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.
- 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