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African Safari to Governors Camp

Governors Camp

Governors Camp 2017-05-14T14:32:50+00:00

Governors Camp is situated on the banks of the Mara River in the west of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Created in 1972, it set new standards in luxury as a tented camp, putting particular emphasis on comfort and service, complimented by excellent food, which would have been impossible in the bygone days. Maintaining these unique qualities as a tradition, the camp has been refined and improved through the years.

Governors Camp

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Governors Private Camp

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Little Governors Camp

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Special care has been taken to preserve an atmosphere at Governors Camp in which today’s traveller can share the same elemental landscape that inspired Hemingway and magnetised adventurers the world over.

The site and size of a safari camp is critical to its vitality. Governors Camp, with its 37 tents set amongst the trees along the Mara river, also has unrivalled views over the plains and is visited and re-visited by guests who find its continued excellence, personal style and family feeling quietly reassuring.

All guest facilities at Governors Camp are under canvas and keep the authentic, traditional safari atmosphere. All guest tents have en-suite bathrooms with shower and basin, running cold and hot water as well as a flush toilet. Gas and paraffin lamps are used for lighting.

The privately located Justus Suite at Governors Camp is perfect for honeymoon couples, as is tent 37 which has incredible views over the Mara plains and its wildlife.

The dining tent, campfire and the bar tent are the centre of Governors Camp. Next to the reception is a small gallery with local paintings and handcrafts as well as a small souvenir shop. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, alfresco. Dinner is served in the dining tent. For dinner the menu offers a choice of four courses, including a choice of main courses. A traditional campfire is lit at sunset every evening and after dinner guests enjoy sitting around the campfire, reminiscing about their safari in its evocative light.

The Masai Mara is a unique area with a constant and unrivalled flow of wildlife throughout the year. From July to October the Mara becomes a backdrop for one of the last great natural wonders of the world, when 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra surge up from the Serengeti plains in their annual search for the seasonal grasses that sustain them. The spectacle as the vast herds cross rivers and sweep through the golden grasses, is punctuated by individual struggles with the predators, which are in turn drawn to take their part in this dramatic event. Whilst the migration is spectacular, game viewing at all other times of the year remains almost unrivalled anywhere in Africa.

There are various activities on offer at Governors Camp: game viewing excursions in open Landrovers, game walks or balloon flights over the wide plains of the Masai Mara. Day excursions to the Lake Victoria are also on offer. However, we recommend booking these excursions well in advance and combining the Lake Victoria trip with an overnight stay. All meals, three game viewing excursions daily as well as laundry is included in the price. Park entrance fees, drinks as well as other activities (such as walking, ballooning, Lake Victoria excursion, a visit to a Masai village) are to be paid separately. Please let us know special dietary requirements in advance.

Governors Private Camp enhances and completes Governors Camp. As the name suggests, this camp is available for the exclusive use of individual groups. It is your own “private camp”.

Governors’ Private Camp has all the assets of an individually tailored mobile safari, with the added bonus of the highly specialised experience and back-up of Governors’ Camp. The professional and well-established infrastructure that operates behind the scenes makes it possible to offer the full services and facilities of Governors’ Camp to Governors’ Private Camp throughout the year.

The Executive Chef is responsible for planning the menus at Private Camp and for ensuring that the food is of the highest possible quality.

Great care has been taken to ensure the traditional safari atmosphere and the comforts that have been incorporated do not in any way detract from this concept.

Governors Private Camp can be booked by individual guests, or by small parties, who want the exclusivity of a private safari camp without the daunting costs normally associated with this degree of luxury. Governors Private Camp caters for up to 16 people, in beautifully appointed and luxurious tents have been developed through the years and now adapted, without any compromise, for Governors Private Camp.

The Masai Mara is a unique area with a constant and unrivalled flow of wildlife throughout the year. From July to October the Mara becomes a backdrop for one of the last great natural wonders of the world, when 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra surge up from the Serengeti plains in their annual search for the seasonal grasses that sustain them. The spectacle as the vast herds cross rivers and sweep through the golden grasses, is punctuated by individual struggles with the predators, which are in turn drawn to take their part in this dramatic event. Whilst the migration is spectacular, game viewing at all other times of the year remains almost unrivalled anywhere in Africa.

