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“Fantastic Lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania

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Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania
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Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania   |  
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Philadelphia, PA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Fantastic Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

After a brief logistic hiccup on arrival, we had an incredible stay. The property is beautifully located in the Northern Serengeti. We spent one morning just watching the elephants and giraffes meandering in the meadow only a few hundred yards from our balcony. The rooms were incredibly luxurious and comfortable and yet also nicely embedded in the environment. The pool and physical layout of the lodge provide space to explore and relax for guests. The new host couple just transferred in from another property were still learning the site but had a wonderful attitude.

We experienced a full day drive to catch a herd of the great migration, saw lions mating and the three leopard brothers. Our guide Paolo was very helpful and good with the kids. We had wonderful meals in the bush and he managed the more strict Tanzanian rules (as compared to the more lenient policies on the Kenyan side) regarding driving only on existing tracks well.

The food was very good and included a mix of local and international options which we really appreciated.

We did have an uncomfortable arrival which we hope future guests will not repeat. Our initial guide John did not show up at the correct time for our plane leaving us alone at the airport for 40 minutes. We are relatively easy going and experienced travelers but this was a bit uncomfortable for us especially when the plane that had been waiting left as well. The pilot could not get a cell signal on the airfield and promised to come back if he could not get confirmation that we would be picked up but still... Finally, John showed up and immediately tried to shift blame first to the airline and then to the travel agent. He only apologized after he was directed to do so by the property manager over the radio. He also disparaged our choice of staying at Lamai saying that the grass was too long to see much wildlife and we picked the wrong season to come. We found out later that he had lied to the hosts about how long he kept us waiting. He was also gruff and unpleasant with our children who were somewhat scared of him after a short drive from the airport to the lodge. The host couple immediately responded to our concerns by switching guides and later delivered a complementary bottle of champagne to us with an apology. This response and gesture went much further than John's blame shifting efforts. Don't let this aspect of the review dissuade you from coming to Lamai but do absolutely request that you not be paired with John.

Room Tip: The family suite at the end of the path departing the restaurant was a fantastic two bedroom unit wi...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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131 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Woodstock
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

An amazing, stunningly beautiful place, with sincere and warm personal attention, catering to our every desire and more. A surprise private dinner was arranged. A bottle of champagne arrived in our room to celebrate our honeymoon. Each and every meal was delicious, with the freshest and expertly prepared ingredients. I will long remember the chocolate tart, and my husband was transported back to New Orleans Kay Paul's restaurant upon eating pork fingers with spicy mustard. Our guide was fantastic. Having spent his life tracking and living with wildlife, he had a keen insight into their behaviors and habits. After listening to the cries of a wildebeest slowly being drowned by crocodiles, many of the group of onlookers from their Range Rovers stated that oh well, that's nature. The rest of the herd had moved on, already. I heard our guide wish to himself, in a tender hushed voice, that the lone baby wildebeest, that I presumed had also just witnessed the death of its mother, succeed in its journey struggling safely across the Mara river.

The next evening we heard lions singing about their evening repast. A warthog trotted past out porch. A handsome pair of leopards delighted us at the end of our first evening safari. I thoroughly enjoyed the sounds of nature around us. I would have liked a radio, only because once in your villa in the evening, there is no way to contact an escort to go back to the lodge. I felt no danger whatsoever, but I could see how someone who has anxiety about proximity to predatory animals could have a problem, and would perhaps have felt at one of the more heavily human populated safari sites. I couldn't have been happier with the high staff to client ratio, and proximity to nature.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

