Porini Mara is great for travellers who like a rustic approach to safari. And it wins lots of points for its status as an eco-camp – in fact, it has won an Eco-Tourism Kenya Gold Award! With no permanent structures, all biodegradable fittings, solar panels to generate electricity, and responsible attitudes to waste disposal and water use, this camp is serious about its environmental footprint. Highly recommended by YZ!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
As the only camp in the Ol Kinyei Coservancy, Porini Mara Camp is able to offer the ultimate safari away from the crowds, while still providing the opportunity for guests to visit the bustling Maasai Mara National Reserve. It is also an eco-camp, occupying a lovely spot surrounded by acacia trees on the banks of the Ole Sabukiye River – this is a popular spot for the Conservancy’s wildlife!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal areas are situated in a mess tent, which has a slightly elevated position atop a flight of stone steps. With its sturdy canvas walls and chunky wooden furniture, the tent has a great rustic feel! On one end, there is the lounge, with comfy cushioned chairs, padded leather pouffes, a large coffee table for books and games – and, of course, amazing views down to the river. The dining area is situated at the other end of the tent – here, there is a long dining table, upright chairs, and a tea-and-coffee station. Meals may also be enjoyed at an outdoor table, in the shade of a spreading acacia, while the camp’s fire pit nearby is the best place for downing drinks and swapping safari stories!
Porini Mara’s guest accommodation consists of just six spacious tents, connected to the mess tent via nifty pathways through the site. All are raised off the ground on solid stilts. There are just a few steps up onto the veranda, which has two director’s chairs and a small table – perfect for sitting and taking in the views! Inside, each tent has either a double bed or twin beds, with bed heads set against the left-hand wall. There is a bedside table on the same wall, while opposite are a writing desk and stool plus a storage unit. This accommodation is every inch as rustic as the mess tent, with the same chunky timber in addition to some vibrant prints for rugs and bedspreads. The en-suite facilities are situated at the back of each tent – they comprise flush toilet, washbasin with mirror, and classic bucket shower!
Activities at Porini Mara include game drives, game walks and hot air balloon safaris. The game drives can take place by day and by night within the Conservancy, while day trips are possible within the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Guests may also venture into neighbouring Naboisho Conservancy, so there really are loads of opportunities to see wildlife! Ol Kinyei boasts all Big Five animals – look out for its enormous lion pride and huge elephant herds. Leopard, wild dog and aardwolf are also commonly seen, while birders will relish spotting rare barbets and warblers among the hundreds of species in residence here! Naboisho, with its rippling plains and wooded valleys, attracts numerous predators and herbivores, while its river is choc-a-bloc with hippos and crocodiles. And of course the Maasai Mara never disappoints as a safari destination – and from July to October it plays host to the wildebeest Great Migration! Game walks are also fantastic to do, within Ol Kinyei. And if you want to view it all from the sky, a hot air balloon safari is ideal – though we should mention that this comes at extra cost. Featuring a dawn wake-up call and an hour’s flight ending in a champagne breakfast, it truly is a treat!