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“Great camp, enjoyed the cultural experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Olduvai Camp

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Olduvai Camp
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Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Nca), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
London
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Great camp, enjoyed the cultural experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2008

We loved Olduvai, it is not a luxurious camp, but it had a really friendly feel and the camp was remote and in the prettiest of locations. Shortly after arriving we went for a walk with the friendly Masais, to watch the sunset. They were lovely, happy to chat about their culture and seemed to enjoy posing for pictures and generally being the star attraction! Back from the walk, the shower was ready, and what an experience, actually showering outdoors! Dinner was around a big table so you get to socialise a bit, usually with people you keep meeting along the way, which is nice. After dinner we spent a bit of time in the bar, which was empty apart from us; this allowed us to have a good chat with Kanuya, who was looking after the bar, and learn a bit more about Tanzania and the local customs. We had a lovely time and a really relaxing stay in Olduvai, it is a place that i remember very fondly and vividly, i would love to stay there again if i was ever back in Tanzania.

  • Liked — Location+Friendliness
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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133 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2008

We stayed for 1 night at the beginning of our safari which was great - nice clean tent, great food, very organised and 1 night at the end when we were given an old shabby tent with single beds (although we booked a double) and not as much 'attention'.
The sunset walk with the Masaai was good, the food was great especially when you think you're in the middle of nowhere!
It is rather impressive how this place is managed in the middle of the bush - love the 20l of hot water which arrive at 6pm!

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

We stayed on this camp for only one night and found it to be the worst of the tented camps that we used - but not by much. It's in an amazing location and has the potential to be fabulous but it seemed to be suffering from lax management. We travelled as two couples and thus got the low-down on 2 tents, plus shared conversation at dinner.

The biggest complaint was that the tents didn't zip securely - the zips tended to split apart after being zipped. The window covers generally couldn't be secured - it was OK from privacy perspective but the wind could whistle in.

In addition another couple didn't have enough water for their evening shower... ie the tank was empty so a cold shower wasn't even an option.

Finally, the 8 flushes per day per tent rule was not met - we didn't even get 2 flushes. Not nice.

All of this is easily avoidable with tighter management. Had I been staying for more than one night I certainly would have sought to speak to the management.

On the positive side the food was good, the staff friendly and the communal spaces (bar and restaurant) were comfortable. So this certainly wasn't a bad place to stay by a long stretch, it just suffered against comparison with other camps.

  • Liked — Location is stunning
  • Disliked — Dodgy zips
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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zurich
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2007

We visited this tented camp twice in the last year and its a lovely place to stay for a night or 2 on the way from the crater towards the west. We booked our trip with Africa Travel Resources both times and they are just the best. This camp now has flushing toilets which in a way ruins the authenticity but nonetheless its a place of pure peace and you can be sure to enjoy a couple of glasses with the other guests after dinner.
We walked with one of the guides to the museum which was a lovely few hours to spend with a local.
Highly recommend this camp.
(The food is great as well)

Stayed March 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2007

Olduvai Camp was chosen for us by our travel agent, Africa Travel Resource, as an "authentic" place to stay while on route to and from our safari in the Serengeti. I can't vouch for authenticity, but I can tell you that it truly is a unique place. The camp is a set of permanent tented camps (complete with front porches and private outdoor bathrooms at the rear of each tent) built around an outcropping of large boulders. There are no directions to get there -- either your guide knows it or he doesn't. A number of Maasi work at the camp as either guides or guards (trust me, you'll feel much better knowing they're patrolling the camp all night for lions and other wild beasties). They're extremely personable and those we met were eager to educate us about the ways of their people.

As for the camp, the tents are spacious and attractive with simple furnishings (bed, nightstands with lamps, desk and chair). There is a small room at the back of the tent with a small table and shelving unit that holds water, towels, toilet paper, etc. before leading to the bathroom out back. You have to unzip your tent to access the bathroom area, which is typical of permanent tented camps -- although it can be unpleasant in the middle of the night. The toilets have flushes and the shower is a bladder that is filled by hand every evening around 6:30 with very warm water. Lights run on generator from 6 pm - 11 pm. If you need light, consider bringing a headlamp or flashlight/lantern. Beds are comfortable and the view when you pull back the canvas (but keep the screen part closed) is every traveler's dream.

There are two common areas -- the bar/game/reading lounge and the dining area. Both are open to the elements and are very pretty. The food is outstanding (we ate 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts there) and the service is attentive and friendly. There is a fire pit with comfy chairs you can sit around in the evening and, both nights, some of the Maasi came and joined us. They sang songs, talked about their way of life and made us feel very welcome. When it comes to authenticity, having a real conversation with real people who live in (and are proud of) the country your visiting is about as authentic as it gets.

Just a note about sleeping in tents like these -- you're pretty exposed to nature, so if the though of hyenas sniffing around your tent while you're asleep isn't your idea of a good time, you might want to consider the lodge option.

  • Liked — Spending time with the Maasai who work at the camp.
  • Disliked — Being so exposed to the elements (read: wild animals) is a little unnerving!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Olduvai Camp

Address: Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Nca), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 78 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Olduvai Camp has only 17 tents, built around a big kopje. His location in the heart of the NCA is ideal for treks, especially along the Olduvai gorges. Every tent has a good comfort: big beds (doubles or twins) with quality bedding, pillows, covers etc...Necessary furniture, terrace with safari chairs, bathroom inside the structure (WC, hot shower with running water, small sink). The camp is eco-friendly, using solar panels (for lights, water heating etc.), Recycling garbage, water saving etc. Olduvai Camp is a must not to be missed if you like to experience an unforgettable overnight in the bush, between the famous Ngorongoro crater and the endless plains of Serengeti. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Olduvai Camp Hotel Serengeti National Park

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