Governor's Camp

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

C14, Keekorok, Kenya

1 Review

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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 203% more than similarly rated 4 star hotels

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    Luxury colonial style Tented Camp in Masai Mara


    Luxurious tent accomodation surrounded by wildlife. Full board and two safaris per day included. Masai safari viewing is better than Kruger and Tsavo (IMO) for two main reasons:
    1) the bush is lower to the ground for miles around and hence wildlife more easy to spot.
    2) when you see animals you can turn off the road and head directly towards it until you are right along side- in other parks it is forbidden to leave the roads.
    Service excellent, including the security of having an armed guard sitting outside your tent all night to protect you from predators (!). Also the room service wake up call was marvellous - a butler delivering a pot of tea, ginger biscuits, lighting your bedside lantern and even running your shower for you so that it is nice and warm -all whilst you are still in bed!

    British colonial feel to it all- breakfast and lunch on the lawns, cooked breakfast with finest English sausages and toast and marmalade, with a pot of tea. Friendly and smiling waiters everywhere.

    Extortiantely expensive if booked with European tour operators, so we gambled and booked locally whilst in Mombasa on a post Tsavo-East safari through a hole in the wall tour operator. We saved 30-40% on brochure prices for two nights plus flights Mombasa direct to Governor's camp airstrip (can't remember exact price).
    Didn't get to see leopard (they are shy) or rhino (hardly any rhino in Kenya we were told), but tons of elephants, zebra, giraffe and even a cheetah marking it's territory (spraying)! Weather in September was ideal.

    Unique Quality: When you think about where you are (the middle of Africa) and how everything has to be flown in, the sausages for breakfast and toast and marmelade, plus lunch dessert buffet taste just that much better!
    No swimming pool or stunning views, but open space and a very relaxing colonial experience.
    We passed on the balloon rides for $400 per person including a champagne breakfast, crazy money.
    Flying in, we wont forget the pilot of our ten man plane telling us to sit on certain sides of his plane to distribute the weight evenly, and then after dropping other tourists off at other camps, telling us that the Governor's camp was the next 'stop'. As we approached the private airstrip there were elephants and zebra on the runway, but no buildings next to it- just a Land Rover waiting to pick us up! Real wilderness - Great stuff.

    Directions: flights from Mombasa/ Nairobi

More about Governor's Camp


by TripAdvisor Member AmandaM

Spent 3 days / 2 nights at Governors Camp. What a fabulous place. The staff do everything possible to make your stay special and we felt it from the moment we drove in.
Our tent overlooked the Mara river and on arrival we watched elephants, baboons and the odd waterbuck and crocodile in the river. The food was great, the service was the best I've ever experienced and it was overall an amazing experience culminating in the Masai dancers who brought a birthday cake to our table during their traditional dancing. I was sad to leave.


by TripAdvisor Member eurodc

We stayed for three days on December 27th in the Governor's Camp. Our arrival by small plane was spectacular arriving onto a dirt strip as a runway five minutes from the camp. Collected by jeep and brought to the camp. We were shown the bar and then lead to our tent. The tents are large but fairly basic but comformatble. Good bathrooms with hot water and large bed which did get a bit damo during the day. It was however amazing in the afternoons just listening to the various animal and bird calls. Our room host was also really helpful and most pleasant man. The food at the camp was great and abundant whilst the wine list was a pleasant surprise.

Unfortunalely I brought an ear infection with me from Mombasa so needed a doctor. WHat a relief to find one who was permanently based here and with no charge - just an appreciation! I was well looked after.

I thought it was a bit of a myth about the dangerous elephants in the camp at night. One night whilst everyone was at dinner, I stayed in bed with my ear. There was some noise outside and I unzipped my tent to find a huge bull elephant looking straight at me. There were several guards nearby watching him so I was in no danger. Fantastic albeit scary ! We also missed the hippo who walked by our tent each morning at 5:30 by minutes despite waiting to see him.

Our game driver was Gideon and he was brilliant. We did catch up with a leopard and two cubs and also everything else. I enclose a photo to give you an idea how close you get to the animals. We came across another jeep that was stuck beside a pride of lions that we rescued and only then did it become so appraent how dangerous the animals were.

We shared a jeep with a lovely UK couple who were on their seventh safari and advised that this was by far their best.

It was my first visit but definitely not my last. I really did not expect to find the whole thing so exciting and at the Governors Camp, you understand that it is not staged for the "plastic tourists" but is a real eco experience.

