If a safari holiday is on your radar, you probably have an idea of how you want your trip to look. Do you picture sleeping under canvas in spacious safari tents? The stark silhouette of the acacia trees at dusk? The sleek cats stretched out in the shade seeking relief from the heat of the sun?
These are all iconic African safari scenes—but you’ve barely scratched the surface of what lies in store on a Porini Camp safari.
A Porini safari is for the true wildlife enthusiast who wishes to get close to nature and enjoy an undisturbed personal adventure with knowledgeable and qualified safari guides.
Accommodation is in small, comfortable eco-friendly camps situated within exclusive wildlife conservancies in Amboseli, Laikipia and the Mara, and in the unique Nairobi National Park. The conservancies provide vital natural habitat and rangelands for many species, including Africa’s Big Five.
If you’re on the fence about where to holiday this year (or maybe you’ve already hit on safari), here are 15 reasons to move a Porini safari to the top of your list.
1. Experience a “bush breakfast”.
Quick croissant and a coffee or tea? Nope, not even close. The reality of a bush breakfast exceeds your expectations. One minute you’re out on the savannah plains watching elephants starting their day and the next, like magic, you’re eating a picnic breakfast in the wilds à la Denys Finch Hatton in “Out of Africa.”
As a Porini guest you awake at dawn to hot coffee or tea and biscuits served to your tent, then you are off on an action-packed morning of game-viewing while the wildlife is at its most active. Having made the most of the morning’s animal activities, you are treated to a full picnic breakfast out in the bush.
How better to enjoy your breakfast than being immersed in nature and with views of the African plains?
2. Walk with Maasai warriors.
Who better to guide you on African safari holiday than the Maasai, whose presence has helped shaped Kenya’s history for centuries? What better spotter of elusive game than a keen-eyed warrior?
Some of our safari guides and spotters descend from generations of Maasai warriors who have made their home on East Africa’s savannah plains near the most important game reserves in Africa.
Walk with them through the vast conservancies and learn the secrets of the savannah without crowds of visitors and noisy vehicles interrupting your journey.
A guided safari walk enables you to get closer to the flora and fauna often missed when in a vehicle. Search for “Africa’s Little 5”, discover how to track the footprints of big cats and their prey. You can even learn how to throw a spear!
3. Track lions with the Ewaso Lions researcher-scouts.
Want to do something more meaningful than just photograph animals?
Get involved with conservation research on a Lion Research safari. Partner with the Ewaso Lions scouts and assist with important work like patrolling the reserve to track radio-collared lions and record data about predators in the area.
4. Enjoy gin and tonic sundowners with a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The sundowner—a quintessential safari experience that traces its roots to a bygone era when intrepid travelers ended their day with a gin and tonic or a “Tusker” beer.
It wasn’t just to have a relaxing drink as the sun went down but the safari-goers in olden days believed the Quinine Tonic Water would prevent malaria and added gin to give it a kick. Sure, we know better today, but it’s a magical custom all the same!
As a guest of Porini Amboseli Camp not only will you experience fantastic wildlife-viewing in the exclusive Selenkay Conservancy, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the towering peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Late afternoon game drives pause for refreshments at sunset at one of the very best view-points.
5. Learn the mystical star names from the Maasai.
The night sky in Africa is truly magical. The Southern Cross and alpha and beta Centauri are bright and beautiful; in some African cultures, they are called “The Giraffes.”
The Maasai have their own brand of ethno-astronomy. Orion and its guardians, Sirius and Taurus, are called “Three Old Men Pursued by Lonesome Widows.”
When you stay in the Porini Camps you are in remote locations far from the light pollution of any city so the stars in the night sky are quite spectacular. Our guides will help you to name the main stars but the Milky Way is unmistakeable.
6. Take a night drive to see a leopard stalking its prey.
Leopards are one of the more fascinating cats you’ll ever see. They are surprisingly solitary, only spending time with others when it’s time to mate. They tend to live in forested areas or rocky hillsides where their distinctive pattern acts as camouflage.
As nocturnal hunters, they’re rarely seen during the day—which is why we take you on night drives to see these magnificent creatures in their hunting prime. Leopards are ambush predators, crouching and pouncing with a bite to the neck that utterly surprises their prey.
Night drives are not possible within many of Kenya’s parks and reserves, but you can experience them within our private conservancies.
Our customised 4×4 safari vehicles are equipped with special spotlights with red filters that avoid dazzling the animals and this opens up a whole different natural world. As well as leopard, you may see other animals that are hard to find by day – such as the bush baby, aardvark, zorilla, serval cat, caracal, bat-eared fox and African wild cat.
7. Visit the wildlife reserves with Africa’s highest density of lions.
The Olare Motorogi and Ol Kinyei conservancies have the highest density of free-roaming lions in all of Africa—and lucky for you, Porini has safari camps in prime locations there.
An Oxford researcher found that there are approximately 17 lions per 100 square kilometers in these two conservancies; you’ll be sure to get your fill of fabulous leonine photos.
The lions – like many other animals – are attracted to our conservancies as they offer a safe haven of natural habitat away from the throng of tourist vehicles in the National Parks / Reserves, and away from areas of human settlement (where they can come into conflict with local people such as livestock farmers).
With tourist numbers strictly controlled, the conservancies sustain good numbers of animals so you get the best game-viewing experience away from the crowds.
8. Get up close and personal with an elephant or two.
Why stop at two, actually? Why not 10 or 20 or even 100? Because that’s what you can expect near Porini camps.
