After our travel experience in Nairobi, we continued our journey onwards to the Maasai Mara – one of the most famous places in the world for safari, set in an exclusive 18,700 acre wilderness with a wide variety of animals. We arrived at our destination in a small plane operated by Safari Link, which was organised by the Porini Mara Camp. We flew from the local Nairobi Wilson Airport which was almost an adventure itself. Flying over the Nairobi National Park with views of giraffes and into the wilderness of the Maasai Mara was something I will never forget. We landed 40 minutes later at the sandy airport strip Naboisho Ol Seki.
We were picked up by our Maasai guides Edward and Wilson, who would accompany us on our adventures for the next few days. I also got my Maasai nickname Nashi, which means “the happy one.” Upon arrival, we had a 30-minute introductory safari where we saw a ton of animals including giraffes, wildebeests and elephants.
After this awe-inspiring introduction, we were dropped off at the camp and could check in. The landscape is next to none, you can see for miles and miles and miles.
The Porini Mara Camp is one of the most prestigious eco-camps in Kenya set in its own Ol Kinyei conservancy. With just six tents, the camp feels private and offers a unique backdrop located in the heart of the wild without the presence of other tourist vehicles. We occasionally spotted warthogs, wildebeests and even elephants outside of our tent and apparently close-by there is a resident leopard too.
Our tent was marvellous and felt a lot like a glamping experience (hot showers could be requested at any time!). We started our experience with a hearty lunch prepared by the talented camp chef who uses fresh ingredients to create a diverse set of meals and desserts. Meals are fully included in the price at the Porini Mara Camp as well as drinks (gin & tonics, wine, beer, sodas and mineral water) and all activities (including day and night game drives, sundowners and escorted walks).
In the late afternoon, we headed on to our first game drive accompanied with drinks for our sundowners. To say we saw a lot of animals is an understatement – giraffes, zebras, warthogs, elephants and my personal highlight, a lioness with a two-week old cub hidden in the bushes.
After our three-hours game drive, we chose a spot in the heart of the Ol Kinyei conservancy where we parked to see one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen. The next day we woke up very early to visit the adjacent Naboisho conservancy. We spotted a group of lionesses with a kill.
We had our fresh breakfast packed and picked a spot where we saw a lot of hippos nearby. Continuing our journey we observed a large herd of 1,000+ wildebeests mixed with a few zebras in an open space. The backdrop is nothing short of stunning and just nearby, we found a relaxing lion hiding from the midday sun.
We came back from lunch and headed to have our bush dinner with sundowners. We spotted a group of cheetahs (one mother with five cubs) who were attempting to hunt. We had our dinner again in the wild once sunset hit and continued off with the sundowners. There is no other sky than one in the middle of the African savannah. Thousands of stars bedazzle the sky each night and it is easy to actually spot the Milky Way and planets.
The next morning we had an early start at 4:30 a.m. to visit the Maasai Mara National Park. Again, we saw an abundance of animals including hyenas and some wildebeests crossing over from Tanzania back to Kenya (due to fresh grass still available). This is the border where the great migration typically happens with millions of wildebeests and it was amazing witnessing such a large amount of wildebeests still on the Kenyan side. Amazingly, some wildebeests tried to cross over the more dangerous paths of the river and one was caught by a group of crocodiles. To see nature in action is nothing short of an experience of a lifetime.
We also had the chance to visit one of the local Maasai villages which was an amazing insight to the daily life of a Maasai family. We got to go inside the huts and I was amazed at the architecture and functionality of them and really recommend visiting should the opportunity arise. The Maasai ladies were kind enough to sing a song for us.
Our last adventure was a nature walk. It was amazing to see the safari experience from the ground and take a look at skulls, burrows and other details one does not see on the 4×4.
It was a sad day when we headed off to the airport strip and we will be back, possibly even next year. The four-night stay was the best package for us to see an abundance of animals and get a close-up safari experience.
The Porini Mara camp is run on the principal of sustainability and environmentally sound principles, specially designed to have minimum impact, for example, using solar power for electricity and heating water with special eco-friendly sustainable charcoal briquettes. They also work with the local Maasai communities who are employed within the camp.
Our drivers, Edward and Wilson, were extremely knowledgeable and shared more than basic information on each animal we saw; they gave us incredibly wonderful insight into the life and behaviour of the wildlife in this conservancy. We got the most amazing pictures as the drivers knew how to position our safari 4×4 vehicle. Find more information on the Porini Camp here.
- Yellow Fever shots are not mandatory however I do recommend getting one if you go for safari
- It is great to pack summer clothes however do not forget to pack a few sweaters and long trousers. It can be quite chilly in the morning and sometimes in the evenings too
- Pack mosquito repellent
- November was amazing for us to travel, especially as it was calm and we had more of a private experience
- If you would like to see the spectacular wildebeest migration, the best time to travel is July-September
Check out Viva South by Taona Carissa here…