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“Wildlife everywhere”
Review of Porini Mara Camp

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Porini Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Wildlife everywhere”
Reviewed 4 July 2014

A return trip within a month of my last - speaks for itself. Could not believe the amount of game that was everywhere. Don't know why March is the low season. Plains game with calves all over the place and it seems that the Wildebeest from the Loita Plains have taken up residence here.

This is the most intimate of all the camps I have stayed in and bushbuck and other antelope regularly wander through the camp. I spent afternoons on the deck of my tent just watching elephant, giraffe, zebra and a myriad of antelope.

Since only Porini vehicles can use this conservancy it seems like you can drive forever without seeing another car - just wildlife everywhere.

after 4 days here we went to the Porini Lion Camp which I usually don't miss as it complements Porini Mara and is a couple of hours of game driving away. Almost guaranteed to see leopard there and we did. The pleasant surprise was that we saw three leopards at Porini Mara - on on a nigh game drive - he was huge and I first thought he was a lioness as he was crouched at the side of the 'road'. we stayed with him for a good 15 minutes and then decided to let him go off and hunt. The other two were in the day

Porini work closely with the local community and they brought a bunch of school kids for a game drive and a big lunch - seeing them having such a great time was good

The experience is just amazing and simply writing about it want me to call Gamewatchers to arrange my next trip.

Room Tip: All the tents face out - there is one tent that has a wheelchair ramp.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Safaribuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 July 2014 via mobile

It's really hard to choose from all the different companies that arrange safaris in mara. "What do you want?" is the first question you have to ask yourself... Our answer was this: Safety and comfort. Nature experience that doesn't affect, in a negative way, the people that are living there. Safari in a open car. Good guides.

Porini Mara camp gave us all of the above and exceeded our expectations. The food, the tents and the service was just amazing.

But the most important, the safari was aranged by and runned by the Masai people. No big corporation is taking all the profit. Some of the profit goes to building schools in the local area.

We had exellent guides, Ben and a tallented driver named Stanley, that took me and my wife on game drives in the Masai mara, but also in their on Masai conservency. That means no other tourist around! They showed us a lot and the knowledge the guide had was impressing.

On the last day we saw 19 lions with cubs that where playing in the morning light. An amazing experience.

Highly highly recommended!

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Patrik S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

From the moment we booked through Gamewatchers we couldn't fault the attention paid to our safari. Steve was great in assuring us about our personal safety. Bill and Simon our guide and driver were great. We didn't appreciate the difference between the park and the conservancy, the animals were prolific in the conservancy, within 24 hrs we had seen 30 lions, and a cheetah in the park others couldn't find, great food great service very comfortable accommodation, highly recommended.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank WillForrest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014

If Ernest Hemingway were alive and taking safaris today, he would not be able to shoot things, but he would definitely want to stay here. This is a manly place staffed by kindly but "could-be" fierce Maasai guys. They offer much comfort as they escort you back to the tent after dinner in the honking and screeching wilderness. One just assumes they can deal with any danger on offer here in this river grove.

Jimmy is the manager here and incredibly professional. He runs a tight operation that is small and amazingly personable. Our guides, Simon and Bill, were very skilled. One night they found us a band of lions (one male, 3 females and a passel of cubs) chowing down in a bush clearing on a freshly killed wildebeest. It was amazing, violent and wierdly life-affirming, all at once. Important to note here is the fact the we never saw another vehicle. Unlike other, more crowded, camps/areas where 3-5 jeeps crowd around one bit of wildlife, we had the terrain to ourselves.

We also asked to thank the chef here before we left. Meals here were fresh, well-composed and delicious. I thanked him because I did not want him to be offended that I simply could not finish his huge portions and kept asking for smaller ones. (As I said, this is a very "manly" camp. My husband had no problem on this food quantity point.)

Happily, the water-conserving "bucket showers" are well-engineered for comfort, perfect in temperature and very good training for water conservation everywhere. I learned how to shower using the least possible amount of water and have taken that skill home with me. I can now sleep much later in the morning due to this efficiency.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank carterjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Concord, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014

I had a fantastic time at Porini Mara camp two weeks ago. Everything was truly perfect, especially the food! The only thing I would have liked was for some other guests to be there with me! Don't get me wrong; one-on-one attention is great, but the meals and game drives would have been a bit more lively with some additional guests. I guess that's what happens during the low season!

Simon and Jasphot (not sure if I spelled that right) were truly amazing! So much fun to talk to and they were awesome guides/drivers/spotters. My tent accommodations were fantastic and exactly as advertised. Julie Roggow at Gamewatchers was great getting everything organized for me and it all went beautifully ... pickups, dropoffs, flights, payments.

I was so lucky to see all of the Big Five on my first safari and I've recommended Gamewatchers & Porini Mara to everyone I've spoken with so far!

Thanks for the vacation of a lifetime!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
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1 Thank akumpel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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
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2 Thank Melissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jane W
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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