agent Julie Roggow provided me with different options at different price points. She provided in depth information but had first hand knowledge of the camps and traveling in Africa. (It was my first time to Kenya.)

Even after I booked the trip I was still a bit apprehensive about the level of service and lodging while on safari. I was picked up ON TIME in Nairobi, flew to the Masai Mara and then picked up from the air strip and escorted to the Porini Mara camp. What is the BEST feature of this camp is its location!! It's part of a conservancy that supports and hires the Masai People and their land. It makes a difference and anyone taking a trip to this region should read up on the issue!! These conservancies care about the land, the animals, the local Masai people and most importantly- YOU, the tourist.

There are levels of certificated guides in Kenya and this camp had at least two silver guides (one was actually taking the gold level tests) that I am aware. The game drives were exciting, informative and absolutely beautiful because we had the only vehicle on the conservancy! In contract, we went to the Masai Mara National Reserve on day and it was more touristed and less intimate.

The camp staff, lodging and meals were great. I am a vegetarian and there wasn't an issue with requesting meals to my liking. There were only about ten "tents" in the camp and privacy wasn't an issue as long as you discount the visiting monkeys and the nighttime hippo visit.

Do you homework on safaris but I believe Porini / Gamewatchers is where I'll send my friends and where I'll book again.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank MPrutz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

378 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    367
    9
    2
    0
    0
See reviews for
87
167
47
9
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

We (my partner and I) visited the Porini camp as part of our two week stay part beach part safari in Feb 2011. We were greeted by David the manager on arrival and from that moment on we had probably the most memorable experience of our lives. Everything met or exceeded our expectations from the knowledge of the guides on safari to the standard of the accommodation to quality of the food served (amazing)

The camp itself was well designed, we always felt safe (even at night when you could really hear the animals!) as there were always Masai warriors around the camp. Being a private conservancy the camp is environmentally friendly and what makes the conservancy so unique is the fact that the only vehicles you bump into are those owned by the camp. You really do see the animals in their natural habitat, whether that be following a kill or on the hunt for food, or even just as they are relaxing/playing in the sun! Would we return again? Absolutely!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ILoveMyHols77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2011

we had a wonderful experience at this camp! It was the first tented camp we stayed in on our trip and we were there from July 11 to 13.2011 We were picked up at the airstrip by our guides Jimmy and Marimo, both of whom were fantastic and provided us with action packed game drives every day. David welcomed us at the camp and made us feel so at home,had a great sense of humor, we enjoyed many conversations with him.There is nothing negative to say about Mara Porini, the campfires and our meals were outstanding, all the additional staff were friendly and gave you their full attention. In hindsight it would have been nice to stay longer! Our main guide, Jimmy, was truly a gem! He loves the animals and seems genuinely amazed at the beauty of each one he sees. He was great fun to be with ,especially on our 10 hour game drive to the Mara. Definitely put this camp on your list, you will not be disappointed!

Doug and Jean Witzel, Vancouver , Canada

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Doug W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2011

It was the most amazing experience of our life,

Gamewatchers: Julie at Gamewatchers was really the best! She gave us tips right from airport transfers to what to wear and vaccinations required for the trip. She was always available and reassuring as we were apprehensive this being our first trip to Africa.

Flight: NEVER fly Kenyan Airways! its the worst airline in the world. We were stuck in Nariobi on our way back for two days with no explanation as to why our flight was cancelled!!!

Porini Mara Camp: This was the most amazing trip ever! If I have to describe this camp it is like staying at a 5 star hotel in the middle of the jungle. The tents are luxurious but yet have that rustic quality . I dont have words to describe them! The common areas were also nicely furnished . What I loved most was the attention to detail! While we are in the middle of the jungle ,we did not have a single bug or insect in our tent! ( this was very important for us) . In the evenings,all the guests sit around a fire , have drinks and then have dinner together. The game drives were awesome, Ben (Mara camp) and Meschack(Lion camp) were the best guides ever!!!! They were so knowledgeable about the local wildlife and also very courteous and really eager to share their experiences with the wild life. David at Mara camp was absolutely awesome and did everything to make our stay comfortable and relaxing.

