Naboisho Camp vs. Governor's Camp


Aug 22nd, 2015, 03:05 PM
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Naboisho Camp vs. Governor's Camp

Anyone have experience with these two locations? I'm trying to decide between a group rate at Governor's camp vs. paying a bit more for a less crowded option. Also at Naboisho it seems (from a review I found) that I could opt for walk/hikes daily vs vehicle drives. I get motion sickness, so that is a benefit to me : )
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Aug 23rd, 2015, 07:04 AM
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Hi Angelair, I am very familiar with both camps especially Naboisho. I have clients at Naboisho right now and more that left four days ago.

If the price is similar, I would go with Naboisho hands-down. It is on a private conservancy so the different in human density will be significant especially in July-September. Governors is in a great location but keep in mind it is indeed in the National Reserve which is open to the public.

The Mara Triangle is the portion of the reserve were Governors is located and that is a bit more quiet than the eastern part of the reserve where you get more day-trip traffic.

Roelof Schutte is the head guide at Naboisho and his wife is the camp manager. He is arguably one of the best dangerous animal hiking guides in all of Africa. In my opinion, he is tied up there with some of the best in Zim/Zam like Steve Edwards. He will get you up close and personal to some things you did not think possible.

If you are interested in two camps, Naboisho is owned by Asilia and they just released a basket of new specials to select safari specialist operators that include free nights and other benefits. You may want to consider combining two nights at Naboisho with two nights at Rekerro. Rekerro is inside the reserve on the Talek River and a great place to catch the migrations this time of year. One night will be free.

Asilia JUST purchased Encounters Mara which is on the same private land as Naboisho but at an even lower price point AND it has a stand-alone stay3pay2 published special making it a super deal for private land.

If you are looking for "value" try a seven day safari using Stay4Pay3 at Spekes with stay3pay2 at Encounters Mara.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Aug 23rd, 2015, 04:24 PM
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I'd go along broadly with Craig's view on this, but it's also a matter of personal taste and preferences – and the time of year you visit.

Governors' Camp is one of the oldest (*the* oldest?) tented camps in the Mara ecosystem, with 37 tents. It's in the Musiara sector of the Maasai Mara National Reserve on the east bank of the Mara river (note, it's not in the quieter Mara Conservancy, aka the Triangle, on the west bank of the Mara). Musiara is an amazingly wildlife-rich area, but it's also a busy area, especially during the migration season, with lots of short minibus-safari visitors driving in from Nairobi. Governors' Camp, while it consists of large and comfortable safari tents, with plumbed-in bathrooms, is run along the lines of a hotel, with meal times, a convivial bar, and a large parking area. There can be 70 guests or more, plus more than 100 staff here, so it often feels like a human reserve inside the animal one.

Naboisho, by contrast, is in the Maasai-owned Mara Naboisho Conservancy, and the camp is run by South African safari professionals Roelof and Helen Schutte, and has just 8 tents. It's rare there are more 15 people staying. Which is a good thing, because it's a hosted camp, with guests dining together, hosted by Roelof and Helen. The standard of guiding at Naboisho, with Roelof often leading walks, is also consistently high and the wildlife here very prolific.

Rekero is inside the reserve, like Governors' in the Musiara sector, and it makes a great combination with Naboisho, especially if you want to walk in the more pristine wilds with Roelof at Naboisho, as well as join in the river-crossing action inside the reserve, based out of a very convenient, traditional-style hosted camp like Rekero.

However while the stay-4-pay-3 deal is a great opportunity, prices at Naboisho and Asilia are on the high side – easily 50–100 percent more than Governors, and the best deals for travellers are to be had by booking through those operators who get particularly good basic discounts from Asilia in the first place.

I'd also highly recommend Encounter Mara - a lovely camp, that's around the same price as Governors', while being a good deal smaller.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

Safari njema!

Richard Trillo
The Rough Guide to Kenya
Kenya Programme Manager at Expert Africa
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Aug 23rd, 2015, 09:10 PM
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Thanks Richard!
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Aug 24th, 2015, 02:34 PM
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I'll come back to this.
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Sep 24th, 2015, 07:56 AM
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They have all given actually the best ideas in regard, however the bottom-line is what is the main reason for visit, for weddings and anniversaries would prefer Mara Bush-tops or for glamour and wildlife also Mahali Mzuri at olare Mtongori conservancy owned by Richard Branson is still perfect camp with an option of all inclusive for all options of wine.

Okodoi Nyongesa
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