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“Memorable experience.”
Review of Porini Lion Camp

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Porini Lion Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
276 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Memorable experience.”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

The third Porini camp on our safari and by far the most busy. We saw an amazing array of wildlife and were lucky to spend our sundowner with a pride of lions. There were many special moments such as the giraffes at sunset and the leopard eating her kill in the conservancy. The conservancy was very peaceful and we only saw one other Gamewatchers jeep most of the time.

The tent was lovely, very clean and spacious. We witnessed baboons walking by our tent and watched them walk across the river bed. Thanks to our guide, Jared and driver, Ketari - they managed to get us to the best locations for game viewing and were responsive when we asked them anything.

The camp fire was pleasant, it's always nice to speak to the other guests over drinks and snacks.
We really appreciated the cake and champagne on the eve of our departure, a really nice touch. We were sad to leave but enjoyed every minute of our honeymoon experience at Porini.

If you are looking for a memorable safari experience with excellent wildlife viewing, Porini is the place to go.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 1066girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2013

Just back from the most amazing trip ever, and a wonderful stay at Porini Lion Camp. We didn't really know what to expect, but this surpassed anything I could have imagined. The animals just ignore the vehicles completely, & I couldn't believe how close we could get to them - or they came to us! A leopard casually strolling up to us & walking right under our 4 wheel drive, 3 cheetahs, a pride of lions complete with cubs - all on our first game drive. Because this is a private conservancy there weren't many other vehicles around, & you could be the only ones watching hippos bathe or a cheetah kill.
Our guides, Josephat & James - driver & spotter - were great fun, extremely knowledgeable, & able to find all the cats we had gone to see. We felt completely safe with them - even when we lost the brakes on our last game drive..
The camp is extremely comfortable, & we felt safe even when woken by a hippo munching grass outside our tent in the middle of the night. The food & wine were plentiful & well presented & served - although as Aussies we do like our wine served a little colder! We loved the sundowners - sipping wine whilst watching lion cubs playing against the backdrop of some beautiful sunsets.
Thanks to Ubuntu Safaris (Australia) & Gamewatchers for the experience of a life time: I hope one day I can go back & do it all again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We have just returned from Kenya - Gamewatchers and the Porini Camps for the second time.
Please read my review under the Porini Amboseli Camp - 3Kenya. We returned to the Porini Amboseli Camp - hundreds of elephants. I love this camp as Porini is the only camp in the Selenkay Conservancy it is not over-run with vehicles.

There is a "spiritual" relationship between the animals and the Maasai; a respect and trust between them. Because of this, we are able to often get within a few feet of the animals; we would park and just watch lions, elephants, zebras, leopards, wildebeast and warthogs. Our Maasai guides and drivers "teach" us - which elephant is the matriarch - how old she is - how they find water - why they cover themselves with dirt - why the young males are forced to leave the family group, where do the old males go, how strong the family unit is, how they mourn when one of their family is killed and return to the "bones" over the years to "pay their respects", how they communicate with each other - often over several miles. This knowledge of each animal comes only from growing up on the land among these animals. This is why, to truly experience Kenya, you want to go with the Maasai and why you go with Gamewatchers.

We loved the Lion Camp - we saw every animal including a Servil Cat - very rare. We watched 3
crossings of wildebeast and zebras and one crossing of Thomsons Gazelles. We saw a kill - a
solitary female lion grabbed one of the "Tommies" as it climbed out of the river. We had tracked the lion. Our guides knew her - she had been injured years ago and had a bad limp so it was hard for her to hunt - this is why she was alone. She was very thin - and very hungry - so I felt badly for the Tommie - but I was glad she had a meal.

I have not been to the Porini Rhino Camp - I plan to go back in August and will stay there. All the
camps are wonderful. This is not roughing it! The food is delicious - amazing soups! Beautiful tents with the bathroom attached. Flush toilets, cold running water - but you are brought hot water in the morning when your tea, coffee and biscuits arrive. I wasn't sure what a bucket shower was the first time I went. Whenever you want - hot water is brought to a bucket outside your tent and then hitched to the top of your tent. Inside in the shower is a lever which you turn on and off to get the water. It's a great shower!

In my review for the Porini Amboseli Camp I wrote about an amazing non-profit organization, LION GUARDIANS committed to protect the few remaining lions. This program has been incredibly successful - you will enjoy reading about their work on their website - look up LION GUARDIANS.
And if you can - send a donation - adopt a lion is a great present for a child!

As Kenya leads the fight to protect it's wildlife - PLEASE CHOOSE KENYA AS YOUR DESTINATION. In Kenya big game trophy hunting is illegal and carries large penalties. In Tanzania, and in other Africa countries, large game hunting is legal and I have been told by game hunters who have been there, that even animals on the endangered list - leopards, rhinos, lions and elephants can be killed if the trophy hunter is willing to pay large amounts of money for the kill.

Several African countires are working to OVERTURN the ban on the sale of ivory. They have huge stockpiles of ivory they want to sell. When that ivory is gone, they want to "selectively cull" the elephants so they will continually have ivory to sell. They choose the elephants with the largest tusks - usually the Matriarch. This leaves the family with no leader to pass on the generations of knowledge she has acquired from past generations. In times of drought - she is the one that remembers a waterhole miles away that saved her family in the last draught. Without her, that knowledge is lost, her family is at risk of dying - particularly the young ones.

Kenya has recently increased the jail time and fines for hunting and poaching of any wild animal, and has increased the number of trained men to patrol the game parks.