Suggestions for improvement: These are NOT complaints but just some suggestions . While the afternoon lunches and evening dinners were well organized, personally, we would have liked the option of having the lunches and dinners in the privacy of our tents. It should be an available option. Also, you are allowed just one shower per day( this is for preservation purposes) it would be nice to have at least two , one in the morning and one in the evening after the game drive. (BTW- David was nice enough to accomodate us on the first day when we arrived:-) . But he cant go against policy.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vdesai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2011

We have just had the best experience of our lives at Porini Mara Camp. From being met at the airstrip to being waved off at the end of our stay, it was pure magic and far exceeded our expectations in every way. David and his team are so welcoming and friendly and nothing is too much trouble. Food was superb and how Chef Simon manages to get such good food out of the camp kitchen will always remain a mystery to me! From early morning tea brought to us by one of the Masai staff, through to full breakfast, packed or served lunches to full 3 course meals, the food was faultless. One day was picnic breakfast during an early morning gave drive and this was a revelation in itself (not too much detail to spoil those who haven't been yet )and then another day was picnic lunch in the Mara on the all day game drive. Imagine sitting in a wide open plain surrounded by wildebeest, zebra and gazelle and eating a picnic - beautifully surreal! Our guide Jimmy (a native Masai) was fantastic and so knowledgeable and we saw all of the big 5 and so much more. It was so humbling to know that despite Jimmy having done the job for more than 10 years he still has not lost his sense of wonder at everything we saw and shared. The Ol Kinyei Conservancy was teeming with wildlife and we sat on our verandah looking out at zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, giraffe and monkeys, baboons and wonderful birdlife and at night could hear the noises of the pride of 23 lions that live there. There is even a resident hippo!
I would not have changed a single thing about our stay there - we all left a small piece of our hearts at Porini Mara. We will have to return to get it back!
Lynne and Paul Smith

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LynneSmith350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2011

What a fantastic time we had at the Porini Mara camp. We were welcomed off our flight and didnt really know what to expect on our first safari but it couldnt have been more perfect.
The drivers drive responsibly and carefully so as not to scare animals and to give you the best opportunity to spot wildlife. You are pretty much the only vehicle in the conservancy due to the nature of a conservancy, which make severything seem so truly remote and isolated in the best possible sense.
Food is superb for all meals, the staff are all excellent, there is a great campfire for everybody to gather round in evenings and discuss their stories of the day and drinks are all a perfect tonic.
Sundowners are a beautiful touch and the night drives give it all a mysterious but very exciting dimension. The masai walk was great and the guides seemed so knowledgable and yet loved to talk and find out more about us and our culture too (particularly football!!). It again provided a different dimension to the safari which was fascinating.
The accomodation is so much better than you could imagine. The showers are great and warm as long as you use them sparingly, with beds and furniture all beautifully looked after. The sense of being out in the wild and the canvas allowing you to hear all the noises makes the whole safari sensational and I wouldnt do it any other way.
The camp is surrounded by monkeys who are great fun to watch and very audacious in their actions!!
As for the wildlife, we saw a large herds of elephants, giraffes, cheetah, buffalo, hippo many more animals but the highlight by a mile was the pack of 23 lions consisting of all different ages which will stand out in my memory for ever. We saw them on our night drive and then again by day as they were all around our vehicle and so amazing to watch!!

If you want a TRUE safari without the masses of tourists, then this camp is definitely for you!! We would love to return some day!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DaveTRFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 July 2011

We stayed at the Mara Porini Camp for 3 nights as part of a Gamewatchers organised safari. I have to say the overall experience was amazing, really couldn't fault it. We wanted to go on a Porini safari, as having done some research they clearly give more thought to the environment, and overall feel of an adventure, that some other camps/lodges just don't seem to. The fact that there are only 6-10 tents on the site, with no boundaries to speak of, and Hippo's, Lions, and Cheetahs in the area surrounding the camp certainly get's the heart going. Everybody who is associated with the conservation project, Masai to Gamewatchers, just seem incredibly happy with the partnership.

