African Safari Diaries: Carole’s Tailor Made Kenyan Safari Itinerary
In this edition of “African Safari Diaries” we speak to Carole Downes, who visited Kenya for the first time and experienced three Porini Camps on a tailor-made itinerary. She chose to stay at Porini Rhino Camp, Porini Lion Camp and Porini Amboseli Camp.
1. Was this your first time visiting Kenya? What made you choose to visit?
This was our first time visiting Kenya. We had always wanted to go on a wildlife safari and decided that we would do it this year. We did a lot of research to find the safari that would be right for us and discovered Gamewatchers Porini Camps. We were delighted when we found that Somak could organise our international flights, our stays at three camps and internal flights as well.
2. What was your itinerary?
We flew to Nairobi from London Heathrow overnight and, after a brief stop at the Somak Lounge, we were taken to Wilson Airport to catch our flight to Amboseli. We spent 2 nights at Porini Amboseli Camp. From Amboseli, we flew to Nanyuki and spent 2 nights at Porini Rhino Camp. Finally, we flew to the Masai Mara where we spent 3 nights at Porini Lion Camp. On returning to Nairobi, we spent a number of hours at the Somak Lounge before our flight home and were very happy with our care there.
3. Where did you stay whilst on your Safaris and what was your favourite property?
We stayed at three Gamewatchers Porini Camps; Amboseli, Rhino and Lion Camp. All three camps were excellent. We wanted to stay in the conservancies because we liked the thought of staying in unfenced, tented camps and the freedom to go on game drives, both in the conservancies and national reserves and also, the opportunity to experience night game drives as well. We were able to go on game drives lasting up to 12 hours, having breakfasts in the bush, picnic lunches and finally, sundowners, before returning for wonderful 3 course evening meals.
The staff at all three camps were fantastic and the drivers and spotters were extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife. They understand the animals so well and were able to position the open 4×4 vehicle in the perfect place for excellent viewing and photo opportunities. In the conservancies, there is also the advantage of fewer vehicles than in the national parks. The tents in the camps were great. The beds were so comfortable and the bucket showers were a great experience. Porini Rhino Camp has a waterhole/ salt lick very close to the mess tent which offered amazing wildlife viewing. We visited Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary and also met and fed Baraka the blind black rhino at the Morani Information Center. We loved all the camps and across the three, we saw all the Big 5 and so many more animals and birds, but our favourite was Porini Lion Camp for the sheer variety of wildlife.
4. What were your highlights from your trip?
We saw wildebeest crossing the Mara River, a cheetah kill, with her cubs in tow, and male lions roaring as the sun rose. We saw leopards at very close quarters, lionesses eating as the cubs played and hyenas stealing a kill. So many elephants with babies, zebras, gazelles, giraffes and many beautiful, colourful birds. We went on a bush walk and tried our hand at spear throwing. We visited a traditional Masai village and watched as they sang, jumped and showed their skills. We even went inside a traditional home. It was a wonderful experience. The sunsets were out of this world and the night sky was amazing, totally black with millions of twinkling stars. These were just a few of the many ‘magical’ moments we experienced there. It really was a dream come true!
5. Do you have any advice or tips for anyone thinking of going on a Safari?
I would thoroughly recommend booking a safari through Somak as they were happy to ‘create’ the itinerary that we asked for and everything was arranged perfectly. I would also definitely recommend visiting the Gamewatchers Porini Camps. They were perfect, in every way and we would love to go back again!
We would love to work with you to plan the safari holiday of a lifetime. For more information on how our safari experts can help you, call Somak Holidays today on 020 8423 3000.
Please note all photos featured are credited to Carole Downes.