Porini Mara, Ol Kinyei: The Lowdown

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Porini Mara’s a little more rustic than many luxury tented camps, but it’d be hard to be in the environmental stakes and the staff here are some of the friendliest we’ve met anywhere.

What’s Porini Mara really like?

There are just six tents at Porini Mara Camp, tucked below the acacia trees in a quiet corner of Ol Kinyei Conservancy, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main Mara Reserve. The tents are comfortable, they are rustic feeling, in line with Porini’s serious commitment to the environment. You’ll have a proper bed and, separated by a curtain, an ensuite bathroom with a flushing loo and bucket shower. Outside there’s a deck where you can sit with a book- we enjoyed watching the odd bushbuck, warthog and hyrax during our afternoon snooze.

The atmosphere in camp is cosy and friendly- with only six tents you’ll all get to know each other quickly over hearty communal meals and shared game drives. Aside from the other guests, staff here were utterly delightful, and even when they aren’t all fluent in English, we were impressed by how sweet and friendly everyone we met was. Lastly- a tip from us: charging in camp is in the main “office” tent, so if you have a lot of gadgets that need charging it may be wise to bring a power pack with you.

What can I do at Porini Mara?

Game drives at Porini Mara camp usually take place each morning and afternoon, heading out onto the conservancy with your expert driver guide. On our most recent visit we were particularly impressed by the cheetah and lion sightings. On the way back into camp after sunset you’ll do a night game drive, and it’s also possible to do walking safaris, often led by a Maasai warrior in full traditional garb (the red of the Maasai shuka is reputed to scare away lions!) While you don’t tend to see as much big game on foot, a nature walk is an excellent way to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the bush up close- it’s a gentle potter not a hike, but a pleasant way to warm up for a generous breakfast!

Giving back at Porini Mara: 

A huge number of the staff at Porini Mara are from the local community, which also benefits from the fees paid at conservancies in the Masai Mara- a concept pioneered by Porini’s owners. This provides not only local income, but helps protect the land from development and conserve Kenya’s fragile wildlife.

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