Just like Porini Mara, Porini Lion Camp must be fairly high on the wish list of travellers who like their safari property to be eco-friendly and rustic. It adheres to the principle that, if the camp were disassembled, no trace of it would remain! For that reason alone, it gets a big thumbs-up from YZ – and of course it has much to recommend it overall.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
An ideal option for travellers preferring a less hectic experience in the Mara region – though day trips into the Reserve are possible too. In common with Porini Mara, Porini Lion Camp is an eco-camp and it has a lovely location on the banks of a river – in this case, the Ntiaketek River, which attracts a wealth of wildlife as it meanders through the Conservancy.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The camp’s communal areas are housed within a central mess tent, containing lounge and dining area. Approached via one of the site’s many neat paths, the mess tent is airy and spacious. At its front, several chairs and tables on a veranda provide a great spot for guests to take in the views. Inside, the lounge contains plenty of comfortable cushioned wooden-framed seating arranged around a large coffee table for a sociable feel. There are books scattered on the table and some snug rugs adorning the floor. On the other side of the tent, there is the dining area, with two long tables, upright chairs, and a tea-and-coffee station. Throughout the tent, the décor is contemporary and chic – it really is a fabulous place to relax and get to know your fellow travellers! And dining is also available at picnic tables, close to the water’s edge.
Guest accommodation at Porini Lion Camp comprises ten traditional tents, all linked to the mess tent by tidy paths through grass and trees. These too are styled in a contemporary fashion. A small table and couple of director’s chairs in the shade provided by the canvas roof makes for a pleasant venue to sit and gaze over the river. Inside, each unit has twin beds, their heads set against the left-hand wall. Other furniture includes two bedside tables, a chest of drawers, hanging space, and a writing desk and chair. The en-suite facilities are positioned at the back of each tent, behind a curtain. They consist of flush toilet, washbasin with mirror, and classic bucket shower! Hot water for the shower is available before dinner and on request at any other time.
Food and drink is full board, satisfying and tasty. Breakfast is full English, with additional bread or pastry of the day such as croissants and jam muffins. Lunch is a light affair – typically soups, salads, tarts, fruit puddings – and dinner is a three-course meal. Bush breakfasts can be arranged, as can private dining.
Porini Lion Camp offers an exciting assortment of activities – game drives, game walks, hot air balloon safaris, village visits! Game drives take place by day and by night in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, with drives in the Maasai Mara National Reserve requiring a full day out, with picnic. Both areas are super for game viewing. Olare Motorogi is renowned for its big cats – loads of lion and leopard! There are cheetah too, in addition to plenty of plains animals – giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle. The Reserve boasts all of the Big Five, as well as the wildebeest Great Migration from July to October! And both regions have hundreds of bird species for fans of feathery friends to observe.
Guided walks are available in the Conservancy – this is a wonderful way to appreciate the small things on safari. Guests can also opt to view it all from the sky, on a hot air balloon ride. This activity incurs an extra cost, but it is well worth it for the spectacular sunrise vistas over the plains and the champagne breakfast! Local village visits also cost extra, but these have lots to recommend them too – and the payment to camp is donated directly to the Maasai homestead.