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TravelPod Member ReviewsGovernor's Camp Masai Mara National Reserve
Really neat tent accommodation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Governor's Camp Masai Mara National Reserve
Just a short one;
This place is fantastic. We spent 2 nights here and it was worth every penny.
We were sick of the sight of LIONS by the time we left.
JUST DO IT.
I spent three days / two nights at this camp which is plenty of time. The camp itself is lovely and absolutely every person who works there from the security guards to the waiters and drivers are so friendly and helpful.
And the wildlife - I was blown away with what I saw. Amazing
Ideas on what to bring :
1. If you have games / cards then bring those along as there is not so much to do at night other than listen to the sound of nature. You are up at 6am though for your first safari. There is no TV for guests but the staff seem to have one as our waiter was telling us about the great football game on TV the night before (Arsenal v Juve)!!
2. You will want to bring a jumper for the evening and leave your fancy shoes and clothes at home. This is a very relaxed location.
4. Boiled sweets / clothes for the children if you visit a Masai village - which it is well worth doing. It cost 800KES to go in the village per person (a LOT of money for Kenya).
An amazing experience
We booked our safari with DM Tours before leaving for Kenya as we didn't want to run the risk of not getting in at Governors. It's a dream I never want to forget. The tents are more luxourious than I could imagine, remember that your in the Masai Mara! We arrived after a 2 hour flight from Mombassa in a 19 seater plane to see zebra, antelope and wildebeast scattering as we touched down. After a short drive to the camp we were checked in while we had a very welcome drink at the bar watching the hippos sun themselves on the banks of the river Mara below. I was amazed at how green everything was. Whilst I was unpacking 14 elephants wandered about 150 metres away from the entrance of out tent which opened right out onto the plain. There are 3 game drives a day the first before dawn when you are woken by hot coffee and cookies by one of the boys. The noises at night are amazing, you have to be ecsorted by one of the guards during the dark hours, they have torch system which works very well. One morning they had to move hippo from right outside out tent! In one day we saw 17! differient lion including 6 one week old cubs. On arrival you are allocated a guide who will do everything he can to ensure you have the safari experiece you are looking for. The knowledge of these guys is incredible. The food was great, good wine list, once again remember your in the middle of the Masai! The staff put on a bit of a show and can't do enough for you. You have the same waiter and drinks waiter all the time. We tipped all the staff we came into contact with at the end of our stay. It's an experience I'll treasure always and if I ever have an opperunity to return I won't go unless I can go to Governers again, from speaking to others at our hotel (Serena Beach, also first class!) Governors is definatley the best!!!
Governors - Simply The Best
We have just returned from the Governors Camp.
It is the best camp to stay in the Masai Mara.
We have been to other camps, but the location of this camp is simply the best.
Tents wonderful and the food (homecooking) was out of this world. Our waiters Jackson and William looked after us very well.
We had unbelievable game drives with our driver
James. On our last morning we had breakfast opposite a waterhole with Hippos and saw hundreds of Zebras on the other side of the river they were contemplating crossing the river but saw the Crocs. and thought better of it. At 5.30 a.m. one morning there was lots of commotion outside and therd was an Elephant outside our tent. The tents are very well guarded by the Rangers - you are totally safe. When we arrived at the Governors as we were eating our lunch a Giraffe and an Elephant ambled past. Please say hello to James from Margaret and Ron. We can assure you he will look out for you on the gamedrives. We nicknamed him "Hawkeye". We will be most certainly be back next year. Could have stayed at the Governors for the two weeks instead of the beach holiday. By the way I got a very good deal with MICS Safaris Diani Beach.
On the 21st February, 2006, my lovely wife and I embarked upon a truly wonderful experience at the Little Governor's Camp in the Masai Mara.
After landing on a small strip in the Mara, we were taken by Landrover to the camp - all the while marvelling at the varied wildlife en route - where we disembarked and were ferried across a river to our destination.
First impressions count and our's were very good indeed; the tented camp of 17 tents is set in a crescent around a lush, animal-filled marsh and we were immediately drawn to two elephants grazing.
Staff were excellent and delivered a first class, friendly service.
We stayed in the 'honeymoon' tent, no. 17 which is the last in the line and benefits, in my opinion, from the best viewing position and most private location. We were instantly overjoyed with the neat furnishings inside that the spacious tent provided and the ensuite was very nice indeed. Gas and candlelight in the evenings added a welcome romantic touch.
