What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Lion Camp in Covid 19 Times
This is not our first trip to Kenya nor our first stay at Porini Lion Camp - but it is our first during Covid 19 times having to do all the new things we have to do both before and during the safari. The main thing we hope you take from this is that we felt safe, very safe, at all times. Far safer than much of the time at home here in the UK. We have also a review for Porini Mara Camp which reads more r less the same as this one - the aim of the reviews is to show you think external link where lots of details are help to hopefully make you feel happy enough to book your own safari. We of course love Kenya and love Porini Camps hence being return guests and Friends of Porini. and that is why we decided to get on a plane as soon as we were allowed and go and help to support Kenya and it's vital wildlife habitats. Please be aware that all the information is only correct as at the time of writing as things are changing all the time but it should all help to give you a better idea of what to expect - the main part being a fantastic safari of course :-) To keep everything in one place I have set up a page on my website with all the details for you to read. I cannot put any URLs in here but the site is Caldwell Creations and is a co uk one. The page is called 'Porini' and dos not contain any selling stuff just useful info Suffice to say - if and when you can visit PLEASE do visit. Kenya is fabulous and Porini Lion Camp is fabulous and you will feel safe and very welcome. I hope you can take the time to read as it will hopefully help you. Asante Sana
Leopards, leopards and lions
We were a party of 4 Nairobi residents who were keen to get out of our self-imposed corona virus lock-down and enjoy the beauty of the Mara after 6 months. We stayed for 3 nights and had a fantastic time, were well looked after, with all the covid-19 protocols in place to protect us. Staff were excellent, vehicles in good condition and the Mara looking absolutely beautiful. The weather was dry but cold in the mornings, especially on the open plains where the wind was blowing. Porini Camps had recently informed us that they were reopening their Kenya camps as and when they managed to acquire the necessary certification and authorisation from the authorities. We promptly booked our space in Porini Lion camp – fortunately we had some deposit money with Gamewatchers from a previous booking that had to be cancelled but which they kept for us to use at a future date and that worked well. We drove down from Nairobi, leaving home at 6 am and, whilst the traffic was heavy, the drive was easy and we were able to turn off at Nkoilale to cut across the Naboisho conservancy before 10.30am. We had a nice gentle drive through Naboisho before driving into the Olare Orok Conservancy through the Ol Seketa Gate just north of Talek and driving to Lion Camp. Total distance was 245km, all of it on good tarmac except for the last 32 km which was good dirt. We were in camp by 12.30pm in time for lunch. The camp manager was Victor who met and greeted us, introduced us to the new protocols and arranged for us to be shown to our tents. Our first lunch quickly demonstrated the changes with everyone seated widely spaced (about 1.5m from each other), only one group per table and no self-service buffet. All food was plated in the kitchen and delivered into the dining room. Quality of food was excellent and fresh. Quantity was more than adequate for my requirements. We had been asked and had given our various foibles, allergies and details of items that we could or could not eat and these were all complied with very efficiently without fuss by the kitchen. Our driver was Nelson – a new person to us but his spotter was John who we were familiar with from a number of previous visits. They were both excellent and the only slight criticism I have was that Nelson had a tendency to drive too slow sometimes. John was absolutely eagle-eyed and continued to amaze us with his ability to spot cryptic stuff well hidden in the bush which we often had difficulty seeing even with binoculars. The vehicle was in good condition, everything worked properly including the in-car charging points for phones and camera equipment. The conservancy was quiet in that the big migratory herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle had not moved north of the Sand River yet and were still milling around the Tanzania/Kenya border. However, we saw 26 different mammals plus crocodile, Nile monitor, and both rock & tree agama. The migratory birds were still in the northern hemisphere so water birds were few but we still saw over 130 species despite not doing much twitching. The notable sightings were a male ostrich with 2 females guarding their new nest with its two very freshly laid eggs. Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Kori Bustard & Black Coucal were also nice sightings. The most memorable aspect of our visit was definitely the regular leopard sightings we had. We saw leopard every day (four times in four days), saw them really well every day and could not have asked for a more varied collection of scenarios, activities and situations in which to see them. There were large herds of eland around. We saw 23 different lions with at least 6 pride males including a courting couple. We had great fun watching a Hyena den with very small black pups in it that came out to play. The only significant miss was cheetah which we did not see although other camp visitors who had made the long drive down to Sand River all saw cheetah in the National Reserve. The other significant feature of our visit was the number of Maasai cattle in the conservancy. I am not sure how many herds we saw but they were everywhere – large herds of at least 200+ each, up to their bellies in grass and in beautiful condition. In the plain above Lion Camp we saw 5 herds grazing their way from the river crossing all the way up to the top of the hill before returning back in the afternoon and returning to their manyattas. Finally, as we drove out of Porini Lion Camp on our last day, we passed the staff who were busy dismantling the dining tent and we were told that they were installing a smart new one. So another reason to return and see what the improvements are. Well done Porini and we all enjoyed our visit. The camp was pretty well full the first two nights we were there and not so busy the third night but it was good to see the local tourists all doing their bit for the Mara economy. The camp was run very safely with all the staff clearly aware of the risks and the safety protocols they had to follow.
