Porini Cheetah Camp, Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Masai Mara Reviews

Porini Cheetah Camp, Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Masai Mara Reviews

5.0

Excellent - based on 301 reviews

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Reviews (300)
Sonali C
Sonali C
2023-03-06
Verified
Magic in the Mara Tucked away in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy of the Masai Mara National Park, this eco-camp attracts a particular kind of discerning traveller: those who can appreciate its noble mission of giving back to the community, and promoting luxury tourism with a low footprint. 10/10 would recommend!! Some things to appreciate/consider about Porini Cheetah: 1. The game drives (dawn, dusk, night) are excellent and led by expert Masai drivers and guides. I saw large herds of elephants, many lions, a cheetah, and wild dogs (an extremely rare sighting!). There was also an elusive leopard close to our camp. 2. The food is EXCELLENT - the best I have had in Kenya (and I have been here a while); the hosts are extremely accommodating of dietary requirements and do not, in any of the generous meals or snacks, make you feel deprived by your dietary restrictions.3. Powered by solar panels, you can not charge your devices after 4 PM, allowing you the distraction-free company of your hosts, Jui and Nirmalya Banerjee, whose hospitality and enthusiasm for nature are nothing short of remarkable!4. This is an unfenced camp - which means you can not walk at night without your Masai guard; it also means that you may be woken up by the grunts of a buffalo close to your tent, and that it may not be suitable for very young children.
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Subodh Sri
Subodh Sri
2023-03-03
Olimpia82
Olimpia82
2023-01-17
Verified
Wonderful experience - Esperienza fantastica I spent four nights at Porini Cheetah camp. What an amazing experience! The tent is very comfortable and the food is great. The Ol Kinyei Conservancy is gorgeous and full of animals. I had the chance to see several times lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes etc. I also had a very interesting night safari in the conservancy and a full day safari at Masai Mara. The staff at the camp is very kind and helpful and the guides - all Masai - really know their job. I honestly couldn't have asked for more.Ho passato 4 notti al Porini Cheetah camp. Un'esperienza meravigliosa, la tenda è grande e confortevole e i letti molto comodi. Il cibo è squisito, anche per gli standard italiani. La riserva di Ol Kinyei è bellissima e piena di animali, durante i safari abbiamo visto leoni, ghepardi, elefanti, giraffe e moltissimi altri. Una sera abbiamo fatto un bel safari notturno e avvistato un branco di leoni che sbranava uno gnu appena ucciso. Abbiamo anche fatto un safari di un'intera giornata nel parco di Masai Mara. Tutto lo staff del camp è molto gentile e disponibile e le guide - tutte Masai - sono molto preparate e bravissime a trovare gli animali. Non avrei potuto chiedere di più da questa vacanza.
DougWillaman
DougWillaman
2022-12-13
Verified
Amazing Camp!!! I recently stayed for three nights at the Amazing Cheetah Camp! WOW! What a wonderful experience! The setting of the camp is perfect with game viewing seconds from camp. The staff is amazing! Our guides were wonderful! The food was outstanding! The owners are so great and genuinely excited to hear about your day while you're all having dinner together. We saw so much wildlife! Absolutely wonderful! It was absolutely perfect!