I am well travelled around the world and rank this as my top ever holiday experience. You will love it !

Phenomenal Experience

by TripAdvisor Member KLBYork

We stayed at Governers Camp for 3 nights as part of our honeymoon. It
was definately the best part.

The light aircraft flight from Nairobi was interesting. We saw giraffe and buffalo from the aircraft which was a fantastic taste of what was to come.

We upgraded to the "Just Us" suite which is a larger room and has an iron roll top bath, a four poster bed and a private garden surrounded
by the Mara river. The tent is basically the same as all of the tents
in the Il Moran camp which is slightly more luxurious than the Governors standard rooms. When I say "tent" they are all a very good size and well secured. They all have a tiled bathroom with hot running water and everything you need including a paved terrace in front of the room. We didn't actually spend much time in the room - we were usually on game drives or eating.

There are three game drives a day with upto four people in the jeep. Hotel staff wake you at around 6am by coming into your tent to give you tea/coffee and buscuits. The first drive is at 6.30am and this is probably the best one of the day with lions actually walking around rather than sleeping as they did for most of the day. The early morning drive returns at around 9-9.30am and then breakfast is served. This was very good quality with a good selection of cooked breakfast, cereals, toast and pastries etc.

The second drive then leaves after breakfast at around 11am and is a little shorter. Upon return to the camp buffet lunch is served which was pretty good for a buffet. There is then a third game drive at around 3pm and all cars must be back before dark.

Dinner was a la carte and generally pretty good. All dining was open air and we could watch the corocodiles and hippo in the Mara river about 10 metres away! This was such an experience.

The game drives were phenomennal. We saw so many animals and each drive was unique. The drivers/guides were fantastic. They were friendly, professional and very knowledgeable. This area is where
"Big Cat Diaries" is filmed so as you can imagine, there are plenty of lions and Cheetah. I was lucky enough to also see a leopard which are notoriously shy! We saw a pride of lions eating their prey which was amazing. We also saw so many elephants, giraffe, hyena and antelope. August is a great time to go as it is during the migration
so there is an abundance of animals.

Governers Camp does not have any fencing so we were greeted by elephants walking through the camp on a number of occasions. There are guards there to ensure safety. You have to use a flashlight to get their attention to allow them to escort you to and from the restaurant/bar after dark which did seem to limit the feeling of freedom. However, the experience of having a herd of 10 elephants in our garden (literally at the entrance to our tent) at 5am was incredible. We also spotted a few hippos in the garden each night.

I think three nights was a good duration as the early mornings can take their toll. It's a shame that there was no swimming pool at the camp - obviosuly it is not safe to go off walking due to the proximity of all the animals and by the end of the third day I was desperate to get some exercise.

I would definately recommend taking a fleece (early mornings are very chilly even with the provided blankets). Binoculars are also a good idea. The camp is quite informal and formal clothes are not needed. Most operators insist that you spend a night either side in Nairobi due to flight times so take a soft bag/holdall to the safari as hard suitcases do not fit easily in the very small safari-link planes.

Overall, we really had an amazing time at Governors Camp and really can't wait to go back.


by TripAdvisor Member SBRI

Amazing really does not really describe our stay at the Governors. There is not a word that can describe such a wonderful experience.
The staff are fantastic they are there for your every need, the food was absolutely fabulous and the choice was excellent too. Evening meals are just amazing and totally unexpected when you appear to be in the middle of nowhere, nowhere being the middle of the beautifully Masai Mara that is. Daniel and William were our dedicated waiters and they certainly were, with every details looked after.
Our tent was overlooking to Mara river, and on our first day we were shocked at how many animals we could see without even leaving camp. The tents are clean and well maintained. They are more like top hotel rooms with little touches, that I wont tell you as this may ruin the lovely surprise. Don’t worry about creepy crawlies we didn’t see any.
You have to be escorted to your tent at night because the hippos and elephants like to share the camp sometimes. You may think this is all talk for the tourists but on our first night we heard a hippo midnight snacking outside our tent, and a family of elephants taking a short cut through the camp. Now you cant get that at Disney.
Robert was our driver and spotter and he had plenty of knowledge, we wanted to see the elusive leopard but unfortunately he didn’t want to see us, even though Robert tried his hardest to find him. There are so many animals to see at this reserve that you will have a full few days. It really is hard to believe how close you can get to all the animals, and how many photos you will take!
We had heard that some visitors had been taken to a Masai village without being given the option. From the things we had heard about this visit being a way for money to be hounded out of you we were obviously not keen. We asked if we could miss this part of the trip and that was not a problem. I am glad that we didn’t do this trip as I believe this is not a true representation of the people, and of the life they lead, I would rather give the money to a true family without the feeling they have to put on a show for me. This is only my opinion and the guests we arrived with so please judge for yourself.
We also did a balloon safari, at Little Governors. I was slightly nervous about this, and that was before I learnt about the early rise. There really was no reason to worry though as the pilot put us all at ease with a detailed description of what would happen and when. It was a wonderful experience , worth the money and the early call, definitely, it is a must.
I can not recommend this camp enough, it has to be experienced to be believed, you will not be sorry you gave it a go. Every member of staff deserves a mention, especially the young lad that showed us to our tent the 2nd night and told us about drunken elephants. You are special people doing a fantastic job keep it up.