An Authentic Safari
As a safari enthusiast, I can safely say that Gamewatchers has developed a style synonymous of safaris of old. Situated inside the 33,000 acre Olare Motorogi conservancy away from the hustle and bustle of the minivan tours next door in the main reserve, Lion Camp offers quality eco-tourism. We spent 3 nights here and were impressed not only by the actual camp, but more so by the staff, who are all members of the conservancy. They were attentive and could not have made our stay any better than it was. The tents were comfortable with a old style bucket shower to boot! The start of the day was an early morning wake up call with brewed coffee and cookies brought directly to the tent. Food was freshly prepared and of an excellent standard in camp while picnics were provided on days we did not return to camp for lunch. As the sun was setting, we stopped for a cheeky "sundowner" and watched as a red ball disappeared behind the Oloololo escarpment. Our guides, Julius and Nelson, were both excellent. Not only did we see 41 lions (Dik Dik pride and the Iseketa pride) in total; including a kill and mating couple, we also saw 3 leopards ( Yellow, Fig & Figlet) and a beautiful cheetah called Kiraposho. Being inside the conservancy meant that we could spend uninterrupted time with these animals with an added bonus of "off road" driving meaning we could get very close to them. We also decided to take a full day trip inside the main Maasai Mara reserve to see the wildebeest migration and again our guides did not disappoint. They chose an excellent spot above a crossing point where we witnessed thousands of wildebeest and zebra swimming across the Mara river and also got to photograph a huge crocodile drag a yearling wildebeest under the water. On our last night we decided to go on a game drive after dinner and got to see nocturnal animals such as spring hares, bat eared foxes and dozens of hippos grazing! Besides the big cats, it was wonderful the see large breeding herds of elephant and buffalo mingling with the numerous plains game. For anyone craving an authentic safari, I would highly recommend Gamewatchers and Lion Camp in particular. I for one will be visiting again!
Simply Incredible (Lion Camp for a reason)
We spent 3 nights at the camp; the coordination getting to the camp was smooth, the guided tours and guides were incredible (at finding animals; so much benefit to having two guides) and fun (cheetahs, lions, leopards, ostriches, elephants, hippos, crocs, you name it). As a very environmentally conscious person/traveler - I was ecstatic about their sustainability efforts, coordination with the local people, and eco-friendly tourism model. It shows (at the camp and via the business) that they care about the wildlife and the surrounding communities and the well being of their coexistence. I can't imagine it getting better than this - coffee provided in the morning, DELICIOUS meals, a charging station and super comfy beds (and a bathroom!). Ask your guides all the questions and seriously, book here. Happy safariing :)
Outstanding wildlife at an excellent safari camp
Our best wildlfe spotting, especially the large cats (lion, cheetah and leopard), though there was plenty of other wildlife. The camp feels part of the landscape with nothing between the tents and the savannah - but well patrolled and and never felt unsafe. Excellent guide/driver - their ability to spot things was extraordinary.
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