UnseelieCt
UnseelieCt
2022-12-07
Verified
Spectacular--just spectacular! Well, this is long overdue, but I wanted to post my review on Porini Cheetah Camp. My wife and I were there in October 2022, as Kenya tourism slowly gets back to normal. If you’re reading this and considering a stay here, let me tell you the short and sweet version of my review: Drop everything and get your reservation now! You can read the rest of this review later… just GO!And now the longer version. We’ve stayed at three Porini Camps, and it is very hard to choose my favorite. But if I had to, I think this one wins out. It follows a slightly different setup than, say, the Amboseli or Lion camps in that it is co-owned and run by a private couple, Jui and Nirmalya. For them, the camp is clearly a labor of love. There is an extraordinary attention to details without ever feeling “fussy.” The tent layout is just that much better, with the bathroom situated in a way that provides a bit more privacy. Of the camps, it has the clearest wi-fi… but do be aware that that can be a blessing and a curse. And as my wife mentioned, you could tell there was a “woman’s touch” in the planning, as the lotions/shampoos, décor, and finishes are a bit more refined. Don’t get me wrong; all the Porini camps are exceptional. But this one feels a touch more… elevated.Part of the charm is also Jui and Nirmalya themselves. They are the most warm-hearted, fastidious hosts you can imagine. We made a passing comment about enjoying Indian food, and the next night that was on the menu, and we may have embarrassed ourselves in eating it down so greedily. They joined us at mealtime, and we had endlessly interesting conversations about the camp itself, shared life experiences, nature, and more. They are avid nature lovers and you could tell they’d cheerfully drop everything to go on our safari drives at the drop of a hat. A couple of quick anecdotes to show how great they are. While out on a drive, we witnessed a spectacular kill, made by a relatively rare martial eagle. One the one hand, it was a thrill to witness live, but it was also pretty traumatic, and my wife was a bit teary. As we got back, Jui was a great comfort to her, acknowledging that she’d feel exactly the same way. She had already heard the report from the bush, and made it point to reach out to my wife. Far more important, one night at dinner one guest made a pretty awful dig at another guest, based on their choice of employment. It was a pretty low blow and the guest was clearly flustered. But Jui and Nirmalya sprang into action and handled the situation with class, elegance, and warmth to make things right. I went away convinced that any problem we might have would be dealt with professionally and kindness. They are the embodiment of hospitality.The food was tasty, generous, and well-presented, and Jui and Nirmalya took time to discuss any and all dietary concerns in advance. The common areas were comfortable and inviting. The camp and safari drives were absolutely exceptional. Our guides Joe and Dennis were absolutely amazing, knowing exactly what to do, where to be, and what to show us, so that the game drives were a steady parade of Lifetime Moments. They, and all the staff, were wonderfully personal; we had great conversations spanning a wide range of topics. And the wildlife! While Cheetah Camp is still in the Mara region, it is more of a woodland savannah, and has a different feel than the open savannah in the Maasai Mara National Park. You could drive into the National Park itself, but there are far more restrictions for moving about, and frankly we had more, and better quality wildlife sightings around the Porini camp itself. The animal sightings could not have been better, as we saw multiple prides of lions (including a huge one with 20 or so cats!), many cheetah families, and a bachelor herd of 15-20 elephants that we could have followed around forever. Hippos! Crocodiles! Giraffe families! Often only a few feet away.Staying here was an experience of a lifetime, and I hope we can get back soon. Please don’t hesitate to experience it yourselves. —Scott and Jill
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Madelyn M
Madelyn M
2022-11-12
Verified
A memorable visit to a remarkable camp. For a return trip to Kenya after 30 years this camp and its staff cannot be beaten - it is first class all the way.The co-owners Jui and Nirmalya have created a peaceful and luxurious tented camp with excellent local staff - my special thanks to Edward and Jackson for their outstanding care, and the superb chefs Steve, Vincent and James who produced delicious food at every meal throughout my stay - culminating in a candle-lit BBQ supper al fresco ( a brave decision bearing in mind the torrential rains/ thunder/ lightning of the early day - but once again relying on the knowledge of the Masai staff who assured us all would be well)Picnic breakfasts and sundowner cold boxes during game drives at either end of the day were well planned and quite delicious, the former always including super fruit platters as well as copious quantities of bacon, sausages, eggs and pancakes amongst other offerings.It is lovely to eat at a big family table at dinner time and to share the day's treasured sightings with other guests and our hosts, who are passionate about wildlife and conservation and generous in their care of us as individuals.This camp is their personal contribution to the welfare of wildlife in the Masai Mara, and they, together with the in depth knowledge of their local Masai staff, make every stay memorable in the best possible way.
