Porini Rhino Camp in a Nutshell:
Wildlife is abundant around Porini Rhino Camp in the foothills of Mt. Kenya, whose snow-covered peak is often visible in the morning. The camp is in a secluded Kenyan valley in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a 90,000 acre private preserve dedicated to land management and the preservation of the rare white rhino. Africa’s big five
— lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant — are all within the conservancy. When we were accompanied to our tent after dinner, a cape buffalo
scuffled from the front of the tent to the small ravine below.
Guest Rooms at Porini Rhino Camp:
There are just six tents at Porini Rhino Camp, all facing grasslands. Neighboring tents are largely hidden from each other, affording near complete privacy. Tents are simply furnished with a comfortable king-size bed, table lamps, a dresser and writing desk. There is an attached toilet and shower. There are no baths. A hot shower, at the end of a day’s safari, is most welcome. So let the staff know when you want to shower, and plentiful hot water is promptly delivered.
When our tent flaps were rolled up in the morning and the front enclosures unzipped, we saw giraffe and gazelle feeding nearby. We ventured outside and heard the sounds of doves in the breeze.
Dining at Porini Rhino Camp:
Dinner at Porini Rhino takes place in the largest tent on property. Guests sit around a single hand-made table, with the camp manager graciously serving as host. Wine, beer ,and soft drinks are included.
Breakfast—eggs, porridge, sausage, toast, tea or coffee can be taken at Porini Rhino but more typically the morning meal is brought along on safari and guests eat outdoors on portable chairs. One morning we had breakfast on a hilltop overlooking Ol Pejta Conservancy, towards the Aberderes Mountains, and watched a herd of elephants slowly amble into a thicket.
If you get back from safari in time, lunch at Porini Camp is served under a tree, buffet-style. French-pressed Kenyan coffee is always available and the local honey is delicious. If you are out during lunchtime, perhaps visiting the chimp sanctuary or viewing the nearly extinct northern white rhinos (only six left in the wild worldwide), lunch is packed.
Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways at Porini Rhino Camp:
Porini Rhino Camp captures the heart of the romantic. Secluded in the heart of big-game country, where wildlife sounds can be heard under the starlit equatorial sky and elephants roam by day, Porini Rhino is what you’d expect from a comfortable but thrilling African safari. The property holds a special romantic aura for the British. The camp sits midway between Treetops Lodge in Nyeri — the spot where Elizabeth went to sleep a Princess and awoke a Queen — and a secluded lake on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, where her grandson Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton
, now his wife.
Activities at Porini Rhino Camp:
Porini Rhino Camp doesn’t have a spa or a pool, but it does have the African landscape and the solitude of nature and wildlife. The property uses open-sided Land Rovers for animal viewing. (Wildlife, of course, have their own ways and there is no guarantee, but within two days at Porini Rhino Camp we had seen the big five and countless giraffe, gazelle and zebra.) Warm, handmade rain ponchos are available in each Rover, as is water and cold drinks. Unique to northern Kenya, the reticulated giraffe
, Grevy’s zebra
, and oryx
are in abundance. Masai nature guides at the camp also provide an easy walking tour, pointing out the flora around the camp and even giving a spear-throwing demonstration.
Within Ol Pejeta is a preserve dedicated to chimps, which aren’t indigenous to Kenya, and a small museum. There is also a fenced-in preserve for the protection of the endangered white rhinos, which aren’t white but rather have wide (“white” in Afrikaans) mouths.
Nearby Porini Rhino Camp:
The nearest town to Porini Rhino Camp is Nyanyuki. Guests are flown into Nyanyuki’s airstrip and transported to the camp, about an hour’s drive. Nyanyuki is a typical, bustling Kenyan town that has tourist shops on the main road that sell African crafts, from bracelets to blankets. Bargaining is essential, as prices start sky-high. Several signs on the way to Porini Rhino Camp indicate that the equator runs through the land. There is some dispute as to their accuracy.
Drawbacks at Porini Rhino:
Guests at Porini Rhino shouldn’t expect diversions. Wi-fi is spotty. Entertainment is a game of cards and conversation around a nighttime fire by the ravine. Porini Rhino isn’t the place for those looking for top-end soaps and shampoos or need to know the thread-count of the sheets. The shower set up is primitive (but effective). Meals are simple, not gourmet, but filling.
Vibe at Porini Rhino Camp:
With six tents at Porini Rhino, this is a place for those who want to be alone but not isolated. There are no young children, although tents come with a king-size bed and a single. Porini Rhino appeals to those who are concerned with leaving a small footprint in the wild, who want to view animals and experience Kenya’s beauty, and are content with each other’s company.
Porini Rhino Camp Info: