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Reviewed 10 June 2018

My wife and i went on safari for are 25th wedding anniversary and stayed at the governors camp for the first time. We stay in a beautiful suit which was called “just us suit” which was absolutely amazing comfortable and spacious and in a beautiful location on the camp. The guide for our safari trips was called Kantai . Kantai took us to all the best places and was a very knowledgeable and skilled guide, so our trips out there where amazing. All the staff at the camp where very nice and friendly. The guards at night who took us about the camp when it was dark, for our safety were amazing and good fun. The food was also of a very high standard and very nice. Finally i would just like to say that i would highly recommend going to the governors camp for a great time and my wife and I will be hopefully be going back one day.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
2  Thank sue68mason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, General Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2018

Thank you so much for the recommendation! We were honoured to help you celebrate a big milestone in your lives - congratulations from all of us!

We hope to celebrate some more wedding anniversaries with you!

Warmest wishes,
The Governors' Family

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Reviewed 7 June 2018 via mobile

We used Governor’s Camp for our Kenya Safari, staying at Loldia house in the Great Rift Valley as well as at Main Governors Camp in the Masai Mara. Governors handled every detail from airport pickup, private car transportation, and charter flight in and out of the Mara. Our trip was fantastic! We had loads of great sightings from leopards and rhino in lake Nakuru to lion, cheetah and elephant in the Mara. We even saw a cheetah kill a gazelle!!! We also took part in a hot air balloon safari, also provided by Governors which was incredible! All of the accommodations were lovely... the cottage with a fire place at Loldia was cozy and adorable and the tents in Masai Mara were glamping at its best. Service was perfection, and all staff were friendly and welcoming! Shout out to our guides Mungai and Maina, and staff Comfort, Richard, and Nerinko! When we return to Kenya, we will be staying at a Governors property without hesitation!!

Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Hillary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, General Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2018

Hi Hillary,

Thank you for a lovely review of Loldia House and Governors' Camp! Your special thanks will be passed on to the team members. We look forward to your return, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Warmest wishes,
The Governors' Family

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Reviewed 6 June 2018

This is the second time I've been to Governor's Camp. The first time was 7 years ago when I was a solo traveler. This time I went with my oldest daughter as a college graduation present.

Overall: Exactly what you want from a safari experience! Worth the price.

Arrival: If you come by plane from Wilson Airport (not Jomo, the main international airport), you'll land on the very small airstrip about 5 minutes from Governor's Camp. Planes arrive about three times per day, and you're greeted by a Land Rover and staff to whisk your luggage away to your tent. Be mindful that there's a weight limit on luggage--about 13k or 30 pounds. See my suggested packing list below for important information.

Registration: Upon arrival, Harrison will guide you to the open-air lounge on the river where you'll complete your paperwork, enjoy a warm towel, and cold drink. Then you'll head to your tent to unpack and relax before your first game drive of the day.

Tent Location: There are about 30 tents with many along the river and some right up against the Mara. I prefer the tents on the river and far from registration. It's quiet and you can fall asleep to the river sounds. Tent 14 is the one I had and is a king bed. My daughter had tent 15, which was two double beds. At the opposite end are the tents on the Mara.

Note: I read the fine print and learned the rates are per person not per person double. This meant two people in one tent cost the same as one person each in two tents. My daughter and I got our own tents for the same price as if we shared.

Tent Appointments: While these are technically tents with zipper doors, do not be fooled into thinking you're camping. Each tent is on a raised platform with solid floor and grasscloth carpets. The beds rest on upscale rustic wooden bed frames carved from logs. The mattresses are extremely comfortable as is the bedding. The rooms come with night stands, desk/dressing table, ample lighting, luggage racks, and hanging racks. The full bathroom is separated from your sleeping area by tent flaps and includes a sink, shower, and toilet. It's all completely private and well appointed. Note that Governor's Camp provides shampoo, CONDITIONER, body wash, hand soap and a water filter in your room. You do not get tiny little bottles each day like at the Holiday Inn. Instead, you have large eco-friendly bottles that GC refills. So you do NOT need to bring any of these items. Save yourself the TSA hassle and the weight.