Britney G
Britney G
2022-11-12
Verified
5 Star camp that feels like home! We just returned from 3 nights at Porini Cheetah with the consummate hosts, Jui and Nirmalya. Before we arrived, Nirmalya was so easy to work with to book our stay and so kind to answer all of our many questions. We live in Kenya and have been on multiple safaris before- this was by far the BEST, a treat for my sister who was visiting from the US!On arrival, we were met at the tarmac road by our drivers and followed them on smooth dirt roads into the camp in our own four wheel drive vehicle. We were met with cool cloths and fresh juice by Jacob who got us checked in and continued to make sure we had everything we needed each day. Thomas was also very helpful to serve us hot or cold beverages, and ask about our day each time he saw us. We highly recommend Joel and Philip as the BEST driver/spotter pair and having two people in the vehicle greatly enhanced this experience over our other game drives. Game drives on the conservancy were also much better than our previous stay in the Mara National Reserve as we could do bush breakfasts, true sunset sundowners AND a night time game drive (where we watched a lion ROAR to signal his territory to all around). I should mention that 2 of our 3 sundowners were spent in the presence of big cats! Other perks of being in the conservancies are fewer tents per acre, meaning fewer trucks at each big sighting (for us it was a max of 4 at once, and that only happened once) AND the trucks are able to drive off-road, getting us closer to the animals as well.The camp itself is eco-friendly but at the same time comfortable. The bucket showers are more than adequate to get clean while still conserving water, especially important with the recent drought in Kenya. The tents are spacious and all facilities top notch. The food was INCREDIBLE- better than many restaurants I've been to in Nairobi and all dietary preferences were honored without problem. In fact, we brought a bag of snacks with us and never touched them! We saw 4 of the big 5 animals with the clear highlight seeing a leopard with his kill on our last evening drive! No one reliably sees rhinos in the Mara or conservancies so we also took my sister to Nakuru National Park where rhino sightings are much more common. Being able to explore both Ol Kinyei and Naboisho conservancy is another perk of the Porini Camps and gave us exposure to more than 30 different lions, 2 different cheetahs, herds of elephant and giraffe and so many beautiful birds. But most of all, I must give credit to Jui and Nirmalya. They could run this camp from Nairobi or even not be as involved with the guests even when they are in Ol Kinyei but their love for the wildlife AND their guests is so clear! We enjoyed eating meals with them and discussing our drives (and our lives!). We loved hearing of the positive ways they impact the land and the community. They made us feel so special- it truly felt like we were visiting their home. And an organized home at that- no detail is left behind - we will be back!!
Pam B
Pam B
2022-11-07
Verified
Peace and tranquillity at Cheetah Camp After our 4-night stay in Rhino River, we moved onto Cheetah Camp in the Mara. The camp and the landscape were very different but still retained the essence of Porini Camps. The Mara was very arid due to the lack of rains but there was no shortage of wildlife to enjoy.Our camp hosts were Jui and Nirmalya and they dined with us each day. The food was plentiful and delicious. However, as we were not used to eating three courses at lunchtime or at dinner Jui kindly arranged with the chef to serve us a much lighter lunch which was really appreciated.Our tents were immaculate, spacious and extremely comfortable (as we have come to expect with Porini Camps) and looked out over the Mara. It was so nice to just sit and watch the wildlife go by. No noisy, smelly cars/vans - just the idle chatter of the animals and birds as they go about their lives. Sometimes we were treated to a 'race' as something spooked the animals.Our driver, Jacob, and spotter, Philip, were wonderful and such great fun. We were astounded by their ability to spot lions and cheetahs from vast distances away and often hiding under a bush. We struggled even with binoculars! They did everything possible to ensure we had a fantastic experience at Cheetah camp. We were even 'privileged' to watch a cheetah kill and then for the hyenas to steal her spoils. As the hyenas grew in numbers, a lioness appeared out of nowhere, claimed the carcass and disappeared off to the bushes. That totally floored the hyenas, but you could see them regrouping and working out a plan of attack. However, their attempts to take back the carcass failed, and the lioness won the battle. It just shows how desperate these animals are for food. No popping to the supermarket for them!Kenya never fails to deliver on so many fronts.