There are various activities on offer: Game viewing excursions in open vehicles, game walks or balloon flights over the wide plains of the Masai Mara. Day excursions to the Lake Victoria are also on offer. We recommend that guests book this excursion well in advance and combine the Lake Victoria trip with an overnight stay at Mfangano Island Camp.

All meals, drinks (except champagne), three game viewing excursions in our custom built 4wd vehicles daily, game walks as well as laundry are included in our price. Park entrance fees, as well as other activities (such as ballooning, the Lake Victoria excursion, a visit to a Masai village) are to be paid in addition to the rate. Please announce special dietary requirements to us in advance.

In 1976 Little Governors Camp, with its own independent character, was built around a small watering hole that teems with birds and wildlife. The camp is reached by boat and the exquisite, romantic setting has a serenity all of its own.

Little Governors Camp casts its spell over all who visit, from honeymoon couples to Presidents. Intimate in character, there are just seventeen tents tucked away amongst the trees. From every verandah the view changes constantly as giraffe, elephant, buffalo, hippo and warthog all come to drink or graze. Getting there is an adventure in itself. You first have to cross the Mara River by boat, then a short walk through the forest escorted by armed guards.

All the tents are comfortable and tasteful. Each has an en-suite bathroom, hot running water, even bidets. In keeping with safari tradition lighting is by gas and kerosene lanterns, or by candlelight.

As dusk falls, the flickering lights in the forest make the Camp a peaceful and atmospheric place. Meals are the usual superlative standards, served outdoors during the day and in the candle lit dining tent by night. Come the evening it’s time for chilled drinks and tall tales around the blazing campfire. Then finally a delicious dinner and a hot-water bottle to keep you warm in bed.

The Masai Mara is a unique area with a constant and unrivalled flow of wildlife throughout the year. From July to October the Mara becomes a backdrop for one of the last great natural wonders of the world, when 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra surge up from the Serengeti plains in their annual search for the seasonal grasses that sustain them. The spectacle as the vast herds cross rivers and sweep through the golden grasses, is punctuated by individual struggles with the predators, which are in turn drawn to take their part in this dramatic event. Whilst the migration is spectacular, game viewing at all other times of the year remains almost unrivalled anywhere in Africa.

There are various activities on offer: game viewing excursions in open Landrovers, game walks or balloon flights over the wide plains of the Masai Mara. Day excursions to the Lake Victoria are also on offer. However, we recommend booking these excursions well in advance and combining the Lake Victoria trip with an overnight stay. All meals, three game viewing excursions daily as well as laundry is included in our price. Park entrance fees, drinks as well as other activities (such as walking, ballooning, Lake Victoria excursion, a visit to a Masai village) are to be paid separately. Please let us know special dietary requirements in advance.

Please note: luggage restriction of 15 kg on all domestic flights. Extra luggage can be left at your base hotel in Nairobi. Safari arrangements and bookings can be made through your local ground handling agent or directly with Governors Camp.

Governors Camp Activities

Game Viewing

Governors Camp properties combine the best locations in the Masai Mara with the best-designed vehicles and exceptionally highly trained and experienced guides to give our clients un-matched game-viewing and photographic opportunities in the world’s prime wildlife area. We are in the heart of the best game viewing area of the Masai Mara Our vehicles are custom built 4 wheel drive landrovers. We take you out three times a day into the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve and surrounding areas, at sunrise, late morning and late afternoon. Our driver-guides are hand-picked and nurtured by us. They undergo a continuous guide training scheme mentored by experts in the field. Having operated in the Masai Mara for over 30 years our driver-guides have an un-paralleled knowledge of the reserve combined with a deep understanding and respect for the sanctity of this wilderness area, its flora and its fauna.

Leave your vehicle behind and take a walking safari with one of our experienced and qualified naturalists for the true thrill of the bush. Down on the same level as the animals you will experience the untamed beauty of the Mara. Our walking safaris take place in a private concession area adjacent to the Masai Mara Game Reserve, where the scenery differs from inside the Reserve and picturesque acacia trees dot the hilly landscape.