When you leave for each game drive, someone comes into to make your beds, clean and then turn down your beds each day. It's great!

Game Drives: GC has three game drives per day. The first starts at 630 am with the second at 1030 and the third at 330. That first drive is great but early. It's made more palatable by being awoken each morning with coffee or tea and biscuits brought to your camp, allowing you to wake up gently. There's an option to combine the first two drives--complete with breakfast on the Mara--which I highly suggest. This gives you time to venture farther out so you can maximize your drives.

At the start of your trip you'll be assigned a driver. This will be your driver for the entire stay. Tips are optional and discretionary, but I generally tip about $20 per day. The Land Rovers are comfortable and the drivers are safe. Please note: YOU WILL NOT GET OUT AND WALK AROUND. YOU WILL BE SEATED IN THE CAR THE ENTIRE TIME. SEE MY PACKING LIST FOR SUGGESTIONS.

The Land Rovers do have seat belts, but you won't really need them. The drivers rarely go over 15 mph. My daughter and I spent our drives practically standing in the back row as we roamed the plains.

Food: The food is really quality. You have an assigned table each day denoted by a small wooden triangle with your tent number on it. Breakfast and lunch you eat outside under the shade of the trees and along the river. Dinner is inside, but is open air. You will have the same waiter the entire time so he will remember that you have allergies or prefer ketchup or hot sauce. The service is attentive and the food good. For breakfast we had bacon, sausage, eggs cooked to order, pancakes (with squash), along with European options. Lunch was soup with bread and then a buffet including a cook to order option including lamb burgers, kebabs, fish, etc. They were great. Dinner was pork tenderloin, beef filet, etc. and always had a vegetarian option as well.

Note: MY DAUGHTER HAS A LIFE-THREATENING FOOD ALLERGY. WE HAD EPIPENS OF COURSE BUT NEVER WORRIED AS THE WAITER CONFIRMED HER ALLERGY QUITE OFTEN AND REASSURED US THAT EACH MEAL WAS ALLERGEN FREE.

Drinks: They do have a drinks package. I didn't get it. However, bar drinks (dawa--traditional drink, Tusker--local beer which I highly recommend, and sodas) are expensive. Tusker is $8USD. Bottle of coke is $3USD.

Tipping is discretionary: I generally left about $2 per meal per day. It was completely unexpected but much appreciated. There is a tip box at registration that you can put tips into as you leave. Please remember the average salary is low. You can tip in almost any currency but American dollars and British pounds were what I saw most.

Security
This is not an issue. First, you are quite remote and you have to enter camp through a security gate manned by guards. Second, guards roam the grounds at all times--because of animals not people. GC is in a wildlife preserve and there are no fences. So, guards escort you to and from everywhere from 7 pm to 7 am. Plus, they keep watch all night. Trust me, you'll feel safe.

Accessibility: If you have mobility issues, no worries. There is very little walking involved in camp and there's a tent right by the eating area and safari pick up. You could bring a scooter, I suppose, but I'm not sure how you'd get it to camp. Strollers would be no issue at all. Everything is flat and trails are groomed.

The only issue I could see is with getting into the Land Rovers. They do provide step stools, which is good, as the steps into the LR are high. However, I saw many older folks having little issue. If you were in a wheelchair, I'd suggest you asking questions of the camp director before arriving. The LR's are not wheelchair accessible at all but the drivers and the like would be willing to help you get situated in your LR.

PACKING LIST
You need way less than you think as Governor's Camp will do your laundry for you each day. They will wash everything except ladies underwear (and maybe men's). So either be prepared to wash your drawers or bring enough. I'd suggest the latter as it can be a bit damp in the Mara and I would worry your things might not dry.

