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“Another exceptional Porini Camp experience”
Review of Porini Rhino Camp

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Porini Rhino Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 May 2011

After an amazing experience at the Porini Lion Camp at the Mara, it was time to stay at the Rhino Camp in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. There was a bit of confusion when the driver couldn't find the hotel in Nanyuki I was staying at to collect us for our safari, even though I saw their vehicle pass me by. No matter, we were finally were collected and the adventure began. Staff of this camp were the best I’d come across during my time in Kenya, and as a result I would say that the Rhino Camp was slightly better than the Lion Camp. Of course, it cannot compare to the immense volume of wildlife found on the Mara so the latter still wins for the overall experience.

As with the Lion Camp, this one is also very eco-friendly - if the camp was to move from its current location, it would be difficult to guess where it had been once the grass had grown back. The 6 tents, decorated in earthy colours, are very spacious and contain two beds (double and single), writing desk, and an attached bathroom complete with rhino motifs. Hot water is available but needs to be ordered in advance so it can be added to your water supply in the form of buckets hanging outside of your tent. Despite the Conservancy straddling the equator, it can get very cool here at night, and thankfully a hot water bottle was waiting in the bed upon returning from dinner. It was be wise to bring some warm clothes if planning a visit here.

The food was excellent, and it was superior to that served at the Lion Camp. In fact, it was the best food I ate in Kenya. Each evening a set menu was served (thought it was possible to receive variations for dietary reasons). But like the Lion Camp, I wish that there had been some local cuisine to try as an alternative.

The main reason for coming to Ol Pejeta is to go on safari, and thankfully the Porini Camps provide a lot of safari for you dollar. Travelling in specially designed vehicles that sit higher and have no windows, it is perfect for wildlife watching. Being fond of giraffes I was particularly pleased to see so many, in addition to spotting buffalo, elephant, lion and even the elusive rhino. Porini will take you to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary (run jointly by the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute) which is an interesting place to learn more about the habitat and life of this amazing animal.

A stay at the Rhino Camp is extremely expensive, but the best way to make your dollar go further is to choose an afternoon checkout. For an extra USD60 per person you are able to engage in another game drive that takes almost a full day and have the benefit of another lunch as well.

There was only one criticism I had of the Porini Camps which involved locating the vehicles so that one had to face the sun when looking at the animals during the brightest part of the day. This made photography quite difficult. I conveyed my opinion to Porini and I was sent an email back confirming that they had instructed all drivers and guides to place the sun in front of the animals during the greater part of the day, and using either front or behind in early morning or late afternoon as per my suggestion. This was extremely impressive that they took my suggestion so seriously and it gives you an idea of the perfection that the Porini Camps strive to achieve.

My stay at the Porini Rhino Camp was an exceptional experience, and though the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is often overlooked when planning a safari holiday, it should be an essential stop on any visit to Kenya.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TheTravelCamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 March 2011

My flight up to the Nanyuki airstrip from Nairobi was an adventure in itself - Safarilink laid on possibly the smallest plane I have ever been in - just a 6 seater. It was more a case of would the plane fit into my bag rather than would my bag fit into the plane, but it was actually quite a fun 45 minutes flight.

We landed, got our bags, and were met by our Porini camp guides, and off we set. We crossed the equator (which in itself was hugely exciting, well, it was for me anyway), and very soon we were in the conservancy.

Our first sighting within just a few minutes of entering the conservancy was a reticulated giraffe - stunning markings on its coat, which are clearly defined, and it very kindly posed for a few pictures. A few km down the road, there were 3 cheetah brothers, lying in the shade with incredibly fat bellies, having just made a kill. A little further on, zebra.

Then a herd of probably the most ferocious cows that I have ever come across, with HUGE horns … yes, the local people still wander through the conservancy (even though it is Big 5 territory) to graze their cattle. Bizarre, but a way of life that is actually quite endearing and certainly unique !

