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“A Wonderful Stay At Little Governor's Camp”

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Little Governors' Camp
Certificate of Excellence
kent
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Stay At Little Governor's Camp”
Reviewed 19 May 2012

We stayed at Little Governor’s Camp as part of our 6 day Safari in the Masai Mara also staying at Governor’s IL Moran and Mara Intrepid’s, both of which I shall write separate reviews.

We stayed in September 2011 and had yet another memorable Safari and a wonderful time at Little Governor’s Camp. The Camp is surrounded by a Lake so you’re taken across the Lake which takes about a minute in a very small boat, and the guide pulls the boat across by rope. I remember thinking this poor guy must get so bored doing this all day, day in day out….!!!

On arrival we were greeted with a refreshing cold drink and a cold flannel, had a chat with the Staff and shown to Tent 4 overlooking the River. The Tent was massive with 2 single beds, an area to hang our Clothes and the bathroom area towards the back of the tent. We just had time for lunch and then off out on our 1st game drive.
We saw Elephants, Lions, Zebra’s, Giraffes, Water buffalos, Cheetah’s Impala’s, Hippo’s, Crocodile’s, beautiful Birds, Wart Hogs and much more.

A usual day on Safari is to be woken early morning by a drink of your choice, Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Biscuit’s then just before 6.30am your Safari starts once you’re across the little lake to get on your Jeep. Once in the Jeep there’s Blankets to wrap yourself in as it’s very cold first thing. Sunrise is approximately 6.45am. Your Safari lasts about 2 hours then back to Little Governor’s for Breakfast.

Your next Game Drive starts around 10am and back out to see what you can spot, sleeping Lions, grazing Zebras, playful Elephant’s and even frisky little Wart Hogs….Back to your tent around 12pm for some time to relax on the veranda of your tent before lunch. After lunch you can either relax in your tent or have a walk around the grounds along the river. There are Guards on look out so you do feel safe.

The last Game Drive starts around 4pm and your see that the Lions are all up and getting ready to hunt. We have to go back to Camp around 6pm then its Shower and get ready for dinner. After dinner an early night and what a lovely touch to pull back the bed sheets to finds a nice warm hot water bottle warming your bed.

All the Staff are wonderful, Room Boy's, Managers, Guards, Guides, Waiters, Chef. The food was amazing; you would think you were being served an A La Carte Meal. Drinks were reasonably priced to.

We would love to go back to Little Governor’s as it was a small Camp with a very personal touch.

We booked our Safari with Abdul of Tunda Tours.

See you again Masai Mara in 2013…..

Room Tip: Tents 1 to 10 are closer to the Boat crossing Lake.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank SnorkelQueen7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bengaluru, India
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2012

Great Team, Great location. Peter who runs the place is extremely helpful and friendly. His team is excellent. The setting is awesome. They churned out whatever food we asked and we liked. Great place and fantastic wildlife. The hippos in the waterhole are too noisy. Hyenas howl the whole night. All this added to the camping experience. Joseph - our naturalist/driver/guide is the best and awesome. He took us to the marsh where we saw buffalos chase lions, lions hunt a warthog, and hyenas fight the lions..it was magical..

Room Tip: Avoid tent nos 5 and 6. They are too close to the restaurant and noisy. Best tents are nos 1 and 2.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TigerRamesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2012

I'd never done a safari and, after staying at Little Governors Camp, I don't know if I could do one anywhere else. The staff was ridiculously helpful and actually knew our booking better than we did (we thought we left a day earlier then we actually did). We arrived on the main camp side and since it was the rainy season, we could not cross the river by boat or car and so they had their pilot FLY us over to Little Governors camp. How could you ask for better service than that?

Maina is an OUTSTANDING guide, willing to answer my (many) questions and was just as excited as we were when spotting animals (we were the only people to spot the black rhinos on one day and he was ecstatic). He had a sense of humor, an extremely helpful knowledge of animals and birds (he was able to tell us the name of every bird we saw, which I loved) and he was great when the unexpected happened (flat tire and a vehicle breakdown). I seriously hope someone from Governors sees this and gives Maina a commendation or a vacation or a raise. Our trip would not have been the same without him.

Wilson, our waiter, took great care of us and we loved him. The manager Peter was very helpful, always willing to answer our questions, even if he called me a different name every time we spoke to him (I actually got a kick out of it - my name is not easy for anyone, let alone others in different countries). Ramato, the elderly Masai man who stands guard at the tent during the day is so kind and funny. He doesn't speak much English, but he took us around and was teaching us the words to things in Maa and was pointing out birds and animal tracks to us.

It certainly helped also that the BBC was filming a cooking show with Craig Higgins during the time we were there and we got some special treatment, including an anniversary high tea and a bush lunch. The food is outstanding - Craig, who actually trains the chefs, has done a great job. If I could tell Little Governors, please make that chicken and mango wrapped in banana leaves ALL THE TIME. And that papoti bread. So good.

