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“A wonderful new conservancy”
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A wonderful new conservancy”
Reviewed 6 August 2011

Our second camp after Selenkay (see review). David, Jimmy and Marama gave us a warm homecoming welcome at Ol Kinyei despite the fact it was our first visit. As at all Porini camps, they couldn’t have done more for us. Our guides gave freely and generously of their knowledge skills and experience, which is why we were blessed with exclusive sightings of a wildebeest crossing, a close-up resting Cheater, a close-up Martial Eagle, a herd of 100 elephant and, our first Leopard (with two cubs) after three trips to Africa. The latter only came about because Jimmy and Marama tried so hard, and in the end it boiled down to Maasai wisdom in responding to a Bush Buck alarm call. There were, of course, many more sights, sounds and experiences in the new conservancy, which is wonderful in terms of varied habitat and richness of wildlife. As always, bush accommodation, food and service excellent. Humbled to be part of the dedicated extended Porini team and to experience the generous sharing of the Maasai knowledge, land and heritage, as well as a great sense of humour all round; David being the head humorist!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
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2 Thank Colinfromsussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Forest of Dean
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2011

THis was the last of the 4 Porini camps we have stayed at and we stayed here before heading off to the Lion Camp for a 2nd time (see my other review).

This camp is set in a conservancy to the north of the main Mara - about 45 minutes to drive if you want to go to the main Mara.

There are just 6 tents and in the private conservancy that means a maximum of 3 vehicles - most of the time we saw nobody else all day.

Very exclusive and very quiet. Wildlife is there but is more natural as it is not so used the the vans but that is not a bad thing. Jimmy and Murema (sorry spelling is probably wrong) were ou driver and spotter and both are fantastic as is Ben the camp manager who could not do enough to keep all his guests happy.

We love Porini and all it stands for. Money goes to help those who need it and the wildlife as well. Just how it should be.

Being honest, we prefer the Lion Camp to the Mara camp but that does not mean it is any less brilliant.

Tell me to go back to Mara Porini tomorrow and I would be there.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank mattyc1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
8 Thank MPrutz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 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
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Helpful?
2 Thank ILoveMyHols77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Doug W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
Level 1 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
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Helpful?
2 Thank vdesai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level 1 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
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LynneSmith350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 #3 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

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