Sleepover: Porini Camp

A bed for the night in Kenya


The location

The location

A safari camp in the Selenkay conservation area, on the northern edge of Amboseli National Park, a bumpy three-hour, 100-mile drive from Nairobi. Surrounded by lush green foliage, the only sign of modern life is your Jeep.

The USP

Only 12 guests at a time are invited to explore this little-visited area to minimise the impact on the environment. The camp is run in cooperation with the indigenous Masai community, so guests embark on a variety of day and night game walks with local guides, observing the traditional "jumping" rituals of tribesmen.

The camp is unfenced and although its perimeter is supervised by experienced tribesmen day and night, wandering hyenas and the occasional lioness have been known to amble past the kitchen quarters, so this is not an experience for the faint-hearted.

Highlights include "sundowners" on Olosinkiran Hill, where you can sip wine while watching the sun set.

The comfort factor

The quality of the tents falls somewhere between the ludicrous five-star accommodation offered in some camps and a primitive bivouac experience with al fresco lavatory.

The six tents each have a single and double bed, solar-powered electric lighting, hot running water, and en-suite bathrooms. Living quarters are large, spacious and, most important of all, insect-proof.

The interior décor has a certain romance, with plenty of atmospheric lamplight and billowing white linen.

The bathroom

Separated from the sleeping area by a curtain, the bathroom has a large wooden shower cubicle with dribbling showerhead (you are limited to one bucket's worth of water, so each drop is precious), a washbasin and a surprisingly strong flushing lavatory on a raised dais, giving it a throne-like appearance.

The food and drink

Meals are homemade and intimate, eaten as a group under the shade of an acacia tree by day and by ambient lamplight at night. The dishes are simple and wholesome: meats, salads and pastas, with vegetarian options if you inform the camp organisers beforehand. However, the packed lunches can be quite basic.

After dinner, enjoy a drink by the campfire, listening to the sounds of the African jungle.

The people

The camp is run by a middle-aged British couple, friendly hosts who grew up in Kenya and are experts in living in the wild. The Masai employees are welcoming and those who can speak English are interested in comparing cultures and customs, which can make for interesting conversations.

The guests range from single people to honeymooning couples and families.

The area

The camp sits in a spot once favoured by big-game hunters. Situated in the heart of Masailand, the conservation grounds comprise a 15,000-acre private game reserve within a vast tract of land owned by the Kisonko clan of the Masai people.

Visitors are taken to the swamps of Amboseli a little further away from camp, as well as going on shorter safaris in Porini and night trips using a spotlight on the Jeep, which can make for exhilarating viewing of startled jungle cats and scuttling porcupines.

By the end of a typical two-day stay, you can expect to have seen an array of tropical birds, giraffes, zebras, lions, elephants, hippos and maybe even cheetahs and leopard if you're lucky.

The damage

Tropical Places (0870-160 5022; www.tropicalplaces.co.uk) offers a seven-night safari and beach holiday from £1,099 per person, based on two sharing, for November departures. The price includes return flights with Kenya Airways, two nights at Porini Camp on a full board basis, with all game drives, five nights at Pinewood Village, on an all-inclusive basis, all internal flights and transfers.

The access

Not ideal for wheelchair-users, although with prior notice the camp can accommodate visitors with disabilities. Children must be at least six years old.

The address

Porini Camp, Selenkay Conservation Area, Kenya (0800-316 5125; www.tropicalplaces.co.uk).

Arifa Akbar travelled with Tropical Places and Kenya Airways (01784 888222; www.kenya-airways.com)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?