You will also be accompanied by one of our Masai Scouts, who provide a wealth of information on the traditional medicinal uses of plants and Masai folklore.

You will track game, unsure what waits round the next corner: giraffe, buffalo, hyena, zebra or even lion. You will catch the scents and sounds of the wild Africa and uncover a hidden, fascinating and interconnected world of plants, tracks and insects. At the end of it all waits a sumptuous bush barbecue breakfast complete with champagne. You can enjoy some game viewing as you are driven back to the camp through the Masai Mara.

Walking Safaris

Walks at Governors Camp can be taken either in the morning or afternoon, and take around 1½ to 2 hours.

Afternoon walking safaris are finished with sundowner drinks and canapés.

Participants in a walking safari at Governors Camp should be in good health and be reasonably fit and active. There is no path as such and some parts of the walk lead through hilly and rocky areas. Children under 10 years are, for safety reasons, not allowed to participate in walking safaris.

Hot Air Ballooning

The adventure begins just before dawn. Departure is from a perfect natural launch site behind Little Governors Camp, and flames from the hot air balloon burners light the darkness as the crews inflate their craft. The first, pink tongues of sunlight flicker across the skies as the hot air balloon fills, then rises. Suspended in a basket beneath the rainbow-coloured canopy, you’re off for a game-viewing adventure with an entirely different perspective. What amazes most first-time balloonists is the absolute stillness: the silence as you float above the plains, the forest and the rivers of the Masai Mara. Even if you’ve flown elsewhere, this is a unique experience.

The flight from Governors Camp lasts an hour or so, drifting wherever the air currents take you, and with ample opportunities for photography and video filming.

Then your Kenyan Hot Air Balloon Safari finishes with a flourish. In the time honoured tradition of balloon flights the world over, you toast your return to earth with a champagne breakfast, cooked wherever you land. The Balloon Safari ends with some leisurely game viewing on the way back to Camp.

Masai Cultural Visits

Just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve is a traditional Masai community called Mara Rianda. There is a traditional Masai homestead or Manyatta which consists of 48 traditional houses surrounding a cattle enclosure. We encourage clients to visit this manyatta if they are interested in Masai culture and would like to experience a way of life unchanged for centuries. Visitors are always struck by the grace and beauty of the Masai people, and the colourful lifestyle they lead. . There is also a bustling curio market where guests can buy traditional Masai beadwork.

Governors Camp are very proud of the relationship they have nurtured with our Masai community neighbours.

In October 2006, to assist these communities to conserve their local woodland habitat and help provide a reliable source of fuel for the community, Governors Camp built the first biogas project at one Manyatta. This provides the residents of the Manyatta with methane gas to cook on. The gas is generated from the cow dung which accumulates in the centre of the Manyatta as the Masai keep their cattle here at night for security. The Biogas plant has helped remove vast quantities of dung from the centre of the manyatta, thus reducing the number of flies, and fly-born diseases and it has given the community a fuel to cook on. Fuel is an important conservation issue for the Masai Mara as previously the women would go out everyday and cut wood to cook on, now they no longer need to do this the acacia woodland surrounding the Manyatta is begging to flourish and return to its natural state. This has also freed up time that could be used in a more economically productive way for the women.

In order to visit the Manyatta guests must pay for an entrance ticket, which is obtainable from camp reception. This ticketing system was initiated by Tribal Voices project to ensure that as much revenue as possible goes to the manyatta and ensures a secure and transparent revenue stream for the community. This money is extremely important to the community and they have used it to build a nursery school for 120 children aged between 3 – 5 years. They have built two classrooms, accommodation for 3 teachers and a toilet facility. They have also paid for desks for the school. The money from the ticket entry also helps the community members to buy food, pay for secondary school for their children, and pay for cows the mainstay of the Masai economy. During times of drought when Masai cattle suffer the money earnt from ticket sales helps the community enormously to stay on their feet. Overall this revenue supports 98 different families comprising of 300 individuals.

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African Safari > African Destinations > Kenya > Masai Mara Game Reserve

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