You call this camping??

by TripAdvisor Member PurpleMinx

With an ensuite that contain a bidet as well as a normal flush toilet, a shower with good hot water pressure, mirrors and a room with a king size bed, it just isn't your normal camping experience. Add to this someone who comes to clean, light up your lantern, provide you with a turndown service and wake you up in the morning with tea/coffee and cookies for your early morning game drive! Having done lodges throughout Tanzania, this tented camp experience was very different. You felt much closer to the wildlife as you could almost sense a closeness with the animals that you just don't get being in lodges. Don't get me wrong, the lodges in Tanzania were fantastic, but this is an entirely different experience. The people were great and friendly and you get to experience life without electricity buzzing around you as you slept. But the limit of electricity enhances the experience. But you are not completely cut off as you can charge your phone/camera battery in a room near the reception desk. There's lots of outlets in this room so there's no dramas there.
Another great thing about the camp is that because it's in the game park, you pretty much start your game drive / animal spotting as soon as you leave the camp. There are alot of 4WDs from the camp so you have lots of eyes out there trying to spot the elusive animals like the leopard. The drivers know the area like the back of their hands so they know where to go to find the action. We saw so many animals, hunting, eating, sleeping, mating, sleeping some more.
And last but not least, the food was great! The dishes were mouth watering! Loved the whole experience.

the best place I have ever stayed

by TripAdvisor Member emmaplews

Wow. What can i say about this place. It's just magical. A luxurious tented camp in the middle of the masai mara, next to the mara river. I want expecting the tents to be so luxurious -if only my bathroom at home was as nice! There is no electricty in the tents, whichj I think totally makes the place. Light is by burners only. Everynight you come back to your bed to find a lovely hot water bottle in it. For the early game drives they bring you a hot drink ofyour choice to wake you up. The game drives are fantastic. Lovely staff, so friendly and helpful. The food at the camp is great- maybe a little repetitve but you cant expect gordan ramsay in the middle of no-where! I just dont think I can fault the place. Would 100% recommend staying there if you fancy safari. It's expensive but you only need to stay for 2 or 3 nights and that is enough - after all there are only so many liions you can see!!
Oh and the nest bit is when the elephants decide to take stroll through the camp so all hell breaks lose trying to move dining tables etc. Hearing the hippos chomp at night and a lion roar is also pretty special.

Wildlife as it should be!

by TripAdvisor Member Kmc-7

We booked a 3 day/2night air safari to the Masai Mara with MicsSafaris as part of our holiday to Kenya. It was easy to book over the internet prior to travelling and we had arranged to pay the balance 'in resort'. This was the only difficult part - Mics did not turn up to collect the balance as arranged so we had to forego another trip to be available to meet them on another day. Otherwise the whole experience ran smoothly. The flight was exciting with views over the Rift Valley and Kilimanjaro. We were met by our driver, Japhet, who spent the next three days sharing his expertise with us.
The camp provided exactly the right experience for the safari - comfortable tents with facilities, but without the unnecessary electricity that would have spoiled such a trip! Reading by gas lamp made a pleasant change! The tents did, however, become cold at night -unlike some writers we weren't fortunate enough to have hot water bottles, although we did get the traditional hippos! One word of warning though - if you are travelling in December do take plenty of warm jumpers/waterproofs - game drives might start in the sunshine but it could be very cold a couple of hours later. We experienced torrential rain on one day which flooded all the surrounding plains - not how we had imagined Kenya!

