Gretchen’s Kenya Trip Report: Part 9

March 12, 2012  By: Gretchen

We had an early start to our day at Porini Lion Camp.  Aptly named, we stumbled upon lions just a few minutes into our game drive.  First, we saw three adolescents catching the sun’s first rays.  We spent a few minutes admiring them then headed off to see what else was in store.

One tiny dik-dik and one big rainbow later, we ran into some mothers and a gaggle of cubs.  The cubs were very frisky and playful, and we spent the better part of an hour watching them carouse near the vehicle.  They tumbled over one another and provided us with a very entertaining show!

Our next sighting was quite unusual; we were privileged to watch a tawny eagle trying to hunt guinea fowl.  The guinea fowl were running around nervously and squawking endlessly (much to our amusement), and while the tawny had lots of birds to choose from, he didn’t manage to get a meal while we were there despite his efforts.

On the way back to camp, we saw Cape buffalo, jackal and gazelles.  Not bad for a quick morning game drive!  Upon arrival, we breakfasted then headed out for the day’s site inspections.

Our first stop was Mara Plains Camp, which is located within the Olare Orok Conservancy not too far from Porini Lion Camp.  The camp is small with only seven rooms under canvas on raised decks with sweeping views across the savannah.  Floor to ceiling net walls and the marquis ceiling make the tents feel very open.  The decor is rich and borders on luxurious.  Rooms have a dressing area, as well as a private verandah with seating and stunning views.  The en-suite facilities consist of a double basin vanity, flush toilet and shower.  The Olare Orok Conservancy boasts one of the region’s lowest vehicle densities with no mini-buses, and only one guest room per 700 acres; so this is a great option for being close to the Masai Mara but also having a great deal of wilderness to yourself.

En route to the next camp, we managed a few fun sightings.  Some giraffe, banded
mongoose and hippos were a good start, but the highlight was probably seeing ‘Olive’, a resident leopard, up in a tree with a kill.  We spent a good few minutes watching her but had to press on to visit Little Governor’s Camp.

Next report:  Little Governor’s, Saruni Mara and an evening at Naibor.