We arrived at the camp, and was greeted warmly by Paul, the manager. My tent was extremely spacious - a double and a single bed, a desk, and an en-suite bathroom with bucket shower, flushing toilet and sink / basin. I love the fact that there was also a pot of detergent just in case I wanted to wash anything - which I did, because the roads are a bit dusty !!

When I got back from my evening drive, I was escorted to my tent (the camp is not fenced, so you cannot walk around after dark on your own), and my guide waited for me to quickly pull on a jumper, and then escorted me back to the boma fire, where a gin and tonic was waiting for me. Very civilised ! My morning wake up call was accompanied by a perculator of hot coffee and some biscuits - again, a really nice touch and very welcome at 6 am in the morning !

The camp is run off solar power, so if you wake up in the night, you need to use your wind up torch, but this does just add to the excitement of being on a true safari. And listening to the sounds of Africa through your canvas tent walls while you are tucked up in your bed is a truly magical experience.

All the meals that I had at the camp were exceptionally good - 3 course dinner, cooked breakfast, buffet lunch - and the service was also superb - there was always someone on hand to charge your phone / camera battery, offer you a coffee, and so on.

I visited the Chimpanzee Sanctuary during my stay here - the Sanctuary does do a lot of good for these rescued chimps who have been previously abused, so it is worth taking the hour out of your game drive to go there. However, you cannot go into the chimp enclosure at all, so be prepared to view them in their huge enclosures (acres of land) through a wire fence.

For the rest of my game viewing, I also saw the rare Grevys zebra (there are less than 20 on the conservancy), elephant, white rhino, gazelles, waterbuck, impala, monkeys (both vervet AND a black and white colobus monkey), baboons, warthogs … it was a very impressive list all in all, and please bear in mind, I was here for just one night only !!

An extremely enjoyable stay, definately worthy of 2 nights of anyones holiday.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank TravelButlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2011

Porini Rhino Camp

We spent three nights in the camp at the beginning of a two week holiday to Kenya and Zanzibar. What a brilliant start.

We drove from Nairobi to the camp which took about 5 hours. (It is usual to fly but I don’t like small aircraft).
It was an interesting journey and we stopped for coffee and again at the equator briefly so that we could step over the equatorial line and take photos.
Just before we arrived at the conservancy - in the local town we were met by our guides for the next three days and they drove us the hour and a half or so across the conservancy to the camp – and this was our first game drive.
Dominic & Bill were amazing. There were no questions they couldn’t answer and Dominic’s skill with the land Rover was legendary. In pursuit of Rhino’s, elephant’s cheetah and whatever else their keen eyes spotted, he took us into and out of the most difficult of landscapes. They also know the best places to stop for drinks in the evening for beautiful views and to watch the sun sets. They were really nice guys and both had a good sense of humour and fun.
The camp is even more remote than we had imagined, just a few tents dotted among the trees by a waterhole. Paul the manager greeted us on arrival led us to a very welcome cold beer and lunch. The centre of operations is the mess tent. Great food is prepared from here and elegantly served with all guests sitting together on one large table to discuss the day’s events. Nothing seemed to faze the staff. One lady arrived at lunchtime and as they were serving the first course, told the staff that she cannot eat and dairy or eggs. By the time that the main course and dessert were served they had adapted the menu to suit her requirements.
It gets very cold here (as the camp is in the foothill of Mount Kenya and therefore high above sea level) in the early morning and evenings, while ponchos are supplied if required, it is best to take long trousers, a fleece or warm jacket and socks and shoes or trainers. It does get really hot during the day though.
The tents are all positioned to give as good a view over the waterhole as possible and we saw all sorts of interesting animals – warthogs, lioness, baboons and buffalo to name a few – from the tent.
In the evening a fire is lit in front of the mess tent and everyone meets after their shower, for a pre dinner drink. If you look up you get the most amazing stars. I have never seen such a night sky.
Our tent had a double and a large single bed – and everything you could require in it. Flushing loo and a camp shower, dressing table and electric lights. As mentioned before – the staff even put hot water bottles in the beds to warm them up on a cold night. It may be camping but it certainly isn’t roughing it!
Practical stuff.
You will need to take with you everything you will need – there are no shops on the conservancy so make sure you have any medicines, sun creams, hats etc. No cash machines either so don’t forget to take tip money. We used the cash machine at Nairobi airport to get some Kenyan shillings and also took US dollars. Either are acceptable.
The ever organised Paul is able to charge up batteries in his office (the tents have no electricity points).
We would have no hesitation in recommending this camp after such a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Divingbelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2011

