“Flying to Kenya for a Long Weekend on Safari” by Robyn Beattie:
When I suggested to my best friend of the past 30 years, that we go on safari in East Africa for just a few nights to celebrate our joint birthdays, I knew she would be excited…the only question we both had was, “Isn’t it a long way to go for just a few days? We mulled over this and decided to go for it – from the UK we could have flown to New York or to Las Vegas for the same duration – so why not Kenya? The time zone also suits as it is only 2 hours difference in the summer time so there is no jet lag and fitting into the time zone is not an issue.
We arrived into Nairobi on a Wednesday evening and were met by our Gamewatchers Safaris Rep Dennis, who welcomed us and escorted us to the nearby Eka Hotel.
The Eka Hotel is comfortable and a convenient overnight spot for a late arrival and next day on Thursday morning we were excited to be getting on our way to Wilson Airport for the flight to the Mara.
Flying into the Mara, the first thing I noticed was how green it was after the recent rains. We arrived and were met at the airstrip by our Guide Little John and Driver Lenny, who transferred us to Porini Lion Camp in the heart of Olare Motorogi wildlife conservancy and by the time we reached camp we had already seen a large variety of the wild animals for which the Mara is so famous.
We were given Tent No 10, with a lovely view over the river.
We settled into our tent and then went for lunch, which was a delicious 3 course meal.
We then headed out on an afternoon game drive where we saw so much wildlife, including the Oldidiki pride of lions and two cheetahs, as well as a large family of elephants with babies.
Following our evening drive we had dinner under the stars and it was then time to head back to camp for a night’s rest after our first day of safari.
We were woken at dawn with hot chocolate and set out on early morning drive. The Conservancy is teeming with wildlife and we again saw so much in the early morning light.
We stopped en route to the camp and were escorted back on foot by Little John (with Lenny following close behind in the vehicle) who educated us on Maasai traditions and the tracks and signs of wildlife as well as the plants/flowers that are found in the Mara Ecosystem. It was lovely to walk back into camp as being on foot gives another perspective that is different from the vehicle.
Then it was lunch and a bit of down time to sit and enjoy the plains and view, before the afternoon game drive.
Sundowners of gin & tonic at ‘Charlie’s Tree’ before a night drive back to camp and dinner. This evening we were surprised with a birthday cake from the camp staff and Maasai singing & dancing which was fantastic.
Early morning wake up and heading out to find what has unfolded during the night. We watched a large family of elephants and the Enkoiyanai pride of lions, as well as a leopard & cubs, followed by bush breakfast.
We returned to camp for a very tasty lunch and chatted with our fellow safari companions, Father & Daughter Gene and Taylor Holmquist who by now have become firm friends and with whom we have shared wildlife viewing experiences and got to know, all in the space of 24 hours!
We say a fond farewell to all of the team at Porini Lion Camp and head to the airstrip, breathing in the Maasai air & landscape.
On return into Nairobi, Dennis is there to meet us and takes us to The Crowne Plaza to relax before we go to check in for our flight. This is a great location as it is situated right within the Airport. Dennis assists us with our check-in to a room at the hotel and arranges to collect us later. We have some dinner and then it’s time to head to the airport and say a fond Kwaheri to Kenya….but I know it won’t be long before we are back!!
4 DAY LONG WEEKEND / MID WEEK SAFARI BREAK
Travel between 22nd April – 30th June 2018
Prices USD $ 1595 / £ 1130 / € 1290
Per Person, based on 2 adults sharing 1 Tent.
Arrive into Nairobi Airport pm and transfer to The Eka Hotel for 1 night on Bed & Breakfast Basis.
Breakfast and depart from The Eka Hotel at 08:30 to Wilson Airport. Depart at 10.00 from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport on the 50 min flight to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Mara. Your Porini Lion Camp safari guide will collect you from the airstrip and transfer you to camp, arriving for lunch. Take an afternoon game drive in Olare Motorogi Conservancy, stopping at a scenic point for a sundowner. Continue on a night game drive in search of nocturnal animals. Dinner and overnight at camp.
After early morning tea in your tent take a dawn game drive in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy . Return to camp for breakfast then enjoy a morning nature walk escorted by Maasai warriors. Return to camp for lunch. Depart on an afternoon game drive in the Conservancy – stopping at a viewpoint for a sundowner – then a night game drive as you head back to camp for dinner and overnight.
Awake to the sounds of the African bush with tea/coffee in your tent, before you depart on your early morning game drive with a bush breakfast. Return to camp mid morning and freshen up before lunch. After lunch, depart with a game drive enroute to the airstrip. Depart on the 4pm flight back to Nairobi Wilson Airport, arriving at around 5 pm. Met on arrival and transfer to The Lazizi Hotel where you will have a room available to freshen up. Have some dinner in the restaurant (own cost) before you transfer the short distance to the airport terminal for your flight check-in.
- Flights: from Nairobi to the Mara for Porini Lion Camp.
- Accommodation and all meals
- Free drinks (wine, beer, gin & tonics, soft drinks, mineral water)
- All game drives in shared open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles with qualified guides, in the conservancy or a full day in the Mara Reserve (if you wish)
- Park fees and conservancy fees.
- Sundowners at a scenic spot after game drives.
- Night game drives.
- All taxes, no hidden extras after arrival!
- International flights to Kenya, Visas, Travel Insurance, Vaccinations, Gratuities.
An authentic safari experience staying in small exclusive camps with spacious guest tents, comfortably furnished with private bathrooms, solar lights and located in attractive unspoilt natural settings.
The Porini Safari Camps are small and exclusive and run on the same environmentally sound principles – working closely with the local communities. All camps are specially designed to have minimum impact with no permanent structures.
Tips for long weekend travel:
Travel light – the allowance is 15kg on the safari flight and by taking hand luggage on your international flight you can clear immigration quickly and head off without being held up waiting for bags to be unloaded off the plane.
Evisa – get your Evisa before you travel, allowing for quicker transfer through immigration.
Kenya Shillings – You can get Kenya Shillings from the ATM at the airport, please ask our Representative and he can take you to the cash point.
Malaria Tablets – make sure you take your malaria tablets as even for a short stay you will need to be covered.
Charging – you can charge your cameras / phones / ipads in camp and there is also wifi available in the Managers tent for guests to use.
Clothing – bring a windcheater or warm lightweight coat as driving in the open vehicles is chilly in the early morning/evening. They do provide ponchos to wear, which were very welcome.
Game drives – spend you game drives in the Conservancy, rather than going into the Mara Reserve. You will enjoy a limited number of vehicles, whereas the reserve can be very busy. The wildlife is fantastic and you will be able to enjoy & watch it without large numbers of vehicles.
How to Book: Contact us for more details