Porini Rhino Camp
Porini Rhino Camp: Our View
Porini Rhino Camp is a simple mobile safari style camp located in a remote section of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. With just 8 tented rooms it is small and intimate and a wonderful option for clients wanting an authentic safari camp where you are right in the bush and surrounded by wildlife. Like all the other Porini camps there is a strong focus on conservation here, as well as ensuring that the camp’s impact on the environment is as low as possible.
Ol Pejeta is one of the biggest conservancies in Laikipia and the largest Black Rhino sanctuary in East Africa. It is also the busiest of all the Laikipia reserves. This is partly due to the number of camps in the Ol Pejeta conservancy but also due to the fact that access is not limited to guests staying at these camps. Unlike other Laikipia reserves, people are allowed to visit Ol Pejeta on daytrips and it is very accessible as it is located close to Nanyuki, the main town and airport in the region. Of course, it should be remembered that the other reserves in Laikipia are very exclusive and totally uncrowded. So whilst Ol Pejeta may seem busy compared to these, it is still not that busy! It has nothing like the crowds you will find in the Masai Mara or Amboseli, and a safari in Ol Pejeta is still a very peaceful experience indeed! Porini Rhino Camp is also located by itself in the north of the conservancy and well away from the main entrance gate. So you will not see many other vehicles in the area around their camp.
Porini Rhino Camp is not for clients looking for luxury, polished service, or fine dining. But for clients whose main focus is the game viewing and who want an affordable bush camp that offers a genuine, wild safari experience, it is a great option. We have noticed though that the prices for this camp are quite variable. Outside the July to September peak season, Porini Rhino Camp is one of the most reasonably priced camps in Laikipia and fantastic value for money. But in peak season prices increase a lot and there are other higher quality camps which are of a similar price, and which we feel would be better value for money. Porini’s extensive network of camps in Kenya may also be an advantage for clients who want to do longer trips combining different areas in Kenya - they also have camps in the Masai Mara, Amboseli and Meru. This makes it possible for clients to enjoy special offers and discounts that Porini may have for multi night stays.
Porini Rhino Camp: Quick Facts
- 8 tented rooms including 1 family room
- En suite bathrooms with mobile safari style bush showers
- Located in a secluded part of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, one of the biggest Rhino sanctuaries in Africa
- Activities offered include game drives and limited walking safaris
- Photographic hide near waterhole at camp
- Children 8 years and over permitted
- Simple facilities - internet available but only really for emergencies
- Access is usually by scheduled flight into Nanyuki airstrip
- Camp is unfenced and wild animals can roam through at any time
Porini Rhino Camp: The Details
The tented rooms at Porini Rhino Camp are simple and similar in style to what you might find on an upmarket mobile camping safari. Being a permanent camp allows for more comfort though, so they are reasonably spacious, have proper comfortable beds and each has an en suite bathroom with flush toilet. The shower is a mobile safari style bush shower which the camp staff will supply hot water for on request. Seven of the tented rooms are twin/double rooms and there is one family tented room which has 2 separate bedrooms with an interconnecting lounge. This allows for lots of privacy and space but there is still the security of having children in the same unit as the parents. The setting of the camp is beautiful. The rooms are well spaced apart and surrounded by the African bush. There is a waterhole in front of camp which attracts much wildlife - including a cheetah and her cubs on our last visit! The fact that the camp is unfenced allows wild animals to roam close to the camp. So it really does feel like a wild bush camp adventure!
The central communal area is also quite simple with a mess tent with dining table for communal meals and a small lounge area. In front of this is a verandah with more chairs and coffee tables, as well as a small campfire.
We were impressed with the game viewing in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy on our last visit there. Like all the reserves in Laikipia, this was originally a cattle farm, and this is still an important part of the activities here - the area has one of the biggest herds of prized Boran cattle in Africa. This combination of cattle farming and wild animals in the same reserve has proved to be another huge conservation success story. The grazing of the cattle is carefully controlled so that areas are not overgrazed. In fact, the grazing of cattle here actually contributes to the growth of new nutrient rich grass which benefits the wildlife. The cattle are constantly watched during the day and herded into enclosures at night to minimise losses to predators. Human wildlife conflict is now a major issue in Africa but Ol Pejeta provides valuable proof that cattle can be farmed in areas with large numbers of predators, including lions. The diverse terrain in Ol Pejeta includes grass plains, open bush land and dense bush and woodland, all of which supports an abundance of wildlife. Rhino are the highlight here with large numbers of black and white rhino. Predators include lion, cheetah, leopard, jackal, and hyena as well as plentiful plains game. Buffalo and elephant are found here too, completing the Big 5.
Activities at Porini Rhino Camp focus on morning and afternoon game drives and night drives. It is also possible to do walking safaris. An added bonus is a photographic hide right by the waterhole in front of camp which is a great opportunity for clients to enjoy more game viewing in the middle of the day. Ol Pejeta is also home to a fenced in Rhino Sanctuary which has the last 2 Northern White Rhinos in the world, and a Chimpanzee Sanctuary - the only place in Kenya where you can see chimps. Visits can be arranged to both these sanctuaries although there is a small entrance fee to pay. The chimpanzee sanctuary contains rescued chimps that were orphaned as babies and would have died in the wild. Their enclosure is very spacious, and they are well looked after, but it does still feel a bit like a zoo, so may not be for everyone.