We spent 4 nights at the camp and enjoyed 10 game drives. Our Guide added to our great experience in that he was courteous, friendly, good humoured and very knowledgeable, indeed, every animal we wished to see including lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, elephant, hippo, crocodile, buffalo, giraffe etc he found for us on several occassions.
Meals at the camp are of a high standard throughout and served with the good service we rapidly became used to and appreciated very much.
We definitely recommend this camp and wish to thank the Staff at Little Governor's who made our Honeymoon stay there so memorable and special.
Surpassed all expectations
I never imagined that the picture that existed in my mind's eye of Africa could be so true to the real thing. It seemed too much to hope for, but we knew from the moment we arrived to be greeted by a family of elephants just yards away from our tent that we were in for treat. I had asked in advance for a tent facing the river and what a great feature that was. Before we even went on our first game drive, we had seen elephant, hippo and huge crocs, basking in the early morning sun just yards from our verandah.
The tents are not luxurious, but have comfy beds and ensuite faciities. There is no electricity and lighting is by kerosene lamp. The slight roughness around the edges all adds to the authenticity of the experience and the camp's location is second to none.
The outstanding guides make sure you tick all the boxes on the 'want to see' list and it is quite fantastic to live at such close quarters with the wildlife. No wire enclosures or fencing mean that the animals are free to come and go as they please, and come and go they certainly do. We were unable to return to our tent one day as a herd of eight elephant had surrounded it. Hippos came up to graze on the lawns while we dined every night.
The food was reasonably good and lunches in particular were plentiful.
You are escorted around the camp after dark by the guards and I never felt threatened in any way.
Africa has stolen my heart. We will be back.
We spent two nights in Governor's camp and a further three nights in the nearby Governor's Il Moran camp.
We have been lucky enough to have had some wonderful Africa trips over the past 20 years , but our experience here was by far the best.
The location of the camps was excellent, especially Il Moran , where you have your "own" private stretch of the Mara river to enjoy. The wildlife was superb , saw leopards and cheetah ( the latter daily) . The wonderful lions of the Bila Shaka pride provided us with unforgetable memories. We were lucky enough to see them every day at least once...eating , sleeping ( alot), playing and hunting. The pride male in particular and the cubs are incredibly friendly and relaxed.
As always in Kenya , the staff in the camp were fantastic.The food was superb and the tents totally wonderful...go there.
Only downside...leaving !
Fantastic camp. Great game drives.
This was the highlight of our stay in Kenya.(OCT 2005) We stayed for 3 days, 2 nights and had 6 game drives. This is a tented camp, but the beds are very comfy and you have an en-suite bathroom. The food was fantastic, too much if I'm honest. You are woken up at 5am with Tea/coffee and biscuits. Then you set off on your first game drive. You come back to camp at 9.30 ish and are served a full English breakfast. You then have another drive until Lunch. Lunch is buffet style with a good selection. You have some time in camp until about 3pm when you set off for your last game drive of the day. Dinner is served set menu style with a couple of choices for each course.
You have the same food waiter and drinks waiter all stay. The driver for your game drives is the same for your stay as well. They are all very friendly. The camp is well run and clean. Not what I expected a tented camp to be it was more like a 4/5* hotel. I didn't want to go back to the beach I could have stayed here all trip.
We had zebras and hippos eating the grass outside the tent on a night. It was surreal. We watched the hippos grazing on a night whilst drinking at the bar. Literally a few metres for where we sat. And some elephants joined us at breakfast. Totally amazing.
Personal touches, superb service and unbeatable setting!
We flew to the Masai Mara from the local Ukunda airstrip (South Mombasa). This was about a 2 hour flight. We flew on the 31st July 2005.
We were booked into the main Governors camp and were delighted when we found out that we had been moved to Little Governors. You access little Governors by boat across the Mara River which is teaming with hippos and crocs.
Little Governors has just 17 tents set around a marsh area. This is an unfenced camp and you are escorted everywhere - day and night- by an armed guard. At night, you have to wave your torch outside your tent and wait for your guard to arrive. There is no power in the tents (although reception have sockets that can be used for things that need charging etc). The tents are real tents and are not set on wooden platforms and do not have thatched/wooden roofs etc. They do however have a permanent bathroom which is really large with shower, bidet etc and very hot running water! We also had a very large and extremely comfortable king size bed.
They do 3 game drives a day - 6.30-9.00am; 10am-11.30am and 3.30-6.00pm. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate is served in your tent at 6am when they also turn on your paraffin lamps in the tent and the bathroom. Breakfast is served through to 10am and lunch is served from 1pm with dinner at 8pm. If the weather is good, breakfast and lunch is served out doors next to the marsh area. At night, dinner is served in the tented main restaurant area. There is also a bar with seating area and adjacent to this, an area where the build a campfire every night.
The day we arrived was freezing - so cold that I had to buy a fleece to go on top of my fleece and they had to drop the flaps in the restaurant and bar tents to try and warm them up a little. The following two days were in the 80's!
When we arrived, within a few minutes we had a bottle of chilled Chardonnay delivered to our tent with the compliments of Little Governors and congratulations on our honey moon which I thought was a lovely gesture. When we returned from our evening game drive, there was a gift of 2 soapstone warthogs left on our bed. When we returned from dinner, the beds had been turned down and hot water bottles put inside. These little touches really made this place extra special.
The game was amazing here - you didn't need to go out on game drives - when we arrived there were 4 warthogs right outside our tent and they were running all over the camp at lunchtime. As we lay on our bed the first afternoon, gazing through the tent flap, we saw warthogs, gazelles, zebra, elephants, giraffes, water buffaloes, hippos, gnus..... after the morning game drive on the 2nd day we came back find a huge bull elephant about 3 meters from our tent. I would have kept my distance had I not been so busting for the loo!
It was the same at meals time - sat at the edge of the swamp watching all the animals as you ate was really amazing.
The meals were excellent - maybe not as fantastic as Finch Hatton's but they were really very good.
We managed to see plenty of cats but not the elusive leopard - next time! We saw lions and cubs, a pride with a zebra kill, lots of cheetahs and best of all, we saw hundreds of zebra migrating across the Mara River with crocs snapping at their heels. I didn't manage to see this last time I was in the Masai so this was the real highlight of the game viewing for me!
The Best in the Mara
The highlight of our safari was staying here. The Mara is THE place to go on safari, as you can drive off-road and so get really close. The driver we had was excellent (really knew his stuff) and we shared a large 4x4 with just one other couple. The camp has just 17 tents - well spaced and well equipped (ensuite). Hippos got so close at night you could hear them chewing, baboons played around the camp and at one point a small herd of elephants walked between our tent and the next one. But the guards were everywhere and you always felt safe. The staff were very friendly, the food was surprisingly good and the service was excellent throughout. We wouldn't even consider staying anywhere else in the Mara.
TripAdvisor Reviews Governor's Camp Masai Mara National Reserve
Travel Blogs from Masai Mara National Reserve
Well, I really did have quite the night & my morning didn't start any better. I felt SO tired & just couldn't get vertical so Chris & Noel went off at 6:30 am for a morning game drive with Duncan. I actually had the best morning on the trip so far as I just kept sleeping & laying in bed and it was so cool with a nice breeze, so I …
... for it's mother, who was hovering nearby, trying to get near her baby. The lioness never interfered, and it was a slow death for the gazelle.
The Mara is again a totally different geography than what we have experienced. It is miles and miles of savannah, with yellow grass and sparse vegetation. Exactly the way I pictured Africa. You can see all the way to Tanzania.
We came across a big male lion with 3 ...
... the same amount of viewing time as lions and leopards over the 5 days. They did break up the monotony of the drive every 5 minutes! Spectacular afternoon storms and torrential rains made the evening drives back tricky but expertly managed by our driver towet (excuse the pun)! Together with our Maasai guide Sam (aka Kasane) they spotted rocks that miraculously turned into animals, a lion under that bush, a leopard in the rocks, hippo in the water, crocodile on the ...
We left the village today with our final farewell to the local children who came and hung out in our back yard and all the locals who helped us cook and cleaned the house for us. It was a really lovely send off but very sad. I have threatened to steal some of the kids they are just so gorgeous but i don't think i would be able to fit them into my suitcase for the trip home. We then drove the two and a bit hours to Kisumu where a few of us ...
... the workers made the kids spears out of the wood from the olive tree. Now we are fully protected for our short walk from the tents to the gate of our camp. Tyler didn't want to go on the afternoon ride, but we kind of made him. He hasn't eaten but hasn't been sick either. He was worried about an accident one way or the other. He started talking about what food he wanted when we got home. China Inn was his first. Evan's is frozen pizza. Mine is chips and salsa ...