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“Jurassic Park-esque” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Jurassic Park-esque”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

Let me start by saying, I wouldn't mind waking up at Ol Kinyei Conservancy every day. You know that scene in Jurassic Park, when the guests encounter their first dinosaur? It felt like that (but replace the Brachiosaurus with a very curious giraffe). The rolling hills, the lush, green landscape, and animals, animals everywhere. Believe it or not, I think I preferred the ultra-exclusive conservancy to the Maasai Mara (though the latter didn't disappoint either). Where else can you watch zebras graze over (pressed) coffee and (free-range) eggs on toast?

While the land is the star of the show, other highlights are worth a mention: a morning nature walk with our lovely spotter, Jeffrey, and sundowners whilst overlooking a pride of sleepy lions.

One piece of advice: the Gamewatchers staff are happy to accommodate your wishes, so be upfront about what you'd like out of your safari. Spending a full day at the Maasai Mara can take a lot out of you - the roads are quite bumpy, and it's possible to drive for hours without seeing many animals. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I think the Ol Kinyei Conservancy is equally grand - and it's right at your doorstep! Take advantage.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near Simon, the resident hippo! (Kidding)
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Melissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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372 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
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English first
Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

When we arrived at Porini Mara Camp we had already had four nights at Porini Rhino Camp, so we felt totally at home. The tents are beautifully equipped and have wonderful views over the plains. From our tent we saw elephant, giraffe, zebra, gazelle, wart-hogs, water buck, jackal, monkeys, wildebeest and more, we also heard some strange roars at night!
The staff at the camp were fantastic, so friendly and very efficient. The food was excellent, thanks Julius! We had terrific guides, Geoffrey and Tipa. They took us out for hours each day and shared so much information. The conservancy had loads of wildlife, our special treat was a cheetah with her four tiny cubs, but we also saw several more cheetahs, lots of lion and so many herbivores. Zebra and giraffe in huge numbers as well as lots of elephant. Sadly the leopard eluded us, but there's always next time! We did spend a day in the main Mara reserve as we treated ourselves to the hot air balloon safari, an awesome experience! It was worth visiting the main reserve to see hippos and crocodiles, but personally I much preferred the conservancy. I have to compliment our agents, Africa Born, for their excellent choice of venue. We are very happy clients having had a truly amazing safari experience!

Room Tip: Most tents have a great view over the plains.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2014

My previous reviews confirm that I am a fan of this camp and the Conservancy concept. What more is there to say - spent two weekends at the camp in February 2014.

The experience gets better and better. The conservancy was teeming with game wildebeest and plains game everywhere. The predators were having a ball!! Also saw over 100 elephants entering the conservancy.

Visited the adventure camp and it is a great location with the exclusivity of being able to game drive and walk in the Ol Kinyei conservancy.

The guiding and quality of interaction from the teams at the Camp are unbeatable!

Can not wait to go back

Room Tip: All the tents are great!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Safaribuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2014

We had an a amazing trip at Porini Mara. Coming from Tortillis , we are a bit sceptical about 'roughing it' but need not have bothered. The food was of a high standard, the bedding was very comfortable and the hot water bottle was much appreciated. However, the stars undoubtedly were the staff who went above and beyond, be it the guides and drivers, Moses who served in the kitchen and the chef who even produced a birthday cake in the middle of the bush.
The wildlife viewing was spectacular and we saw absolute everything, most of it on the conservancy in splendid isolation. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank saulon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Croydon, Surrey
Level Contributor
79 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2014

This is our second trip to Mara Porini and we wouldn't have missed it for the world. There is a new manager, Jimmy who has taken over from David, who is now at Rhino Porini. Jimmy used to be the main tracker here and quite rightly has been promoted to Camp Manager. This is a very laid back camp and everything seems to jog along quite happily in its own way. It certainly is not sophisticated but it has a certain charm. Everyone eats together in the mess tent at a large table and the food is fine. The trackers were very good and the night drives were very informative. I would recommend it if you want casual and laid back.

Room Tip: They are all within striking distance of the mess tent.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lainey6477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2014

This camp has the best of all worlds withj game right on the doorstep, literally in the case of the bush bucks and the vervet monkeys.
We stayed 4 nights and this gave us time to opt out of the odd game drive to relax and watch the wildlife - especially the birds around the camp.
Harry and the rest of the staff do all they can to ensure your stay is the best it can be. Our guide and spotter, Wilson and George were very good and enthusiastic, resulting in us seeing some fantastic sights, not the least of these being a cheetah stalking a gazelle for sometime before giving up because the prey wandered away.
A special mention for Julius the chef. He does wonders in the mess tent. I will copy his recipe for minted cucumber (once it gets to summer) and I recommend his pancakes for breakfast.
2 years ago we did all 4 porini camps this time we chose one for a longer stay coupled with a non porini camp (off beat Meru ). It was a great coupling and just as good as we remembered. Thanks to all

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Feetupagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2014

What a great way to start the second leg of our Kenya safari after Porini Amboseli. We started by booking with Julie from Gamewatchers, who was so patient with all our concerns and always got back to my emails or phone calls promptly. So a big shout out to Julie! We are a family of 8 so there were a lot of differing expectations and needs- especially with teens. The transfer was smooth and everyone was exactly where they were supposed to be, and we were never left wondering what's next. At Mara we were greeted by Maina (thats his Kenyan name) who introduced us to the beauty of the Masai Mara and had all of our accommodations ie. food and itinerary down to a science. The chef and food were excellent, especially since we drove them crazy with all our dietary restrictions, but never did we hear a complaint or a "no we can't," it was always "you are our guest and we will take of it , as it is our pleasure!" The sleeping accommodations aka "tents," are anything but. If these were the tents used by Lewis and Clark, they wouldn't have come back. Luxurious is an understatement. You feel as though you are part of nature but you've left the mosquitoes behind. Running water, fully functional toilets, spacious, and very, very comfortable beds- CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN! More inviting than some 5 star hotels I've been at. But remember the room is just a great place to freshen up in comfort as the real excitement is outside. The rooms are located just outside of a beautiful stream where the animals drink and frolic. Monkeys in the trees surrounding us, birds everywhere... made the concept of 360 degree glasses more intriguing each and every day. Maina took out the time time to interact with the kids, and especially the teens, to teach them about Africa, Kenya and the Masai. We were so mesmerized by the discussion that we missed a game drive- but learned just as much! The Masai warriors took a special interest in the kids, teaching them about their culture and the flora and fauna. We were able to manage lots of alone time, all the while knowing the kids were in great hands. Game drives were excellent, each time something new and fantastic. The guides were amazing, spotting, naming, and teaching about the various things we were seeing, all the while taking into account our over all demeanor and interest is a talent! Cats, Cats, Cats - lots of 'em! Spending time with the Masai people was eye opening and educational to the entire family and really allowed for a better appreciation of a culture so different than ours. Evening tea/coffee/hot cocoa by the fire or out in the bush was always a special touch and looked forward to. If you get a chance WALK! The conservancy has so much to offer by foot, that we almost missed the beauty of the land by not doing it the Masai Way." Lastly, a big shout out to our guides and spotters, will not mention by name so as not to miss or offend anyone, for a spectacular night game drive where we were stuck in a ditch, surrounded by lions, and now have a story that will live on in our memories forever! (We then transferred to Lion Porini which capped the whole experience. I've reviewed that separately.) Taking the level of service, value of the staff, the guides and spotters, quality of the food and accommodations - 5 stars! Definitely recommended for an authentic experience in the African Bush.

Room Tip: All are great!!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank galapointernational
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 #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 
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Also Known As:
Mara Porini Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Mara Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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