The camp enjoys a stunning location with amazing views of the Serengeti. The whole place is beautifully designed and maintained, and the huts are spacious with impressive decor. Food was tasty, fresh and well presented. Our guide (Emmanuel) was extremely skilled and we experienced with him the best game drives of our whole two weeks stay in Tanzania. Still our overall experience was negative compared to other camps/lodges. The manager of the camp was away on holiday, and the replacement management, a couple from the US I believe, seemed to run the place as if it was their own house and they were under no obligation to take seriously guests' complaints/worries which, in their view, were silly. There was, by their own admission, a leopard wandering around the camp premises. Call me a sissy, but I did not really enjoy the idea of coming across it during the 10 min walk on our own to our hut which was at the very end of the camp (silly!). In the evening, as in most camps, you are prevented from walking around on your own but are supposed to be escorted by a security guy. In other camps we stayed you could contact the staff using a walkie talkie. Not at the Lamai (too cool for walkie talkie!). They pick you up for dinner at a prearranged time and once you are escorted back to your hut you are literally stuck. On our last night (a tour agents dinner was on so management was well busy) , once in bed we started hearing some disquieting animal noises coming from the roof and the terrece of our hut. Perhaps it was a baby monkey rather than a leopard, still we did not know it and the only barrier between us and the wildlife was a mosquito net. This is of course the beauty of a safari in a tented camp. The difference with other camps was however that we were completely isolated. No security in sight (too busy escorting the tour agents?) and no way to contact the staff. It was not so much the fear of a wild animal entering the room making us feel uncomfortable but rather being completely isolated. There was actually a way to call help in case of emergency: you could blow an emergency trumpet (a bit like those supporters use at football matches). Eventually we did blow it, one, two, three, four times. After what seemed an eternity (at least ten minutes from our first blow), management and security came around. Management said we were perfectly safe in our hut. I am glad we were because if this was not the case, and we had to rely on their prompt intervention, we would have been in real trouble. The day after, when we were leaving, management made some cheeky remarks such as they survived us and we would have definitely enjoyed the second part of our holiday by the beach best (perhaps this is a surviving camp only for the very brave?). It
may well be the case that this place is perfectly safe and we were being silly, but we did not feel safe (as opposed to other camps, as the Orakira) and the snobbery of management was irritating. If I am spending over a thousand dollar per night I expect that, should I need anything during the night, someone to reassure me that no leopard is breaking through my window or a glass of water, someone provides it to me and with a smile.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NomadTZ, Marketing Manager at Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to your concerns. I am delighted that you liked the location and style of Lamai, and that the guiding was top notch.

We are however very sorry that there were aspects of your stay that you felt could have been better and we've taken your comments to heart. Every guest is walked to and from their room between dusk and dawn by one of our watchmen, who then patrol throughout the night, when indeed there are sometimes nocturnal visitors. We do provide the horn as a means for summoning help should you feel insecure, and it is very unusual for this not to be heard first time. We have made sure that the watchmen are positioned so as to ensure that they can hear the horn.

We are in a particularly wild area of the Serengeti, which is one of the beauties of the camp, and we do take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our guests - our priority at all times. While all guests are perfectly safe in their netted rooms (otherwise we would not be allowed to operate), I am sorry that you did not receive the reassurance that you should have done from our relief managers - both of whom are highly experienced bush people. Animals are very much in the habit of avoiding interaction with people, and it sounds as though our managers should have taken more time to explain this to you so that you could rest easy. We do remain totally confident that the measures we have in place are entirely adequate, however we will do more to ensure that our guests FEEL completely safe.

Please do feel free to get in touch on amanda@nomad-tanzania.net should there be any other concerns you would like to raise and I would be happy to address them. In the meantime, I do hope that you have mostly good memories of your African adventure.
Kind regards
Amanda
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I had the most fantastic experience at lamai Serengeti. The personal touches by Sacha included romantic dinners for two and a surprise sundowner on a rock in the middle of the Serengeti, G&T at the ready for my wife's birthday. Sensational, thanks Sacha and staff!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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East London, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

The Serengeti is indeed a unique part of the world and no better way to see it than from the beautiful Lamai Serengeti camp. It would have been a treat to just sit outside the lovely and very comfortable room on the kopje (hill) or the pretty main dining/lounge area and contemplate the breathtaking view of the plains in front of camp and the hills (and Mara river) in the distance, but of course I was also there to see the animals - and the game drives were fantastic! We witnessed amazing sightings, including lion and elephant every day, but also antelope and smaller creatures and fantastic birds (a lot not seen before). The food was excellent and plentiful. What a pleasure being woken up either very early or slightly later with a cheery greeting from a room hand, bearing a tea tray and biscuits made by the pastry chef. Most of all - the staff, including the laundry man, chefs, waiters, kitchen helpers, room cleaners, guides and management, were exceptionally helpful and eager to make the Serengeti dream come true.. mine certainly did! Thank you Gabs, Tam, Sacha and everyone else. I miss being snug under the goosedown duvet with a hot water bottle and listening to the sound of whooping hyenas (and some nights - lion) in the distance! Never to be forgotten.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We've been on several trips to Africa and have stayed at a variety of permanent and tent camps, and by comparison, this camp was the most impressive. The LOCATION of the camp cannot be beat. Views from the camp are amazing since the camp is on a rocky hill that overlooks the wilderness. SERVICE from the property manager (Sasha and Tam) and the entire staff was the best we've encountered in our trips, and they made everyone in our 14 person party feel welcome and comfortable, as well as being very informative. The FOOD was excellent, and dinner service was just quick and efficient...everyone in our party was served at the same time, and the food was hot. Everyone in our party was just amazed, including the vegetarians. The ROOMS were just breathtaking...we were in room 4 at the base of the camp, and because the entire back wall of the room is a zippered screen, you feel like you are actually sleeping in the middle of the wilderness. It was even a bit disconcerting the first night, because there is nothing between nature and you except for the screen, but you get used to it and it is such an amazing part of the experience. You can close the screened area if you want to, but I would recommend leaving it with just the screens. GAME DRIVES were close to the camp, and I can only imagine that during the migration, it would only be more spectacular. This camp seems to have the best elements of all of our safari experiences, and included a few that cannot be easily duplicated...The staff and the location/views from he lodge.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

