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“Perfect start to our honeymoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Porini Lion Camp

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Porini Lion Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Southampton
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect start to our honeymoon”
Reviewed 12 April 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Lion camp for the first three days of our honeymoon. I have done safari before in Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya where my other half had not done anything like it and needless to say he was very excited!!!
From the moment we landed in our little plan on a dirt strip in the middle of nowhere I knew that thsi would be nothing like I had done before. We were met by our guide and driver in an amazing 4x4 vehicle perfect for gameviewing and very comfortable too. Then it was about an hour and half game drive just en route to the camp where we saw tons of animals!

The camp is beautiful and truly inspirational. I love the concept they have and the fact that they are trying to make a difference to the local community and giving something back. If you can be prepared to 'rough it' a little bit with the bucket showers the tents are surprisingly comfortable and great fun in a massive rainstorm!

The food was delicious and varied the only downside being that we felt compelled to make small talk with people sat at a group table with us when , as honeymooners, we just wanted to enjoy a meal alone.

The staff were fantastic particularly our guide who was very knowledgable and approachable and had as many questions to ask of us as we did of him. The animals we saw were beyond anything we could hope for and the benefit of being in the conservancy meant that for most of the days we were the only vehicle around too.

Overall a fantastic place and much recommended for a few nights amazing and relaxation

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Rascal79Southampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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English first
West Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2009

This is the best – so good that we’ll be returning. As privileged and experienced travellers through all continents, and with considerable game safari experience in much of Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia as well as Kenya, Lion Camp blew us away ! Imagine a very rural protected ‘Conservancy’ area, scattered with tiny Maasai villages and school, and the nearest road some 45km away. Then place five or six very spacious guest tents, equipped with private bathroom and safari shower and properly flushing porcelain toilet. Mix in another couple of tents for Lounge and Dining facilities and for staff accommodation. Add in a manager, and many traditionally-dressed Maasai staff including guides/spotters/drivers/ chef/housekeeping/waiter and warriors who guard you and the camp from wild animals while you sleep. Combine your image with solar panels and bottled gas for hot water and cooking etc (no nasty, noisy, polluting generators here). Add in the freshest food and even decent imported wines. Now consider the best of ‘Eco-tourism’ coupled with ‘Fair Trade’, and you’ve pretty well got the picture.

Lion Camp was the third of our three consecutive two-night stops in Porini Camps following Amboseli and then Rhino. Picked up initially from our London flight by Ray with a big van at Nairobi Airport, we had been driven south down the ‘African Massage’ experience towards Amboseli for our first Porini Camp encounter. Don’t miss this road journey. It demonstrates just what road travel in Kenya is like ! Three huge trucks spread out in parallel, all lumbering towards you as you all simultaneously aim for the for the same narrow way through ! But Ray does that journey several times in a week and knows every stone, every blade of grass, every dip and hollow, and you pretty soon realise that you are in good safe hands. You realise also that the best decision that you had made was to fly between the Camps in little Cessna 12-seater Caravans using grass or gravel airstrips.

So, if you were thinking of self-drive in Kenya – Don’t. If you are thinking of taking a guided road-tour in one of those microvans with ‘guaranteed window seats and a pop up roof’ – Don’t ! Either way you’d spend seven to ten times as long going from place to place by road, see very little because you cannot even enter the Conservancies and such vehicles cannot go off-road anyway, and even when finally in a Park you do see an animal, there’ll be six other people’s heads, hats, arms and cameras all poking out of your own pop-up roof, and all at the very same height !

In contrast Porini Camps use door-entry deep-cushion-seated Land Rover 4x4s for all their day and sundowner drives, both within the Conservancies and the Parks with which they have completely open borders. We, in our luxury Land Rovers, were the envy of those in microvans whenever they saw us in the Parks. As for the animals, suffice to say that in just one Mara drive we saw at least 60 Lion in varying groups of seven down to one – including a huge male and a female 6 meters up adjacent trees where a huge Buffalo herd had tree’d them – and others with kills and cubs. We also spent time with the three Cheetah brothers immortalised in ‘Big Cat Diary’, and until we actually got ‘bored’ with it, we were right on top of a most beautiful Leopard stalking her dinner – a choice of Warthog and Topi. Even a Serval spent some time with us. And all that was just the cats ! Plenty of other reviewers have indicated the plethora of animals here, so we’ll move on to the people.

All of the staff know that money you’ve paid goes to the local communities in aiding schools and water projects etc in an environmentally friendly way that does not ruin their culture. They know too that you’ve chosen to help in this way rather than see all of your hard-earned cash end up in the profits of foreign-owned hotels. So they ‘hang on your every word’ even if they don’t understand it ! Nothing is too much trouble, and nobody is seeking individual tips from you. Photograph and film whoever and whatever you like here. They know that’s exactly what you want to do, and are very happy to oblige without payment, unlike at many other locations. We have actually deleted no fewer than 169 DSLR animal/people/landscape photographs taken at Porini Camps not because they weren’t good, but simply because they were so much like the 600 others that we have kept.

And two months later it’s still a great feeling. Not only did we have the best time ever, but we are still very comfortable in the knowledge that our holiday made a difference not only to us, but also to the Maasai and other Kenyan people.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank AviationSpirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2009

My wife, our four kids and I stayed at both the Mara Porini and porini Lion camps and it was amazing. The accommodations were incredible (and eco-friendly!), the staff superb, the food was amazing and - most impressive of all - the partnership with the local Maasai people is deep and meaningful. We truly were welcomed guests amongst them.

The wildlife viewing, the real point of the trip, exceeded our expectations many times over. I've done numerous safaris in Africa before (in South and West Africa); this topped all of that. Our vehicle and guides took us everywhere. We saw the most incredible things (an elephant funeral; lions on the hunt; etc.). We also really enjoyed the walking safaris and the great "sundowners". Gamewatchers let us really live in the bush. thank you - we will be back.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank rvanbeers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2009

We stayed a Porini Lion Camp as the 2nd stop on our Kenya safari in November 2008. We arrived from Porini Rhino Camp and moved on to Mara Explorer Camp. The setting is marvellous, the tents all perfectly situated and well presented and very roomy and comfortable. The food was very good and the company of ther guests around the camp fire at night very entertaining.
Unfortunately the sevice left a little to be desired and was not a patch on the other 2 camps.
Our guides were not at all enthusiastic and we were left feeling upset each day when we had to cajole them to leave for game drives (later than other guests had already departed) and persuade them to stay out 'just a little later'- we were always the first to return.
After we had unpacked in our tent on the first afternoon we found that one of the lights was not working- only one. We reported it and were asked if we wanted to move tents- the location was great so we said no, one light being out didnt matter. After dinner we were practicly ordered to pack up and move tents, the next morning a couple were moved into the tent we had been moved out of- and the light still didnt work!
At all the other camps we stayed, on this trip and prvious safari's, the camp manager has sat with guests before and after dinner. I would struggle to remember the name of the manager (who i admit was a relief manager) at this camp. At Rhino Camp it was also a relief manager but he was amazing and when we left it was like leaving an old friend, none of that sensation here.
The game viewing was amazing. We had seen a leopard in a tree and a chetah family feeding on our way from the airstrip to the camp, but we did struggle, mainly with the guides reluctance, we left feeling that we had been a nuicance to them, which is not nice on holiday.
There are so many excellent camps and lodges in the area that i would not return here, which is a shame because of its great location and potential.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank baloubear
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 #8 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 
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Also Known As:
Porini Lion Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Porini Lion Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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