Saturday, January 5, 2013

Kenya - Masai Mara

The variety and numbers of animals in this, the Kenyan portion of the northern Serengeti, is truly astounding.  And unlike the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which we will visit later in our trip, the Land Rovers can drive off road to get up front and personal with all the animals.  

Little Governor’s Camp is our home for these three nights.  Wart hogs, hippos and buffalo populate the watering hole right in front of our tent and at night, we can hear elephants and hippos close by - they roam through the camp at night.  Armed guards patrol during the day and the night, making sure not to disturb the animals but making sure they know where they are so they can detour guests.  We are not allowed to wander freely after dark and during the day must stay within a very limited area.

We find this “luxury” tent camp a bit too rustic for us.  We are staying essentially in a tent, albeit with a bed and a connected en suite bathroom with flush toilets and a regular shower.  The food is marginal.  I believe we have had the same soup four times, always named something different on the menu (celery and apple puree, cream of cucumber, cream of zucchini, vegetable), but I am pretty sure it's the same soup each time.  Appetizers in the lodge tent before dinner are similar to what kids might fix as their first cooking attempt. 

This review sounds a bit tough.   But prices for all of our accommodations on this trip are way up there.  And we have had the experience, three years ago, of staying in three camps/lodges in Botswana and South Africa that put Little Governor’s Camp to shame.  I will mention them now as I am longing for them...  Duma Tau Camp in the Linyanti Reserve in Botswana, the even more impressive Vumbura Plains Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and the highlight of our last trip: Singita Boulders Lodge in the Sabi-Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. 

And so this presents the first of many conundrums of our trip.  How can we complain about the quality of the food and the level of luxury in this, one of the poorest countries in the world?


  1. The Masai Mara is truly a beautiful spot on earth! We stayed at Little Governor's in Nov 1988 for a few days during a flying safari on our honeymoon, at a time when it was one of the very few "luxury" camps. The food was fabulous then--sorry to hear it's not the same now. We were in tent #1, the end tent, and the sound of the animals at night was a bit frightening! I remember that we were served cookies and tea or coffee in our tent before dawn. The birdlife was unbelievable. One morning, few cheetahs jumped on our jeep hood (top was down) and we had to hunker down on the floor until they finished scouting their prey. Saw a warthog out-smart a lion for 45 minutes while it burrowed into the ground. A passing thunderstorm while we were out one afternoon showed us the fury of nature, then the smile of a rainbow...We met lifelong friends in tent #3, who lived in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn then, while we were in NYC. Fabulous animal portraits. Enjoy!

  2. What a memorable trip and amazing experiences you had. I love the cheetahs on the hood - gracious!

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