Jean J
Jean J
2022-11-03
Verified
Perfect two nights The best of the three Porini camps we stayed in on our recent Kenya safari. Jui and Nirmalya were delightful hosts and provided all kinds of "extras" not available in other camps. Wi-fi in the tents and fans, for instance. And they joined us at mealtimes which were a great "family" atmosphere with shared stories. Our guides, Jacob and Dennis were fantastically knowledgeable and we shared unforgettable moments with them (following "Spot" the leopard while she was hunting and renaming her "Stealth"). The facilities and the food were excellent and wildlife was all around, including, naturally, cheetahs!
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Carol J
Carol J
2022-11-01
Verified
Top of the Class This was our 3rd visit to Porini Cheetah Camp and mine hosts Jui and Namalya. What a delight to be back to this beautiful, well run camp. Attention to detail here is evident & it is an absolute joy to stay here. The safari guides are so knowledgeable & always ensure the lighting and position of vehicle is just right for the perfect camera shot. There is a huge abundance and variety of wildlife in this conservancy, including many lions. Each game drive is a unique experience & we have learned so much with each visit. The tents are very comfortable and well appointed. Meal times in the mess tent are always a social occasion with such wonderful food on offer and shared experiences with other guests. Also very special and enjoyable are the bush breakfasts eaten part way through our morning game drive. Such special memories of experiences & wonderful staff at this camp. If you're thinking of a safari I would thoroughly recommend a stay at Porini Cheetah Camp which I personally consider to be the very best of all the Gamewatchers Porini Camps.
Einar F
Einar F
2022-10-23
Verified
5th camp of total 5 What was different here from previous camps was that the owners joined oss for meal, shearing stories. As in other camps it was nice to meet people from different part of the world and to talk about safari experiences in Kenya. Here again, it was a nice people working hard to make our stay pleasant. Our guides Philip and Joel will be remembered. We saw cheetah in action on every game drive, hunting leopard, mating lions, spotted hyenas, hippos and so on.
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Sarah1958
Sarah1958
2022-10-23
Verified
Excellent Service! Porini Cheetah Camp was excellent! The co-owners provided such attention to detail and the driver/guide and camp staff were fantastic. The meals were outstanding! We saw amazing wildlife. We highly recommend Porini Cheetah Camp through Gamewatchers.
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Paul S
Paul S
2022-10-21
Verified
Fantastic Camp Great wildlife and landscapes. Staff is exceptional. Your driver/guide and spotter are experts at locating and identifying the wildlife. The camp manager, John is often at the camp when you return from your game drives to welcome you back and ask how was your day. Hosts, Jui and Nirmalya make you feel as you are old friends. Food is tasty and artfully presented. Tent is clean, roomy and nicely decorated.