The only drawback (and it's one that we knew going in) is that you're charged for alcohol and the drinks are a bit small for what they're charging. It wasn't a huge deal (I don't really want to be drunk with a hippo outside my tent), but it could get annoying.

The massage was wonderful and I loved that it was on the porch outside your tent. Joseph, who came to wake us up in the morning was very helpful.

You really can't go wrong with Little Governors camp, especially with such a wonderful staff. We went during the rainy season and I would recommend it for people who want to avoid crowds. There were times where we wouldn't see another vehicle in the bush for hours. Loved it. Would love to go back! Thank you to everyone who made our trip so special!

Room Tip: We were upgraded to tent 17 and it really does have its own little park beside it, since it's at...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Danae_H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

We had been to Governors Camp earlier and we really keen to try Little governor's. We planned a family holiday with our two kids, ages 10 and 5. It was a great experience, the location is fantastic. The camp has only 16 tents and it is on the banks of a watering hole. We flew in from Nairobi on the Governors flight to the Mara airstrip. It is a comfortable 45 minute flight. I am a very nervous flier when it comes to small planes but I had no complaints on this one. Our jeeps were waiting for us when we landed and drove us to Little Governors. The location is superb and the camp is on the banks of a watering hole. We had the warthog family visit us very often. Baboons, elephants, wild buffalos, crocodiles, zebras and gazelles are regulars at the watering hole.
The staff was very helpful and the service is immaculate. Peter and the rest of the staff made our stay very comfortable. The children were really taken care of. They were very accommodating of our requests about meal times and menus. The food was great. The tents are very clean and comfortable and the standard that we have come to expect from Governor's.
Our driver was very knowledgable and really took the effort to show us what we wanted to see. We must point out here that the jeeps are quite old and ours did not even have a functioning radio. The vehicles really need upgrading.
Overall, it was a fantastic stay and we highly recommend Little Governor's! You won't regret it!

Room Tip: Tents 4 to 8 are closer to the bar and the eating area. Tents 10 onwards have a great location but a...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Aarti B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We had a wonderful experience at Little Governors: idyllic location around the water hole, with hippos, baboons, Blossom the elephant, warthogs wandering around (and through!). The tents were super, comfortable and not overly fancy. Great food, and we loved the fire at night. Our safari guide was very knowledgeable and responsive to what we wanted to see. The staff and service were terrific, including their dealing with a reservations snafu (Thank you Leah!) on the spot. I highly recommend Little Governors! Just wish we had booked three nights instead of two!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Liz J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich
Level 6 Contributor
636 reviews
173 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 302 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Little Governor’s Camp
We drove to the Masai Mara game reserve from Kisumu. Only one flat tire along the way, changed with the assistance of a local shepherd. Little Governor’s Camp was easy to find; the check-in was complicated a bit by a misunderstanding about our booking, but the staff were very accommodating and solved the issue for us.

The Little Governor’s Camp is situated along the bank of a large watering hole, which is near the Mara River. A family of friendly warthogs came up to a log near us as we were having our welcome drink and scratched their backs on the log. Out in the water hole were hippos and all kinds of birds. Baboons were off in the woods at camp’s edge. We had arrived past lunchtime, so they whipped up some sandwiches for us. All our bags were delivered to our tents while we ate. Little Governor’s is located at 1 degree 16 min 53 sec South, 32 degrees 2 min 9 sec East, elevation 5120 feet. Evenings are cool and pleasant.

Within 15 minutes of our first drive, we were watching Lions tucking into their late afternoon’s snack of Zebra Tartar. The big cats are completely blasé about the presence of the vehicles, so you easily get within ten meters of them. Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Hyenas, Impala, Gazelles, Zebra, Elephants, Giraffes, Crocodiles, Hippos, Mongoose, birds of all kinds – we saw them all. Only thing we missed was Rhino, but there are very few in Masai Mara.

Driver-guide Leonard was very knowledgeable, and a pleasure to chat with. He has been guiding guests for six years and he knew every species of bird and animal that we could throw at him, including their habits, their diets, courting behavior, you name it. He was very good at finding the wildlife. Even though he had an added four pairs of eyes in the Land Cruiser straining to spot something as we would drive, he always spotted things first. He followed bird patterns to infer animal activity below, which led our vehicle first to a hyena feeding on a zebra. He was an excellent guide (and we tipped him well!)

The Toyota Land Cruiser used by Little Governor’s was perfect. The seats were higher in each successive row back, and the windscreen was very large and high, so everyone had forward visibility. The sides were low, so we could climb in and out from the side (adequate hand grips and no- slip foot holds) and the viewing to the side was unobstructed. The low sides really helped when pulling alongside some game, as the person on the far side could still see everything well. And it was good to know, the few times we were outside of the vehicle, that we could clamber back inside quickly if some wild creature showed up suddenly.