When we landed in the Serengeti on a little airstrip in the north we where overwhelmed. We came as a family of 6 with a little plane a Pilatus directly from Zanzibar. When you are a large family like this, it's an easy way to travel and Costal Air a flight provider in Tanzania arranged this perfectly well. We got of the plan and Kaikaie our guide from the Lamai lodge picked us up. Just next to the air strip was a giraffe nursery and we stopped for a view photos. The guide explained to our 4 children why the journey of giraffes is staying directly to the airstrip. After a short while and a lot of other beautiful views we arrived a the lodge which has a fantastic view over the northern Serengeti. We were welcomed by Sascha who is running the lodge with his wife.
The lodge is on a rather high and rocky hill and overlooking the Serengeti towards the north. At the horizon you see Kenya.
We where got accompanied by the rangers towards our lodges, which are perfectly build out of stone and with fantastic views through the mosquito curtains. The bath rooms were very comfortable and were partly using the natural stone as wall or shower wall. The rooms are having wooden floor and are very comfortably equipped.

We met back at e main lodge for lunch which was nicely prepared. After a late lunch we got ready for a safari trip by land rover. Kaikaie our guide spoke an incredible English and had studied biology which helped us a lot of better understanding nature.
We had some fantastic trips every morning and evening with home and saw a lot of game.
The lodge is very comfortable and our first evening we met back in front of the fire place in order to discuss the next day. We decided to leave very early next morning. Before dinner Sascha introduced us to his lovely wife and be discussed with them the New Year's Eve as beside our selves the was only a father and his daughter staying for new year at the lodge. We decided to have dinner all together.
After dinner we were walked back to our lodges. As the nights are rather chilly at this time of the year we had hot water bottle at the foot end of the bed which was a very pleasant idea.
All of us slept well and we woke up early as some lions around the camp seemed to have an argument.
Our next day was fantastic, we had a lot of sun, saw a lot of animals, like lions eating a zebra, or lions mating, a massive elephant bull who got rather charged several times our jeep, and lot of zebras and gazelles all nicely close to each other and some eagles other birds. Back at the lodge we saw a big group of monkeys going through the lodge and eating some wild figues in the trees.
New year was fantastic and we really enjoyed such a start into 2013.
The next day of safari started early as we decided to have breakfast next to the Mara river. While we had breakfasts we were carefully inspected by the hippopotamus which were nicely yawning while we enjoyed our breakfast. A nearby crocodile was slowly disappearing in the river.
Lunch was back a the lodge and we decided to go for a swim in the pool before taking of for the afternoon . The afternoon was very hot and when we got back we had strong rain while we had dinner. During the night that turned into a thunderstorm which was a spectacular experience .
We had another day of safari before we left for Tarangire and the chem chem lodge, which turned out to be a perfect trip combination.

Room Tip: All rooms had nice views and are perfectly located. We saw three of the rooms . The lodge has a fant...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania

Address: Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 77 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you were to visit only one place in the Serengeti, it should be here. This is no idle boast; the iconic Kogakuria kopje in northern Serengeti. A few years ago the Tanzanian government chose a handful of responsible companies to build small permanent lodges in this remote sector of the Serengeti. Nomad Tanzania was offered the prime site and Lamai Serengeti now sits tucked amongst the rocks of Kogakuria Kopje with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Beautifully designed open-fronted rooms, a spacious lounge and clear pool provide an ideal place to escape to for some relaxation in between your wildlife adventures, for both families, groups and couples.The area boasts year-round fantastic game viewing, including the Big 5, and between July and November, the wildebeest migration moves through, crossing the Mara River in dramatic fashion just 20mins from the lodge. ... more   less 

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