Porini Amboseli or Tortelis ?

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Jan 9th, 2015, 11:07 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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... Oooops,
but admit never staying at Porini at Selenkay, having no interest thus no comment. The only Porini Camp I've stayed has been Lion in the Mara. Price wise, the Porini Camps are very competitive compared to others, so good on the budget especially if you use most of their camps - Mara/Lion, Laikipia and Selenkay - discounts likely.

Good luck with your decision.
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Jan 9th, 2015, 02:49 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Kota, thanks for your very very valid points - I think the meals at Porini camps could definitely be improved –  though I rather like the idea of my guide engaging with the birdlife by recording birdsongs on his mobile! Almost everyone in Kenya has a mobile, regardless of background or lifestyle, and it doesn't make them any less authentic representatives of their communities (sorry if I'm misrepresenting what you meant). I agree Tassia is a superb place, and very engaged with the local Mukogodo Maasai community in their area, but I didn't see it as any more "authentic" than Porini Amboseli. Again, sorry if I'm misunderstanding. Incidentally, I did see plentiful elephants at Selenkay – no doubt at all of their very numerous presence! – and Kili is visible too, from the right gaps in the bush, though you are obviously much further away and as ever the weather has to be right. I think most Porini visitors would do a full-day trip as one of their two full days out of a three-night stay, inside Amboseli national park on an all-day game drive.

sandi – don't exclude Campi ya Kanzi on a cost basis. I think you'd find Tortilis getting close to CyK prices these days, especially in high season, though I don't have rates to hand as I write. I thought the wildlife experience there was a less significant part of the overall mix, which for me was heavily skewed towards the large Maasai community on Kuku ranch that CyK supports, and the utterly captivating cloud forest after the long and steep drive up to the peaks of the Chyulus. I'd never been up there before, and it really is another world - closer to Madagascar's east coast than anywhere else in Kenya I can think of, though not as warm!

Richard Trillo
The Rough Guide to Kenya
Kenya Programme Manager at Expert Africa
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Jan 9th, 2015, 08:42 PM
  #23
vr
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Thank you all...Travelbeyond, bookmarking your suggestions for the future . We have already confirmed our booking with Porini but as frequent visitors are always looking for suggestions. Richard,. Tortilis rates quoted to us was 650$ ppn ( including vat and park fees) ; Campi ya Kanzi at 750$ ppn is certainly not that much more and looks amazing.
Sandi, Porini Amboseli rates with a 25% discount worked out to 2537$ pp for 6 nights...which we found extremely attractive. I will share my experience of Porini when I get back...
AKR1, there is a blue " preview " tab that allows editing ��
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Jan 10th, 2015, 09:51 AM
  #24
 
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vr - knew there's be a discount if using the Porini camps and better at about $425/ppnt vs those shown for Tortilis or Campi ya Kanzi (and my records indicate those indicated are for '14 and 'rack'rates, not discounted... a bit higher for '15). You've made a good choice for your safari.

Richard - agree that the cloud forest at Campi ya Kanzi is beautiful and a pleasant surprise. For one not ordinarily up to trekking anywhere, this was a pleasant surprise... where we enjoyed our 'sundowners.'
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Jan 10th, 2015, 06:27 PM
  #25
vr
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Thanks, Sandi.
The Tortilis rates are for 2015... We were quoted that by Chili& Peacock when we sent in our enquiry. Camp ya Kanzi rates are off the website.
Fyi, Porini has great rates for a 12 day package to either two or three of their camps...
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Jan 13th, 2015, 03:09 PM
  #26
 
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[Thank you sovefrancis for your immaculate copy-and-paste work. Well done. Do you not have any opinions of your own?]

Kota, that's all very useful and interesting, though we'll have to disagree on the bird calling. But most of my own 30-year safari "career" has been spent trying to interpret my experiences for others (author, travel writer, now tour operator) rather than literally trying to experience the thing myself for my own enjoyment and enrichment. I think there's a difference, and I admire your dedication to the highest standards for your own benefit. I certainly can't disagree with your assessment of part of what it takes to be a good guide, interpreting his guest's needs!

I must say your Selenkay village experience is much less what I would have expected from Porini Amboseli had I been able to stay longer and do the same thing (both my visits have been less than 24 hours). To be fair, I think you're setting (rightly) extremely high standards for cultural connections. When you visit Venice or Granada, what are your expectations of authentic connections with local people? Sorry, that's not a fair question, but you know what I mean. I've always thought "authenticity" was a false god - when travelling we should worship at the shrine of insight and understanding, not measure our experiences against preconceived ideals. And having made myself sound quite pompous, I would have been just as uncomfortable and irritated as you at being made to feel like a cash cow.

My experience with Antonia and Martin in their local Samburu community was identical to yours, which I find strangely reassuring about the Tassia experience overall. I haven't been to Sarara, though I think my colleagues and clients who have would tend to agree with you.

One point I'd make overall, my understanding is that the Porini camps in the Mara and Amboseli (Porini Rhino at Ol Pejeta is different) benefit their staff and the local community in a more direct financial way and to a much greater degree than do Tortilis or Tassia. I'm happy to be challenged on this. I haven't seen their accounts!

Richard Trillo
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Feb 20th, 2015, 05:47 AM
  #27
vr
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Just got back a few hours ago from a wonderful week long stay at Porini Ambosili. I got so much great advice from the forum members that I feel I ought to give an update. While the game inside the Selenkay conservancy is not very plentiful, we did get very good sightings of elephants , giraffe and gerenuks. We were lucky and had three clear days with wonderful views of Kili..two of them from the conservancy, the other on one of our two days in the Ambosili reserve. The thing that won us over to the Porini camp was the service, enthusiasm and attitude of everyone involved in the running of the place. True, the quality of the food didn't over whelm but the hospitality and the what felt like a very genuine desire to please more than compensated. They went the extra mile..a small example..they called us at our other camp in the Mara..not a Porini property..to tell us that we had left behind a small bag with computer cables ; though we said it was of no great consequence Tony the manager took our flight details and a man was waiting for us at Wilson with the bag. A small thing, but we were very touched. Our overall impression was one of a high level of ownership and commitment by everyone involved with the camp.
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