Other camps’ vehicles were not as good, and some camps even used minivans which would be hot, cramped and unable to go off- track, thus missing the best of the viewing.

The tents were simply great – hot shower, toilet, bidet, nice bed linens, beautiful wood flooring, outlets to recharge the camera battery, Internet (if you were close enough to the hotspot at reception…)

Meals were served outside, animal activity allowing. One time we had to move into the meal tent when local Elephant “Blossom” showed up. The staff seemed to be used to this, carrying our food and drink- laden tables into the tent with speed but without alarm. The food was very good and the service was excellent. Choice was of course much more limited than in a general restaurant but there was always something which everyone liked. And they never ran out of Tusker, the ubiquitous Kenyan beer!

All the staff were terrific. There were 24- hour guards monitoring for animal intrusion. Before drinks and dinner, we needed to signal them with a torch (flashlight) and they would come and usher us to the dinner tent. They would also escort us to the river crossing to get to the game drives. Tall and serious Masai guards, armed with rifles, gave a sense that we were indeed in the wild.

We highly recommend Little Governor’s Camp. There are no bargains in any of the game reserves, so do your preparation and research well before you book! Pay attention to the vehicles as you’ll be spending six to ten hours per day in them. And to the extent that you are able, research and ask for guides by name (we did not do this but we were lucky.) We spent three days there, but we were not ready to leave when the time came. It would have been worth the expense to spend a couple more days there.

Flying out at the end, we used the Musiara airstrip. No gates, no security check, no boarding passes, they didn’t even ask our names-- we just got on the plane and off it went! A pleasant change from “civilization.”

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MunichEricJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

Stayed in Little Govs as part of our second Honeymoon in Feb '12 after spending a few nights at Loldia House by Lake Naivasha. Everything booked through Trailfinders in Dublin.

To cut to the chase everything that the other reviewers say here about Little Govs is true. While this was our first time on safari there is no doubt that the camp has a fantastic location by the Mara river and is set around a small lake so that game/bird watching is very accessible. You will see everything including the Big 5 with the right guide. With just 17 tents the location is serene and romantic with top class service and food. The extra expense of staying here is therefore well worth it!

Tips:

Ask for tents 12A (they don’t do 13!) 14 or 15 as they have the best views. From our tent 14 we watched hippos play in the lake 5 metres from our veranda/deck at the front of the tent while we sipped cool white wine in the evening sun. Our butler William was the best!

Get up early (6am) as you will see the most on the early game drives...e.g. we saw lions eat a zebra one of the mornings...nature at its raw best!

Do the Balloon ride over the Mara and champagne breakfast. Its expensive but one of the all time highlights of my years travelling was rising slowly over the Mara in the dawn's early light...breathtaking stuff! Eating a full breakie in the middle of the Mara is something special.

For those of advanced years please be warned that you will need to get in and out of a little boat to cross over to the camp each day. Don't worry I didn’t see anyone fall in!

Bring earplugs as the nighttime noises can keep light sleepers awake and I’m not just talking about us honeymooners!

Take time to relax and take it all in. With 3 games drives per day you can forget how beautiful the camp itself is. We spent an afternoon one of the days doing nothing and sent our driver home early.

Go to the local Masai tribe’s village on an afternoon trip. Remember you are on their land and it is always important to experience the local culture and support the local community. Besides it is an amazing experience with them singing and dancing for you!

Take lots of pictures and if you can bring a decent zoom lense for those wildlife shots. Its dusty so also bring cleaning equipment.

Enjoy an experience of a lifetime!

Room Tip: Ask for tents 12A (they don’t do 13!) 14 or 15 as they have the best views of the lake.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Portofella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, Manager at Little Governors' Camp, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our property, your comments are very much valued and we are so glad you had such a memorable stay with us. We are delighted you had such a fantastic time with us all.

We really appreciate your feedback and we will pass this back onto the whole team who will highly appreciate it.

Thank you again and we also hope you will visit again one day soon.

Best wishes,

The Little Governors Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Little Governors' Camp

Property: Little Governors' Camp
Address: C14 Keekorok, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 140 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Little Governors' Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a forest in the heart of the Masai Mara, Little Governors' is intimate in character. The luxury en-suite tents are tucked around a large water-hole clearing that teems with life. Beyond, lie the grasslands of the Masai Mara and the deep blue Olololo Ridge Escarpment. Arriving in Camp is an adventure, leaving your vehicle behind you cross the Mara River by boat and are escorted on foot through the forest to the camp. 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:
Little Governors` Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Little Governors' Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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