The balloon ride from Little Governors was amazing - it nearly didn't fly as there was so little wind - but we were so glad it did! If you are thinking of booking the balloon, book it for your first day there and then they will try to fit you in the next day if it cannot fly on the first.

The game drives were excellent, Japhet went out of his way to seek out every creature that might be of interest. In sturdy 4x4s he was able to cross any terrain - much better than minibus.
The food at the camp was very good, and always served with a smile. Evening meals were taken in the dining tent.

There was always something to see at the camp - from amazing coloured birds to the whole family of mongooses that are resident!
We travelled with teenage children and for us Governors offered the ideal safari experience.

Amazing experience

by TripAdvisor Member Doughballs

Where shall I start ? ?
I loved it. I was a little worried as I like my creature comforts / dislike creepy crawlies, and the thought of spending 4 nights in a tent was a litle daunting. I neednt have worried. Yes they are tents, but there are full size beds, rugs, furniture, and a seperate bathroom area with proper toilet and (good) shower. No electricity (we were worried about mozzies and had brought a plug in deterrent but managed with spray instead), but you can charge cameras, phones etc in a small rom by reception so its not a problem.
There are about 17 tents, so it is quite personal, the only drawback is if you get a large (noisy) party - for a couple of days we were there there was a group of about 20 people who took up the whole bar / sitting area for their group meetings, and boy were they loud.
The most amazing thing is that you can hear animal noises all night (not in an unpleasant way, it doesnt keep you awake, but if you do wake up you can hear the sounds of hippos in the nearby hippo pool, birds, etc etc.) You would never get this experience from a hotel. Also, as the camp has no walls/fences, animals can just wander in at will. There was a fruit tree outside our tent which was a favourite of a bull elephant who came along frequently. When an elephant comes into the camp you have to stay in your tent, there are guards who keep an eye out. Also when it gets dark you cannot go from tent to dinner / bar on your own, you flash your torch and a guard comes to get you.
Staff great, food amazing.
You eat (unless its raining) outside, even dinner when it is completely dark, there are just a few candles to see by. Food is very good, especially the fishes.
We had the most knowledgeable , patient and helpful guide for our game drives - Fred - anyone who has Fred for their stay is very lucky indeed, an absolute wealth of knowledge, who cares passionately about what he does.
Went on a balloon ride which leaves from the camp itself - expensive, but once in a lifetime (although we did blow off course and it took an hour to find us - I understand though this was really unusual, so dont worry about it), it was definately worth it.

Few Lodges...superb location

by Cacharel

"Kichwa Tembo Lodge in Masai Mara"

Located in the north of Masai and swimming pool bordering a super landscape.
In my opinion better than the Little Governors Camp...

"Vieuw of the bar/restaurant"

"Vieuw from the tent"

"Kichwa Tembo tent"

"Ziwani Voyager Camp in Tsavo"

...bordering a hippo lake

Forum Posts

Governors Camp

by Sarahxxx

Planning to go to Governors Camp for my Honeymoon in
September for 4 nights, but not sure what camp to stay in. There is:
Governors Camp
Little Governors Camp
Governors llmoran Camp
Private Camp
As its our honeymoon would like something a bit special. Anyone been and stayed in these camps?

Re: Governors Camp

by darklight

May see you there, we are doing little governors in sept.. sounds fantastic

Re: Governors Camp

by Maureenobondo

You can contact calken tours and travel at or have good rates which are very competitive.Governers camp and Davidlivingstone are one of the finest camps known.

Re: Governors Camp

by avilasoa

I stayed at Governors four years ago for my honeymoon.. so perhaps I can help

We stayed 2 nights at little governors then 2 nights at Il Moran .. Which was best.. I think this is done to personal preference.

Little Governors had more people therefore there was more atmosphere... especially in the evenings..

Il Moran is their more exclusive camp therefore less tents and less people...

Both are beautiful therefore don't think that you would be disappointed by either .. I really liked little governors for the extra ambience, but also loved Il Moran because of setting and furniture in the tent was really lovely ..

Not sure if this will help ... but have fun

Re: Governors Camp

by pufferfish

Stay in tent number 37, Governers camp, the last tent looking over the plains, we called it the adrenaline tent, you wont sleep a wink!


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 Governor's Camp

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Governors Camp
Governor`s Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve

Address: C14, Keekorok, Kenya