The Porini Rhino camp is a small but beautiful camp with exceptional service and game viewing. In January this year 14 of us from the one extended family, ranging in ages from 11 to 80yrs, stayed at the Rhino camp for 2 nights before visiting the Mara Porini Camp. We stayed in tents that looked to the waterhole and during our visit could watch giraffe, buffalo and baboon coming to drink. The game viewing was amazing with extremely friendly and informative guides. We saw both black and white rhino. The food and service was outstanding. I would thoroughly recommend this camp - staying here helped create our family holiday of a lifetime!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank janielats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

This was our fourth visit to Porini Camps, and Rhino completed the set. We know what to expect: experienced, knowledgeable guides and spotters in the well-maintained Land Rovers; courteous staff in the mess tent; creative culinary delights from the kitchen, and like-minded travellers. The pavilion tents are vast, with comfortable beds, clean linen, and those bush showers are a joy after a long day out.

All this Porini Rhino offered, and more, for one is never able to speculate on what one will see on a game drive, or walk, in the magnificent surroundings of Ol Pejeta conservancy.

For the uninitiated, being in a conservancy means one is not restricted to game park opening and closing hours, and there are a limited number of vehicles permitted therein.

If you are considering a safari in Kenya, are keen on conservancy and eco-friendliness, then we can highly recommend Porini camps.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank janegalloway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2010

Porini Rhino was the second of three Porini camps my wife and stayed at. Porini Amboseli was our first camp. We chose Porini Rhino because it was in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which my wife had heard a lot about. The accommodations and food were good, the service was excellent. We saw rhino, zebra (plains and Grevy's) , elephants, giraffes, buffalo, and jackals and more. A high point for us was a female cheetah that "posed" quite a while one evening. Visited Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the rhino sanctuary. I look back at our pictures and I'm amazed at how much we saw. Be advised though, it's cooler here and can be windy. It was about 60F/15.5C in the tent in the morning. Throw in a little wind and an open vehicle and it can get chilly, though not unbearable. I think everyone in camp took their bush shower before dinner to knock the chill off after a day's drive. Porini provides windproof ponchos, but I suggest taking a knit cap and maybe even light gloves. Many of the roads in Ol Pejeta are dirt, and dust was an issue for eyes, noses, cameras, and binoculars. Be prepared and you'll love it.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chi_catColumbus_Ohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2010

We had a really brilliant safari at Porini Rhino Camp. The driver and guide (Dan and Isa) were knowledgeable and very keen to share their enthusiasm for the animals. Have no other experiences to comprae but we couldn't fault this excellent camp. All the postive reviews we had read were found to be exactly correct.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Bryan_Cash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Porini Rhino Camp

Address: | Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nanyuki Town, Nanyuki Municipality, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Laikipia County > Nanyuki Municipality > Nanyuki Town
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 38 Speciality Lodging in Nanyuki Town
Price Range: £562 - £905 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Porini Rhino Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porini Rhino Camp is located in the exclusive 90,000 acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia Kenya. The camp consists of six spacious guest tents, comfortably furnished with en suite bathrooms. The camp is environmentally-friendly with solar powered lighting and no generator. Game drives in open - 4x4s with qualified guides, bush walks, sundowners and night game drives are all included. All the Big Five have been seen on game drives from the camp. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Porini Rhino Camp Hotel Nanyuki
Porini Rhino Camp Kenya/Nanyuki Town

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