Please support Kenya and its effort to protect its wildlife by choosing Kenya as your African
destination. You will never have a better trip. The Kenyans love and have great pride in their country and are eager to experience it with you.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank 3Kenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2013 via mobile

Porini Lion Camp provided the best of our 3 safaris in Kenya by far. Unlike the other camps (which we also enjoyed), the vehicles in this camp could go off track. As a result, we could drive up right next to lions or cheetahs enjoying their meals in the grassland, and could track elusive leopards instead of waiting for them to make an appearance close to acceptable driving paths.

I have heard others say that Porini hires the best guides. My only experience was with Meshsek, who was indeed the best guide we had our of 3 safari companies in Kenya. Meshsek could anticipate what the animals were going to do and position us perfectly to view whatever was happening, eg, several cheetah hunts and kills, and wildebeest crossings during the great migration, elusive leopards, etc. We saw the must-see animals and much more. Of course the lions are spectacular at the lion camp.

The tents aren't like camping tents. They are large, luxurious, clean rooms with bathrooms, that just happen to have canvass walls.

The camp is run on solar energy, so when you want a hot shower, you tell them and they set you up with hot water. My husband and I were worried about this and turned off the water between lathering so that the last person (me!) wouldn't run out. We needn't have worried. We found that we both showered using the water allotted for one shower.

The food was excellent, served at your table, along with all the wine we wanted. That plus the sundowner gin and tonics kept things pretty loose.

I highly recommend this camp. It is all about the animals, and the Mara has the best!

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
4 Thank DettaAnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Røyken, Norway
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We had 3 Nights and 4 fantastic days at the Porini Lion camp. The service from flying out from Wilson to the Return was outstanding. We was served excellent Food, both in the camp and in the bush. The game drives was far beyond our expectations as rookie safari tourists. Our excellent guides with great photo skills, Big John and Jackson found all Masai Mara animals and positioned us for great closeups and action shoots. We took more than 3000 photos, and its hard to decide the best of them.
If you want to experience Leopards scratching on you tent at night, the Lion pirde that lives a few hundred meeters from Your camp (all safe) and all toghether an excellent Safari Experience, we can fully recommend the Porini Lion Camp in Masai Mara. We will be back. Best regards Helge, TP and Hermann

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tor A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coppell, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013

I spent 6 nights here after the adventure camps. The setting is great, right by a hippo creek with great views. You can hear the hippos at night along with the lions and hyenas. It's an awesome way to fall asleep and be woken up.

It was nice to stay in one camp for 6 nights. You begin to get a feel for the area. When you leave the camp and turn left you are heading into the heart of the conservancy. If you turn right out of camp, you are heading toward the Mara Reserve.

Meshack and Jackson were my guide and spotter. These guys are great. They see things you can't see and then bring you to the animals. You can get close to the animals. Sometimes you have no choice. One day we drove by four lions, two lying in the sun, and stopped a respectable distance away. One of the lions in the sun got up and began walking right up to us. We were looking each other in the eye as I slid slowly back in my seat. She laid down right next the vehicle. Her sister followed a minute later. Two lions, right next us, relaxing in the shade provided by the vehicle's shadow. Awesome!

The first morning out we saw a crossing and a few crocs were very active. The next day we saw another crossing, including a small family of elephants. At one point, only the trunks of the small elephants were above water. Then a cheetah kill, then a lion kill, then another crossing, and another lion kill. Too much to put in a small review.

The service and feel of the camp is great. Thanks to Chloe and the staff for making this an awesome experience. It was more than I expected!

Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank TexasRus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 October 2013

This was my second time I stayed in Porini Lion camp. I have been living this eco friendly lodge during my first visit in August 2012 and my second visit in August 2013. The Porini Lion lodge is my favorite camp. It is located in a Massai conservancy and it is the best place to explore the nature beauty of Massai Mara.
The lodge is uniquely located, being surrounded by the bank of a hippo filled river. At night you can’t imagine you are in neighbor with the antelope, hippos and buffalo. You can hear lion roaring but no worry the Massai warriors will safeguard against the animal outside your tent .

The food is delicious and inclusive of all meals and drinks ( beer, house wine, gin & tonic, soft drinks & mineral water without extra cost in game drive or meal ). The service is excellent and can give you have home feeling.

My game drive guide Meshack is so attentive. He is born in the Massai Mara and he was a Maasai herder when he was a child. He is familiar with the geographic area and is knowledgeable on the wild animals and he knows their habit and always can predict the movement of the animals and know how to locate the best place for me to shoot photo. I have never been that close with the lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Unlike other lodges, the game drive agenda can be tailor made to fit your personal needs. If you prefer to do more adventure, you can request the night-drive or even a Massai Mara walk.

If I have my third travel in Massai Mara., I am undoubtedly to pick Porini Lion camp again. I highly recommend this camp to anybody who wants to explore the true safari wilderness experience. Money is well spent here and part of the money you paid in the conservancy will finally go to serve the Massai community and provide job opportunity to the Massai people.

Happy time always goes by too fast and my second trip has finished. If you love seeing wildlife, try and go there now. You have no regret in your life, of course thanks Meshack, you are the best.
Dennis Chan 15 Oct 2013

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dennis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Porini Lion Camp

Property: Porini Lion Camp
Address: Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 137 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Porini Lion Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porini Lion Camp is located in the exclusive 20,000 acre Olare Orok Conservancy bordering the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, home to an abundance of animals. With 10 spacious comfortably furnished tents, each with private verandahs and en-suite bathrooms, the camp is small and exclusive giving a real bush experience. Guests enjoy the game drives in open 4x4's, escorted bush walks with Maasai warriors and sundowners. The Camp is the perfect base to experience the annual wildebeest migration. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Porini Lion Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Lion Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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