Must haves:
1. Windbreaker/rain jacket. It's cold in the mornings as you're in open air cars driving in the desert before daybreak.
2. Camera: Your choice of what kind. We used our iPhones and small point and click.
3. Chargers. The outlets take American and European plugs. No need for a transformer or adapter. However, there is one and only one plug for guests to use. I brought a USB plug with two USB ports so I could plug in two things.
4. Tablet. There is WIFI all throughout the camp. You can watch netflix and the like, but it's easier if you'd just download movies before you arrive. Sometimes the wifi does go out though.
5. Bug Spray. You probably won't need it, but it's good to have.
6. Sunscreen. Bring a small bottle. The sun is fairly direct.
7. Your meds. Bring an ample supply. You are far from civilization.
8. HAT! You do not need a safari hat ala crocodile dundee or a pith helmet. I brought a simple visor. A baseball cap would be great. No one dresses to impress here. Dirt abounds.
9. Shots: Check the CDC website for suggested shots. Generally you should get Yellow Fever inoculations and meds for malaria. I never saw a mosquito though. Also, it's a good idea to bring an antibiotic if you wish.
10. Immodium and pain meds: Diarrhea is always a travel issue.
11. Cash for tips.
12. Luggage locks. Just make sense.
13. Credit Card: Useful but call your bank before you leave to let it know you're traveling and get your PIN number. Africa often requires a PIN when using a credit card, something Americans aren't used to. Also, make sure your credit card waives foreign transaction fees.
14. Hand sanitizer: Just a small bottle. Camp and drivers have plenty and use it often.
15. Small pack of tissues: On game drives, if you have to pee, you use the facilitrees--otherwise known as marking your territory. Tissues are a good idea for the ladies along with a small baggie to put the used ones in. (Leave no trace.)
16. Small daypack: You'll want something to carry your camera in.
17. Sunglasses!
18. Binoculars!
19. Distance or reading glasses/contacts.

Suggestions
1. Long pants and capris. You can wear shorts if you want but I found capris to be just fine. I wore long pants much of the time as the weather easily afforded it. I would suggest 1 pair of long pants, and two pairs of capris.
2. Shirts: Two short sleeved shirts should do it.
3. Comfy shoes: I wore flip flops the whole time. You do not need trekking shoes of any sort. Seriously, sneakers, trainers, flip flops all are fine. You will be in the car the entire time. The only walking is to and from dinner.
4. Socks: If you want.
5. Undies: If you want. ; )
6. Bandana: I used one to keep my hair back.
7. Fan. I wish I had brought a small portable fan. The rooms were very comfortable temperature wise, but I'm a woman of a a certain age and I like a small breeze.

What not to bring:
1. Anything looking like you read a safari article from the 1900s and then shopped. No pith helmet, no safari jacket, no hiking boots. You will not need them. I seriously saw a man in a pith helmet. Why? Why? Why?
2. Anything heavy. The weight restriction is serious if you're flying.
3. Heavy jacket. Just wear layers.
4. Jewelry. You're not there to impress
5. Heels. The entire place is dirt.
6. Flash lights: They provide them.
7. Water bottles. Water is ample and filtered.
8. HAIR DRYER AND FLAT IRON. The electric in the room cannot sustain the power draw. If you want to dry your hair, GC provides a hair dryer, but you have to use it in a small tent at the front of camp. No one cares how you look.
9. Plastic Bags of any sort. Kenya has banned plastic bags. They confiscate them if they see them. In fact, if you buy something at Duty Free, airport security will force you to remove the bottles from the plastic bags. Bring some disposable bags if you want.
10. Nice luggage. I saw beautiful Louis Vuittons come off the plane--and then land on the dirt runway. Bring a large hiking backpack or duffle. They're gentle with your luggage, but it is more rustic than the Ritz.

Hope that helps!

Room Tip: Choose a Mara View room or Tents 14/15 if you want to be on the river and far from others.
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
18  Thank Cathy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, General Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2018

WOW! What a detailed review - thank you for taking the time to provide such great advice to future safari goers! This is brilliant!!

Thank you for sharing Governors' Camp with you daughter. Maybe in some years you'll be bringing the next generation of your family to the Masai Mara!

Warmest wishes,
The Governors' Family

NB - It is during our lower/quieter seasons that the sharing and single rate is the same. This is just another great reason to visit at quieter times of the year. The best reason is that the game is fantastic all year round!