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VioletVancouver
VioletVancouver
2022-10-19
Verified
This Is Why We Travel Like many people who book a safari, we thought of it as a once in a lifetime experience. We wanted to see animals truly in the wild, and experience the adventure that accompanies the unknown. After all, this is why we travel.At Porini Cheetah Camp, we were so fortunate to have Philip as our spotter and Joel as our driver. They were so skilled at locating animals, and then somehow positioning the vehicle to give us the best viewing experience. We saw cheetahs, leopards, lions, elephants and so many other animals up close and personal. Philip and Joel grew up in this area and have so much knowledge about the animals, the culture and the landscape. On our last day, they even somehow managed to locate a rhino (very rare in the Mara). I suspect they made this extra effort because I had inquired earlier about Rhino numbers and they wanted us to see the "Big 5". As impressive as their skills were, what will really stay with me was their sincere commitment to giving us the very best experience possible. That, combined with the genuine and warm welcome we felt on every game drive is what I will most remember.I must also mention Jui and Nirmalya, the hosts and joint owners of Cheetah Camp. Their pride of ownership is so evident in everything at the camp, from the way the camp has been organized to the beautiful decor in the tents and lounge. Again, most memorable is their love for this place and their shared joy in their guests' experiences.Thanks also to all the camp staff who do their jobs so well. We enjoyed every meal and really appreciated those warm showers at the end of the day.Lastly, I'd like to thank the Porini and Gamewatchers staff behind the scenes. We have travelled to many parts of the world but I don't think I've ever felt so at ease during a trip. I could completely relax because I saw early in the trip that everything just "flowed". There was always someone to meet us and explain the plan for the next day.As an aside, I'd also like to mention we felt safe at all times. We completed trusted the staff and saw not a single mosquito!For us, this "once in a lifetime experience" can't be repeated soon enough. Many thanks again to you all!
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Allan and Lizann Barker
Allan and Lizann Barker
2022-10-08
Verified
Beyond Our Wildest Dreams After 2 years of delays due to COVID, we finally got to spend the first part of our honeymoon at the Porini Cheetah Camp in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy. Having never been on safari we never knew what to expect and had no expectations. However, even if we had expectations, this experience went far beyond anything we could have hoped. We were met off the Safarilink flight and straight into a short game drive as we traveled to the camp. We arrived at what can only be described as a little peace of paradise within the bush. The hosts Nirmalya and Jui greeted us as we arrived and made us feel extremely welcome and at home. The camp is fully tented which really makes you feel next to nature, with conservation of the environment at the heart of the camp. This is luxury without the modern twist, a fantastic concept. The game drives were amazing, we were very lucky to see ALL the big 5 plus many more beautiful animals, thanks to the amazing knowledge and skills of our Masai guides and spotters. Even overnight sleeping in the camp is an experience, the camp is open and patrolled at night by Masai guards as the animals come up towards the tents as you sleep....or try to sleep, as you lay there listening to them right outside, an amazing experience. The whole camp is ran fantastic, the chefs and food are out of this world, we had breakfast and lunch in the bush with sundowner drinks twice with the lions. We also had a hot air balloon trip over the main Masai Mara reserve, this was very well planned and a beautiful way to see the reserve from the sky, followed by a champagne breakfast. Our trip was made extra special, as Nirmalya and Jui hosted a champagne evening meal outside with all the other guests to celebrate our honeymoon, so thoughtful. We thought this was a once in a lifetime experience, however we have certainly caught the bug, thanks to this fantastic camp, and will be returning again in the future. If you ever plan to visit the Masai Mara region, this is the camp to base yourself for a trip of a lifetime.
Anju V
Anju V
2022-09-16
Verified
Sundowner experience with Gin & Tonic surrounded by pride of Lions is something I will never forget We a family of four with two young girls had most amazing experience right from knowledge of the guides, camps facilities , food and bonfire , everything was just amazing . I will definitely recommend this and they do night safari too :)
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NatJ
NatJ
2022-09-05
Verified
Amazing 5 star +++ experience! This was our 2nd trip to Kenya and to Porini camps, but our first time at Porini Cheetah Camp. We loved every camp we visited and this was no exception. Everyone was extraordinarily kind and hospitable. Hosted by the co-owners, Jui and Nirmalya, Cheetah Camp truly is a special place. Jui and Nirmalya would enjoy meals with the guests, and it was very interesting sharing stories with them and the other guests. And the food was outstanding! Like a 5 star restaurant. I don’t know how they do it in such an isolated area, but hats off to the chef!Our guides, Joel and Jackson, showed us so many amazing sites and were very attentive. We are extremely grateful to them for making our time so enjoyable and informative! We even saw a river crossing. Although that was exceptional, the private conservancies that we explored were even better! So much wildlife and so few other vehicles. Porini Cheetah Camp is located in Ol Kinyei Conservancy and drives are taken here as well as in adjacent Naboisho Conservancy. Drives can also be taken at the Maasai Mara National Reserve (which is where we saw the river crossing). One of our highlights was leaving camp one afternoon for the evening game drive and just outside the camp there were dozens and dozens of giraffes and elephant peacefully roaming around, eating and drinking. There were just so many in one area with such beautiful scenery. I felt like I was in the middle of a movie. It was breathtaking. The only issue is that no photo will do it justice so I’m left with my memories!The staff at the camp were wonderful. The rooms and common areas were well taken care of, and service at all times was exceptional. It was clear that everyone was trying to make your stay as pleasant as possible. The tents were so comfortable, with full size beds and bathrooms. The early morning delivery of hot drinks and cookies, and the hot water bottles in bed at night made it extra special! Thanks to everyone at Porini Cheetah Camp for the amazing memories! We can’t wait to return!