David, who runs the camp, is one of the happiest men you're likely to meet, his smile is infectious, and all the staff (who are all Masai, which just add's the experience) at the camp come accross as extemely friendy, and talkative (even when some of their English isn't as good as other's they still make the effort, and is far better than my attempts at Swahili!). The tents, which are not of your average variety, were extremely clean, spacious, and secluded, you really feel like you're on your own in the wilderness. All the little additions that they put on are a very welcome surprise as well, which I won't spoil for any potential visitors. The food, cooked by a trained Masai chef, was top notch especially when given the location and facilities at his disposal.

Our guide, Jimmy, who himself is a Masai, spoke very good English and neded no encouragment to explain what you were seeing around the camp and on the game drives. His spotting ability was amazing, better then any other I've experienced. We spent a day in the Mara itself with Jimmy, which I don't have enough superlative's to describe. His knowledge meant that we only saw a couple of other vehicles (which also has a lot to do with the location of the conservation/camp to the Mara), and were always first to anything, mainly due to the fact that Jimmy spotted or tracked an animal before anyone else. We felt all alone in the Mara, which I was not expecting. The fact that we saw a Leopard in the open, a pride of Lions, and 3 Cheatahs all within in 90 minutes, all on our own was amazing enough. But to show you an example of his skill, the whole time Jimmy was watching the area where we spotted the Leopard, which we swiftly returned to under his instructions to witness a kill, during which the Leopard was attacked itself by a Lioness. Incredible. Yes it was lucky, but knowing the right place and time helps massively.

On top of it's location next to the quiet end of the Mara, the Porini Camp itself is a conservancy, which you really are alone on. We saw Cheetahs there, and it has a resident pride of 30 Lions, which you can here during the night from your bed! We got incredibly close to the pride on one evening, and the cubs (18 of them) were practically playing with the jeep, you could touch them if you wanted to. This was followed by a G&T sundowner, which you never get tired of, then we went out with the Lions as some of the young males practiced hunting in pitch blackness. Sitting in your jeep, literally surrounded by 30 Lions bellowing is an experience you do not forget in a while.

I really can not recommend the Mara, and Porini experience enough. Gamewatcher's organised everything for us, exc flights, and it could not have gone smoother. Yes it costs more than some other Safari's, but you don't half come away feeling like it was money well spent. Especially so if you care about the environment and people that you are visiting, and it's the adventure and overall experience, with added luxury but not boutique, that you are after. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would!

Room Tip: Contact Gamewatchers directly on the phone.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Boz486
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Masai Mara National Reserve hotels
1.0 mi away
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
#4 of 8 in Masai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,001 reviews
8.0 mi away
Mara Leisure Camp
Mara Leisure Camp
#7 of 8 in Masai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 213 reviews
21.8 mi away
Mara Siria Camp
Mara Siria Camp
#6 of 8 in Masai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 182 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.6 mi away
AA Lodge Masai Mara
AA Lodge Masai Mara
#8 of 8 in Masai Mara National Reserve
3.5 of 5 bubbles 102 reviews
33.3 mi away
Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Fairmont Mara Safari Club
#1 of 8 in Masai Mara National Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 505 reviews
6.5 mi away
Sarova Mara Game Camp
Sarova Mara Game Camp
#3 of 8 in Masai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 998 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Porini Mara Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Porini Mara Camp

Property: Porini Mara Camp
Address: Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porini Mara Camp is located in the exclusive 17,500 acre wildlife conservancy of Ol Kinyei, one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the Serengeti-Mara eco-system. The camp has 6 spacious guest tents with an en-suite bathroom sited in the shade of Yellow-barked Acacia trees. The camp accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, where guests enjoy game drives in 4x4s, sundowners at scenic viewing points and escorted walks with Maasai guides. Ol Kinyei is noted for its excellent wildlife viewing with a resident pride of lions, cheetahs, leopards and a wide variety of animals. There is a strict limit on the number of tourist vehicles allowed in the conservancy so that visitors from the camp can view the wildlife without other vehicles. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara Porini Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Mara Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing