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cheetah80 last won the day on August 16 2013

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About cheetah80

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  1. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Porini Mara Camp, Kenya 2) Website address if known: 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). November 2017, Shoulder Season 4) Length of stay: 4 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I have visited another of Porini's camps, Porini Lion, and wanted to try out another of their camps. I liked the fact that Porini Mara is situated in a conservancy, Ol Kinyei - and only Porini vehicles have traversing rights to that conservancy 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Though Gamewatchers - enquiries were dealt with quickly and efficiently, and special requests catered for. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 14 times 8) To which countries? Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Other Porini camp (Porini Lion) + various other properties in East Africa: Entim Camp, Serian Nkorombo, Encounter Mara, and Asilia's Dunia and Sayari Camps to name a few. 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 6 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Tent 3 I believe ... It had a nice view of some trees, a little stream/river, and an open grassland. It was quite private. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Simple but very comfortable - ample space and 1 double + 1 single bed. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes, food was great! I loved the soups as a starter for dinner. Lunch was nice and varied with various vegetarian and meat options. Great desserts - sometimes fresh fruits, sometimes decadent baked sweet desserts. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) For lunch a few dishes are offered to choose from - both vegetarian and meat based. They had no problems catering for vegetarian options or in my case exclusion of some meats. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Communal dining around one table. No hosting and no guides, but the manager dropped in at the end of meals to converse with the guests. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? We took packed breakfasts every day and they were very nice! Sausages, bacon, toast, pancakes, fresh fruit, yoghurt, eggs, juice etc. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. We had an open Land Cruiser with 7 passenger seats. Modified to be large, so quite spacious. Vehicle was very reliable and never had an issue. 19) How many guests per row? 2 rows of 2 and back row of 3. 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? We had a private vehicle so the game drives were per our request - usually morning drive till lunch, and then resume afternoon drive at 3:30pm and returning back just before dinner. Perhaps 7-7:45pm or so. Routes were chosen depending on the animals we wanted to see - in our case we were keen to see cheetahs. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? At Porini they are very flexible and try to accommodate all requests as long as the guests sharing the vehicle agree. We had a private vehicle and they accommodated all of our requests. We often stayed out well after dark if we were enjoying a sighting a bit further away from camp. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Yes Porini Mara is situated in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy. In the conservancy there are very few vehicles because only Porini vehicles have traversing rights. That is a huge bonus for those preferring a more exclusive experience. Another big bonus is that guests at Porini Mara also have traversing rights into the Naboisho conservancy - so if there are interesting sightings there the guests can enjoy them too, and they can also experience more variety of habitats. Both conservancies have quite a pretty and varied landscape. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? N/A 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. In Ol Kinyei this is not an issue as there are so few vehicles. But if I am not mistaken the max is 5 vehicles. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Ol Kinyei is very good for cheetah and lion sightings. We also saw many elephants - the elephants were very calm and mothers had no issues with their calves approaching the vehicles closely. We saw many wildebeests, which was a surprise to me as I was not visiting in the migration season - but these were part of the Loita wildebeests. We saw many other interesting birds, animals and reptiles. 27) How was the standard of guiding? The guiding was excellent as I am always used to with Porini. Our guide and spotter did their very best to find what was most important to us - namely cheetahs. They were very enthusiastic, and fun to spend time with, and they seem genuinely happy to share their wealth of information with us and proud to show us the beauty of the area. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? No issues whatsoever - we were very happy guests. 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: I love it when the guides seem to genuinely love their job and love the animals and the beautiful wilderness where they live - all Porini guides I have had the pleasure to spend time with fit this description to the dot. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes, very much so. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, Porini are very well known for this, and it is a reason why I choose them - it is important for me to choose ethical companies that value conservation and communities. Porini support many initiatives spanning both conservation and communities, with their main pillars being conservation, education and water. There is plenty of information about their initiatives here: 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: We had a great time, and we really enjoyed our stay in Porini Mara and Ol Kinyei - the conservancy is beautiful and rich in wildlife and the experience is quite exclusive with so little vehicles around. The small size of the camp promotes a more friendly and intimate dynamic. I don't know why it took me so long to visit this little gem! 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.
