1) Name of property and country: Govenror’s Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
2) Website address if known: http://www.governorscamp.com
3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Green season, May, 2014 and April, 2015
4) Length of stay: 4 and 3 nights
5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I wanted to see the Marsh Pride from Big Cat Diary and the location is excellent inside the park.
6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? I booked directly with Leah Peter from Governor’s Camp Collection
7) How many times have you been on Safari? This was my third/fourth safari
8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None
10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No
11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 37 tents
12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Tent 37, last tent with a direct view over the plains.
13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Large, comfortable tent, large bathroom with running hot water, flush toilets, private decks
14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Food was fine, buffet for breakfast and lunch, sit down for dinners.
15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Different offerings and choices for all meals.
16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables, no hosting
17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Packed meals were adequate, fresh and tasty.
18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Custom built 4WDs, mainly open vehicles and short/long wheel bases.
19) How many guests per row? 3 I think
20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Game drives were between 3-8 hours long depending on the weather/roads and what we wanted to see.
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? 6am and 4pm. The guide was flexible and we did leave super one day to enter the Mara Triangle to find rhinos which was a very long day. The guide was happy to stay with sightings to observe animal behavior and to move for the best light possible.
22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like?
23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Both visits there were not many cars around due to the green season, which was fantastic.
24) Are you able to off-road? Yes we did go off road depending on the sighting.
25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting.
26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Excellent Marsh Pride (lion) sightings, leopard, cheetah, plains game and elephants.
27) How was the standard of guiding? It was good but not the best I have had.
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?
29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why:
30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Staff were attentive to needs.
31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Not sure
32) Safaritalk trip report link:
33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add:
I had a specific goal of visiting Governor's to spend time with The Marsh Pride, which I had followed during various seasons of Big Cat Diary and other online opportunities. Having done a number of safaris in East/Southern Africa I have a good idea of what to expect when staying in a camp. Governor's Camp offers the traveller the amazing opportunity of being inside the park. The lack of fences means that animals roam freely and the views from your tent is literally a live version of Nat Geo Wild.
All of the staff are very accommodating and remember you by name. The tents offer comfortable beds and great hot showers. The food was plentiful and never did I feel hungry.
I was lucky to spend my days with Jacob who updates the Governor's FB website about The Marsh Pride. His wonderful help in placing the car in the right place for videos/photos of the pride meant I left with some awesome memories. Jacob was also happy to spend hours with the lions to observe their behavior and to see what would happen.
Low season in The Mara means that the animals can be a hit/miss affair. The upside is that there is generally, no other cars at a sighting. This is an experience that money can't buy. The magnitude of the area is only enhanced with the chance to not see any other cars around you and the silence is only interrupted by the presence of the animals. Saying that I did concentrate my time with the lions but had a great mornings drive seeing lion, cheetah and leopard which was a real treat.
Governor's is a camp that caters well to all types of traveller. As a solo traveller I do prefer a little bit more quiet which can be a problem when families where children are present. The staff were very understanding and moved me to a tent that was away from a number of loud family groups. This was really appreciated.
I would definitely recommend Governor's. It was a great experience and the icing on the cake is the amazing Marsh Pride.
34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.