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Tony M
Tony M
2022-08-29
Verified
It's called "Cheetah Camp" for a reason Our Masai drivers, Philip and Edward, spotted 2 Cheetahs on one of our game drives, and got us within touching distance of them. Oblivious to our trucks we watched as they stalked an antelope. An amazing experience. Back at the camp our hosts, Jui and Nirmalya, catered for our every need, and with only 6 tents on the site, we felt like personal guests, rather than tourists on a stopover. Highly recommend anybody to spend a few days whenever in this part of the world.
nikkigraf
nikkigraf
2022-08-26
Verified
Wish I could give 6 stars We are not typically “luxury” travelers that seek out the best-of-the-best service. I chose Porini Cheetah Camp primarily because I wanted a safari experience away from the Maasai Mara Reserve crowds, and was willing to pay more for that exclusivity in Ol Kinyei Conservancy. The level of service provided was a bit of a surprise to me and solidified that I absolutely made the right choice! Since this was our first safari, I don’t have anything else to which I can compare directly, but any expectations I had coming in were exceeded and then some.Even though the lodging is in safari “tents”, the rooms are spacious, have an “en suite” bathroom and VERY comfortable beds, and the cleanliness was beyond many brick-and-mortar hotels we have been to! The nature of this being an unfenced camp within the conservancy meant that we had zebras, monkeys, wildebeest, and more hanging out just meters away; we could sit and watch nature show off right outside the front “door” of the tent!The food was truly some of the best we’ve ever had, and they fed us often! They accommodated our dietary requests beautifully. The camp hosts, Jui and Nirmalya, are extremely personable and care a great deal about the guests, staff, and the wildlife. The staff are almost all Maasai, and this venture felt (to me) more like a true collaboration between the hosts/tourists and locals rather than anything exploitative.Our safari guides/drivers (Jacob, Joe, Phillip) were extensively knowledgeable and were able to track down some of the most stunning wildlife sights imaginable.And the *chef’s kiss*, cherry-on-top detail that we didn’t even know we wanted or needed was the hot water bottle between the bedsheets placed by the staff while we ate dinner each night to help take the chill out of the Kenyan nights. I looked forward to it every evening!The only negative thing I can say about the Porini Cheetah Camp is that we had to leave it!
Jim B
Jim B
2022-07-27
Verified
The Best of the Best Part 2 The two of us had visited in October 21 and revisted in June 22. Most covid restrictions now gone. We expected a greener countryside this time but rains had been limited. Still excellent game drives, thanks to Jackson and Eric. Even saw a leopard near the camp and another mother leopard bringing dinner back to a cub in a tree.We have found Porini camps to best meet our interests for simplicity with emphasis on game drives in Conservancies. Cheetah is our favorite camp thanks to the wonderful camp staff, headed by John and the very special hosts, Jui and Nirmalya. Meals were individualized, usually offered around 1 table with lively conversations stimulated by the hosts. We are planning a sixth safari, highlighted by a third visit to Cheetah.
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