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Reviewed 3 June 2018

This was my husband and my 4th stay at Governors but the first time at this time of year, and it was just as good, if not better than previous stays. The staff and service are exceptional and nothing is too much bother. I am GF, my husband DF and although we had to remind them most meals (not an issue, we are in the middle of Africa after all), it was not a problem and all the food was delicious. My husband got sick one afternoon, the professionalism of the doctor was so reassuring and the caring nature of the team (illness completely unrelated to Kenya or Governors).

What really surprised us was how much wildlife we saw at this time of year, everything except the Rhino and there were plenty of animals. Philip our driver was one of the best we have had. Also it was nice to not have a lot of other Jeep’s and the camp to be a little quieter.

We will definitely be back, hopefully next year and will come again at this time. Thanks Harrison, the entire team are a credit to you and make us feel like we have come home.

Room Tip: All are good but we always go for one on the plains, they are unreal
Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Suemas2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, General Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2018

Such a treat to have you come stay again! And yes absolutely, the Masai Mara and particularly our area is fantastic for game all year round. Have a chat with us before booking for next year and we can let you know what each month in the Mara can bring.

Look forward to welcoming you back to the family again!


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Reviewed 28 May 2018

My recent experience at Governor’s Camp exceeded my expectations. It was easily one of the best international travel experiences I have had. I was traveling solo, taking a few days of leisure time on a work trip to Uganda and Kenya. I chose Governor’s Camp for the quality of its facilities and the ease of booking. The price included lodging, meals, and game drives, so I didn’t have to make any other arrangements other than a plane ride to the Maasai Mara from Nairobi.

Everything at Governor’s Camp was first class – the food, the service, and the facilities. My tent was comfortable, warm, and charming. The bathroom had hot and cold water, toiletries and even potable water through a “reverse osmosis” tap. In the morning, you receive tea or coffee at your tent before the 6:30 a.m. game drive. In the evening, there is turn-down service, and a hot water bottle for your bed. Game drives leave at 6:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. You can opt to return to the camp for breakfast after the early drive, or bring breakfast with you and combine the morning drives into one long drive. It appeared that most guests had their own jeeps to themselves, but I suspect it depends on how big your party is and how busy the camp is. Because I was traveling solo, I shared a jeep with a nice couple from New Zealand and we had a great guide, Dickson, who was adept at tracking down the animals we wanted to see, such as a pride of lions. We saw elephant herds, zebras, giraffes (including a two-day-old baby), hippos, buffalo, hyenas, and loads of graceful impala and gazelles. The wildlife was amazing and the scenery of the Mara was vast and beautiful. The jeeps are open sided, and could be quite chilly in the morning and evening. Dress in layers, and bring a water bottle.

Back at camp, buffet-style breakfast and lunch were served outdoors overlooking the savannah. Dinner is served in the dining tent with a menu of options. Water, tea, and coffee are included, and soft drinks and alcohol are additional, but reasonably priced. There is also a cozy bar tent, where I enjoyed having a drink before dinner. You will sign a receipt for your order and pay your tab at check out. The food was very good and I always left he table stuffed. I am a vegetarian and always had plenty of options.

Governor’s Camp is not surrounded by a fence, which means animals can enter. During my stay, an elephant and a buffalo came into the camp, neither of which I saw. Guards patrol the property 24/7, and I never felt unsafe or concerned about animals. In fact, I loved hearing the hippos playing in the river at night, just across from my tent. A guard escorts you to and from your tent for dinner each night and for the first game drive, so you are never walking around the grounds in the dark.

The service at Governor’s Camp is exceptional. Felix at the front desk, game guide Dickson, waiter Jackson, bar server James, and tent attendant James all took great care of me, as did the many guards whose names I didn’t get.

I would not hesitate to return to Governor’s Camp or recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: Tents either face the river or the savannah. All
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank DiceDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musiara, General Manager at Governor's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2018

We hope you will return again! We will be sure to pass on your praise to all the staff mentioned. It was our pleasure to ensure you had a great time with us.

Best wishes,
The Governors' Camp Team

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