  2. Fantastic trip and trip report! If having a delayed flight would mean I would see a pangolin, serval, caracal, honey badger, wild dogs and cheetah poofs I think I might give it a go I am glad it turned out so great for you after your initial ordeal. Absolutely top-notch sightings! Thank you for sharing such wonderful experiences!
  3. Oh yes full days out in the plains are definitely a must! And unlimited mileage will also be a must I will probably stay at Nasikia in Ndutu. I want to travel there in low season too someday - but self-driving Was supposed to happen this year (and every year before that for 3 years) but somehow something always happens that derails my plans. But I guess first I need to get this itch to see Ndutu in the calving season - but there's no way I will do that on a self-drive!
  4. Thanknyou all for the helpful advice! @ice oh these pictures are really making me get impatient ... with almost a year and a half to go! So it would seem end of Feb beginning of March are a good bet! Since hunts are the most important to me, along with cheetah sightings I want to make sure to maximize my chances that some calving has already occurred and they are still very young. A birth would be awesome but a bit impossible to aim for so far ahead - but it is enough for me to see all the little frolicking calves 😀
  5. I never heard that tip about the full moon! Makes sense actually 😊 thanks @janzin 👍 great photo, love the cute bloodied muzzle 😀
  6. Hello! i am planning a calving season safari to Ndutu. I have never been there before! I am really confused which dates to pick. I know the weather is variable, but what would you recommend to maximize the chances that I am there during or right after the births? I am mostly interested in seeing some hunting action. So I guess preferably I err on the side of being there after the births. I see beginning of Feb - March all being mentioned ... I plan to spend 10 days or so, all in Ndutu. Thanks in advance!
  7. Between October and November we spent 10 days in the Serengeti. 5 days at Dunia Camp and another 5 at Sayari. We had a really wonderful time and had some great sightings. I was a bit worried about visiting in "shoulder season" but in the end it was a very good time to visit. We had quite a bit of rain in the Northern Serengeti but we enjoyed it a lot - quite something to see the clouds rolling in, and wet cats But most of the time it was beautiful and sunny. Here is a short video trip report by Mr Cheetah80.
  8. Was a pleasure to meet you too @@Tdgraves !! I hope to find some time during this weekend to have a look at your trip report!
  9. Thanks @@Africalover - will try my best to keep motivated to finish the trip report Thanks @@Tdgraves, yes our continuation in Mabua was quite exciting! Was so great meeting you guys, and what are the odds of being "neighbours" AND meeting at the airport? Send my regards as well, Mr Cheetah80 also says hi
  10. Hello everyone - we recently returned from an epic trip in the Kgalagadi and Mabuasehube. I am planning to write a trip report on my website, but it's still a long way off. So meanwhile I thought I would share Mr Cheetah80's video of our trip For those who are interested we stayed at Rooiputs, Urikaruus, Kalahari Tented Camp, Polentswa, Grotkoolk, Gharaghab, Nossob, Matopi and Mpaya 2.
  11. Yep, a guide was a requirement from my experience as well - inside the parks. You can walk by yourself outside of the parks and around lodge grounds. So you can still get some "alone time". A guide is really invaluable in Madagascar to find interesting things.
  12. @@soleson - I saw plenty of excellent reports coming out of Savuti this year, seems the gameviewing has been phenomenal so I wouldn't discount it.
  13. Don't know how I missed this. Thanks so much @@lioneldauchez for this info - not often you come across such maps for self-drivers. I will bookmark for future reference, might come in handy someday Did you ever self-drive in the Masai Mara and Mara Triangle? It would be interesting to hear how they compare with the Serengeti for self-driving and wildlife viewing on a self-drive.
  14. @@ice - yes you were it seems ... Just goes to show to take the opportunity as quickly as you can as regards seeing wildlife, as there are absolutely no guarantees for the future. How sad is that? Such a waste - so beautiful and so hardy to be living in those conditions. They have overcome so many obstacles and then humans go and just end them. It breaks my heart
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