Selenkay Conservancy and the nearby Amboseli National Park are renowned for their good population of elephants, and they are also found in increasing numbers in our Ol Kinyei and Olare Motorogi Conservancies. Research has proved that the herds feel particularly safe within this protected habitat. See this video of elephants in Ol Kinyei Conservancy.
It’s estimated that around 3,000 elephants live within the Mara ecosystem and the Ol Kinyei conservancy is in the middle of a main elephant route that follows the Ropili River. If you love elephants, this is the place for you.
9. Look up to the world’s tallest animal—the giraffe.
Is there any animal more iconic to Africa than the giraffe?
Kenya has 3 different species of Giraffe: the Maasai Giraffe, the Reticulated Giraffe and the Rothschild’s Giraffe, all to be seen in different parts of the country.
At the Porini Amboseli Camp, Nairobi Tented Camp, Porini Mara Camp and Porini Lion Camp you will see the Maasai Giraffe, while the Reticulated Giraffe is seen at Porini Rhino Camp. The rare Rothschild Giraffe can be seen if you take an excursion to the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi or visit Lake Nakuru.
Here’s a quick guide to giraffe subspecies:
– Reticulated giraffes are chestnut coloured with a white net-like border between their patches.
(Reticula is “net” in Latin…)
– Rothschild giraffes have cream-coloured “socks” on their legs.
– Maasai giraffes have more jagged and uneven patches and spots down the length of their legs.
10. Catch the world’s fastest animal—on camera, of course!
Cheetahs are built for speed and there’s nothing quite like seeing them in a full-out sprint after prey. With top speeds of 70 miles per hour, it’s hard to outrun a cheetah! Cheetahs are also solitary cats, although they will hunt together for larger prey such as wildebeests and zebras.
You’ll never hear a cheetah roar—but don’t be surprised to hear the bird-like chirping sound they use as a contact call. It’s quite distinctive and unexpected.
There are increasing numbers of cheetahs within our Conservancies where they are provided with all that they need to thrive: diverse habitat, good levels of prey and protection from humans. Research by the Mara Cheetah Project shows that – like other animals – cheetahs favor the seclusion of the Conservancies where they feel safe.
11. See rhinos from an open vehicle.
Would it surprise you to know that rhinos, in some form or another, have been wandering the earth for nearly 60 million years? They really are prehistoric survivors.
Now, sadly, rhinos are famously endangered, so getting up close to these majestic animals is a very special experience. Kenya’s 90000 acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest sanctuary in East Africa for the endangered Black Rhino and it also houses the World’s very last two Northern White Rhinos.
Porini Rhino Camp is set within Ol Pejeta, and from here you can take game drives to view the rhinos and the rest of the “Big Five”, meet “Baraka The Black Rhino” up close, learn about rhino conservation, join a lion-tracking excursion and visit the Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
12. Spend an afternoon visiting a Maasai village.
There is something otherworldly and powerful about visiting the Maasai boma, or village. Perhaps it’s the hearty, cheerful greeting of the children, youths and all the family members in their colorful garb. Perhaps it’s the high-pitched singing of the women or the energetic jumping dance of the lithe young men.
Whatever it is, the visit will be a memory that will stay with you and challenge your perceptions. It’s a definite must-see on your Kenya safari.
From Porini Amboseli Camp Maasai warriors will escort you on a guided walk to their village where you will be welcomed and invited to find out about the Maasai culture, traditions and way of life.
13. Catch the big cat action without crowds or other vehicles.
One of the reasons why Porini Camps have many repeat / regular guests is the unparalleled wildlife-viewing and photographic opportunities. Our Conservancies are only accessible to guests and vehicles from the small camps located within the Conservancy such as our Porini Camps, so there are no other tourist vehicles to spoil your view – or your photos – when you find that “big kill”.
This wonderful image of a leopard grabbing a gazelle was captured by Phil Edwards, an avid photographer who has visited the Porini Camps on a good number of occasions.
And this video of lions chasing off hyenas was filmed from Porini Lion Camp.
So there’s the Gamewatchers way: small groups on vast conservancy lands where there’s nothing between you and the big cats, no crowds or loud noises to interrupt your pleasure at seeing these animals in their natural habitat.
14. Your holiday investment supports wildlife conservation and local communities.
The income from tourism pays for our conservancies to continue, and these provide vital habitat and rangelands for wildlife and also earn an income for local communities since the conservancy land is leased from them.
So when you safari with us, a portion of your money directly benefits both animals and people.
And it doesn’t stop there. As well as providing a steady income from the land leases and from employment in the camps and conservancies, we also raise funds to improve the lives of local people with our Community Outreach Projects, supporting Conservation, Water & Education. You will be doing good for our community and wildlife even while you cross a travel adventure off your bucket-list. Beautiful, right?
15. Sleep under canvas in the African wilds.
The “Porini Experience” is to really immerse yourself in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist trail. Our small eco-camps have attractive settings deep within pristine wilderness.
Relax within your tented suite under the stars, the gentle sounds of the nightjars calling…the breeze whispering through the tall savannah grass…nothing between you and the wide-open world of the African wilds.
You may be out in the sticks, but no civilised comfort is lacking – spacious guest tents (en suite), attractive lounge, hammocks for reclining for an afternoon nap, hearty meals, your morning cuppa and evening drinks served icy cold. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a safari holiday.
Get a feel for camp life by viewing this great video showing wildlife and scenes in and around the Porini Camps.
If you are ready to find out more then contact us today and our Safari Advisers will help you plan your holiday of a lifetime in Africa this year. You’ll be living the dream on safari in Kenya sooner than you think.
Or, if you are still researching your options then sign up for our free 6-part How to Book A Safari email series and discover how to make the most out of your time and budget.